Climate change is biggest health threat of 21st century

May 14, 2009

By David Derbyshire
Last updated at 2:44 AM on 14th May 2009
As reported in Huffington Post Green

Climate change is the biggest health threat of the 21st century, leading academics claimed last night.

Those who fail to take the issue seriously are as morally reprehensible as 18th-century slave traders, they said.

A British report said rising global temperatures will trigger food shortages, droughts, wars and floods over the next 100 years, pushing billions into ill-health, disease and poverty.

Sea ice melting as a result of global warming

Health threat: The report said rising global temperatures will trigger food shortages, droughts, wars and floods over the next 100 years

If the world fails to act, future historians will view the current generation with ‘similar moral outrage to how we today look back on those who brought in and did nothing to stop slavery’, the authors said.

The report – commissioned by the Lancet medical journal and University College London – calls on doctors and health experts to take the threat of climate change more seriously.

Report author Professor Anthony Costello, of UCL, said: ‘The big message of this report is that climate change is a health issue affecting billions of people, not just an environmental issue about polar bears and deforestation.’

The team of scientists, lawyers, doctors, economists and engineers looked at the health implications of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s forecasts, including the most optimistic projection of a 2c rise in global temperatures and its ‘catastrophic’ forecast of a 6c rise.

In Britain, climate change will bring more frequent heatwaves – increasing the numbers of elderly dying in the summer, the report said.

In 2003, up to 70,000 extra deaths were caused by the freak summer heatwave across Europe.

Warmer weather will also increase the risk of diseases spread by insects and bacteria, including malaria and salmonella.

But the biggest health impacts will be in the poorest parts of the world.

Droughts and floods will make agriculture more vulnerable in developing countries and trigger food shortages and rising food prices, spreading malnutrition and disease, the report said.

This will increase the chances of wars over water, food and land and trigger ‘large-scale migration’, it added. More than a billion people could be forced to move from rising seas.

Professor Costello said: ‘The health lobby has come late to this debate and should have been saying more. Young people realise this is the great issue of our day.’

Our perspective:

This issue has been batted around for years. While we continue to debate the issue the polar caps are melting.

Some scientist say this is a natural phenomena, while other argue that we have been instrumental in the cause.

We should stop pointing fingers.

The facts is that it is happening and we should be making every effort to stop the abuses that may tend to effect the issue.

Sometimes I think that God just shakes his head.

What we call progress over the past 200 years have put a strain on our environment. Pollutants in our rivers and oceans. Gases released into our atmosphere.

How much is enough!

 This can not be rationized.

We are responsible to pass onto our children a better quality of life.

Let us know your thoughts? You may leave a comment or email george@hbsadvantage.com

2 Responses to “Climate change is biggest health threat of 21st century”

  1. […] See original here:  Climate change is biggest health threat of 21st century […]

  2. Dan Croft said

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