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|The State Of Climate Change And Health In The United States by Terrancal: 8:16am On Dec 10, 2020|
In the United States, the human suffering and death during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrate the harsh consequences that can occur when science is disregarded and responses to existing evidence are delayed, ineffective, and inequitable—or altogether absent. Importantly, the toll of the pandemic should be seen as a forewarning of the future; there will be far-reaching and accelerated health consequences of climate change if the U.S. fails to appropriately respond to the current evidence. Globally, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must be reduced by almost half over the next decade to keep global temperature rise to “well below 2°C”, requiring a 7.6% reduction in GHG emissions every year.
The U.S. also faces a long-overdue reckoning for centuries of systemic racism, which continues to drive many health inequities and injustices. Climate change exacerbates the health consequences of both the COVID-19 pandemic and systemic racism, especially against the backdrop of a neglected public health system. Climate change action, perhaps now more than ever, is a critical component for achieving optimal health and health equity in the U.S.
The effects of climate change worldwide and in the U.S. are undeniable and worsening, with wide-ranging impacts on health and the economy. Globally, the six warmest years in recorded history occurred between 2014-2019, with 2019 the second warmest. In the U.S., states like Alaska, Georgia, and North Carolina had record high temperatures in 2019.
In 2019, older persons, or individuals over the age of 65, experienced over 102 million more days of heatwave exposure in the U.S. compared with the 1986-2005 baseline. Eight out of the ten highest-ranking years of heatwave exposure among older adults, a population especially vulnerable to heat, have occurred since 2010 in the U.S. In the past two decades, heat-related mortality for older persons has almost doubled, reaching a record high of 19,000 deaths in 2018.
The U.S. saw a total of 2 billion potential hours of labor lost due to extreme heat across the service, manufacturing, agricultural, and construction sectors in 2019 (with 540 million potential hours lost in construction alone), placing the 2015-2019 average 63% higher than the 1990-1994 average. A conservative estimated total of $45 billion dollars of potential earnings were lost across these four sectors in 2015.
Climate change has exacerbated the deterioration of extreme weather, which also directly affects people's health. Under the raging situation of coronavirus, it is still hoped that relevant departments can take countermeasures.
|Re: The State Of Climate Change And Health In The United States by mm22gg: 8:49am On Dec 12, 2020|
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