Climate Change & Health
According to The Lancet, climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. The World Health Organization estimates that at least 150,000 people die due to the health effects of climate change annually. A strong and growing body of published scientific literature indicates that climate change causes these public health threats in the US and abroad:
- Extreme weather events
- Heat emergencies
- Increased air pollution
- Changes in infectious disease patterns
These changes in weather and climate lead to excess disease and death. Rates of these conditions are increasing due to climate change:
- Increased rates of disability and death due to natural disasters
- More crop failures and malnutrition due to floods
- Increased rates of dysentery due to lack of clean water caused by drought
- More deaths due to heat stroke
- Increased rates of asthma due to air pollution
- Higher emergency room visits due to wild fires
- Increased rates of Malaria, Dengue, West Nile Virus, Lyme Disease, and other vector-borne infectious diseases
Chicago PSR is responding to these public health threats in several ways.
- We collaborated with the AMA and the Harvard School of Public Health to organize a CME conference on climate change and health at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine in November, 2011. If you missed this conference, you can still click here to watch it.
- We believe that doctors and other medical professionals should take the lead to create environmentally-friendly environments that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To help you make your office practice greener, we have created this how-to video. Click here to watch the video, and then take the next step, and make the changes in your own practice.
- We regularly give lectures on climate change and public health. If your organization is looking for a climate change and health lecture, please contact us.
- Chicago PSR and Northwestern's School of Engineering collaborated to create A Climate Change and Public Health Plan for Cook County. You can read and download the plan free by clicking here.
- Read more about the plan on the Environmental Law and Policy Center's blog.