Global Warming Is Not About Temperatures. It's About Dying, Starving, Displaced People.
Americans have dragged their feet toward an existential humanitarian crisis before. Charles Pierce explains
Among the range of physical health impacts, Americans can look forward to a future of more food and water contamination, increased asthma rates, and tenfold jumps in death from heat exposure, the report found. The report also devotes an entire chapter to the mental health impacts of climate change, which are often symbiotic. Mental health issues can limit someone's resilience in a disaster, making it more difficult to find shelter or access help, and living through a disaster can lead to depression, anxiety, and PTSD. "I don't think we've ever seen a force that affects so many dimensions of health for so many people as climate change does," said Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. Get ready to start hearing the phrase "vector-borne disease" a lot more often. The Zika virus, which has caused thousands of cases of underdeveloped brains in babies, is a vector-borne disease that has been linked to climate change. Lyme disease and West Nile virus are two other examples common to the United States—and researchers predict they will become more widespread. "We are going to see diseases in areas we haven't seen them before," said Juli Trtranj, another NOAA scientist who worked on the report.