Your health (and you thought climate change was not about you) (The Hill)

THE HILL | New Year’s resolutions: chances are we’ve made — and broken — a few of them. And, chances are many of those resolutions have been related to our health: exercise more, eat better, stop smoking. But what if, in 2022, we resolved to improve our health by taking action against climate change?

According to recent data from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA, 2021 marked the sixth warmest year on record. Why does this matter? Well, a warming climate directly affects the health of individuals, communities, businesses and economies alike.

Climate change, if nothing else, is a background condition of our lives that shapes our health. As a social determinant of health, it is as much a public health crisis as it is an environmental and economic one. Things like access to clean air, clean and safe drinking water, healthy food supplies and housing are directly impacting our quality of life, as well as physical, mental and emotional health.

We’re seeing the effects of climate change on peoples’ health already — from increased cases of asthma in children to more heat-related illnesses like heat stroke and vector-borne diseases like malaria. If you’re not seeing these repercussions in your community now, chances are you will soon.  

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