You might've already heard that global warming is leading to rising sea levels, dwindling food supplies, and crazy weather. But if that's not reason enough to care, maybe this will be: It could actually be making us sick.
Over half the country's physicians — around 434,000 total from 12 top medical organizations — have formed the Consortium on Climate & Health to raise awareness of the health effects of climate change. A report by the group lists numerous health complications that can result from global warming: rising temperatures can lead to heat stroke, dehydration, and the worsening of chronic diseases; extreme weather can cause injuries and death; pollution can exacerbate asthma, lung disease, and allergies; increases in weather can help insect-borne diseases spread; contaminated food and water can make us sick; and natural disasters can trigger mental health issues.
"The reality of human-caused climate change is no longer a matter of debate," the report reads. "Based on the evidence, more than 97 percent of climate scientists have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening."
The consortium is calling on the U.S. government and businesses to help reduce global warming by reducing greenhouse gases and putting money toward the development and implementation of renewable energy sources.
This comes in stark contrast to Donald Trump's approach to the environment. The President has tweeted that "the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive." Now that Trump's in office, he's ended several regulations aimed at reducing pollution and called for defunding the Environmental Protection Agency. And Scott Pruitt, the agency's administrator, has said climate change is not primarily human-made, despite most scientists' agreement that it is, The Huffington Post reports.
"At this point, physicians are really trying to speak out about their own observations and let everyone know it isn’t just climate scientists," the consortium's director Mona Sarfaty, who is also a George Mason University professor, told The Huffington Post. "Physicians — who have a closer relationship with the public than scientists, generally — are seeing this, and they feel concerned and feel a responsibility to speak directly to the American public."
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