Saturday, July 23, 2016

Will the Health Dangers of Climate Change Get People to Care?  The Science Says:  Maybe

Effects of climate change, including higher temperatures, have direct effects on public health, but historically it’s largely been framed as an environmental issue. (Credit: anoushdehkordi/flickr, CC BY) Click to Enlarge.
Climate change is a major public health threat, already making existing problems like asthma, exposure to extreme heat, food poisoning, and infectious disease more severe, and posing new risks from climate change-related disasters, including death or injury.

Those were the alarming conclusions of a new scientific assessment report released by the Obama administration this week, drawing on input from eight federal agencies and more than 100 relevant experts.

“As far as history is concerned this is a new kind of threat that we are facing,“ said U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy at a White House event.  Pregnant women, children, low-income people and communities of color are among the most at risk.

Despite ever more urgent warnings of scientists, Americans still tend to view climate change as a scientific or environmental issue, but not as a problem that currently affects them personally, or one that connects to issues that they already perceive as important.

Yet research suggests that as federal agencies, experts, and societal leaders increasingly focus on the public health risks of climate change, this reframing may be able to overcome longstanding public indifference on the issue.  The new communication strategy, however, faces several hurdles and uncertainties.

Read more at Will the Health Dangers of Climate Change Get People to Care?  The Science Says:  Maybe

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