New Report Sounds the Alarm on Harms to Human Health from Climate Change
(April 5, 2016) - Lansing, MI
Yesterday, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released a first of its kind report, , The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment (https://health2016.globalchange.gov/), which documents the strong scientific evidence that climate change endangers public health today, and projects alarming impacts in the future.
The health assessment synthesizes the scientific literature, including peer-reviewed quantitative analyses of observed and projected health impacts from climate change in the United States. It paints a grim picture of a future without climate action: one in which air quality is degraded due to rising temperatures, ozone, drought and wildfires; heavy rains are more frequent heat waves are hotter and hurricanes are more severe.
"These major shifts in weather and environment have disastrous consequences for public health, including worsened symptoms of lung disease and other chronic illnesses," warned Therese Smith, RN MPA CCM. "Vulnerable populations across Michigan, including children, seniors, low-income communities and those with chronic diseases, all of whom disproportionately bear the health impacts of climate change."
The Impacts of Climate change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment establishes even greater urgency for Michigan to act on the Clean Power Plan, and for continued progress at the federal level. To protect the health of our residents, states must move forward without delay to develop a strong plan to reduce carbon pollution and meet the goals of the Clean Power Plan.
"We urge Governor Snyder to act now to establish Michigan's plan to reduce carbon pollution from both existing and new power plants. Michigan can and should work to meet the reductions targeted in the Clean Power Plan as a crucial step to providing protections for all our citizens," said Ken Fletcher with the American Lung Association in Michigan. "Carbon pollution from Michigan's power plants is helping to drive climate change, which endangers the health of our communities. We have a short window to act to reduce those threats. We urge Governor Snyder to start now."
The USGCRP climate and health assessment comes as 17 national health and medical organizations released a joint Declaration on Climate Change and Health (http://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/outdoor/climate-change/declaration-on-climate-change.html), urging immediate action to address the health impacts of climate change. As part of the declaration, the organizations urged leaders across the country to address climate change now by cleaning up major sources of carbon pollution, including power plants, cars, trucks and other mobile sources.
The declaration by 17 national health and medical groups can be found here (http://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/outdoor/climate-change/declaration-on-climate-change.html). The USGCRP's report, The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States, can be found here (https://health2016.globalchange.gov/).
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer, to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872 or visit: Lung.org.