“When is the time to talk about the climate change, and act on implementing robust, effective mitigating actions? Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.”
– RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United. Read the press release, “Nurses Call for Stepped Up Federal Effort on Fires.”
TAKE THE PLEDGE to Stand up for Science today: climatetruth.org/standup
While much attention has been paid to the direct physical threats from climate change, such as rising seas and searing drought, scientists are really only beginning to understand many of the potential disease implications. In part that’s because as complex ecosystems shift in complex ways, the behavior response of the smallest cogs in those systems, such as insects and microbes, will be the hardest to predict.
Evidence suggests, for example, that moisture changes could alter the spread of the soil-borne fungi that give rise to the American Southwest’s flu-like valley fever, but scientists can’t yet say for sure. Infections that aerosolize, like tuberculosis, can linger longer and perhaps be transported easier in regions of the world projected to become more humid. New research suggests the spread of blood-sucking kissing bugs that contain parasites that carry Chagas Disease may well help that affliction spread into North America. Already millions of people worldwide, mostly in South America, suffer from chronic Chagas, which can lead to life-threatening heart damage and stroke.
But there also are plenty of pathogens whose courses already are being altered by fossil fuel emissions.
“So often so many of the things we talk about with climate change are ‘this is going to be a problem in 2030 or 2050 or 2100,’ and it sounds so far away,” says Maloy. “But we’re talking about things where our one-degree centigrade change in temperature is already enough to affect infections.”
Michigan’s director of its Department of Health and Human Services, Nick Lyon, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office over the Flint water crisis.
Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells will be charged with obstruction of justice.
Lyon and Wells are the highest-ranking state officials to be charged in the crisis. The charges stem from an investigation led by Michigan’s attorney general.
The involuntary manslaughter charge stems from an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, a type of pneumonia, that spread in the city following its switch in water source. According to the indictment, Lyon knew about the outbreak but failed to alert the public.
I try to normally not post these kinds of things, but one of my friends is doing this survey on dietary habits and the media and needs a few more participants. It should only take about 10 minutes, so if you have a moment it would be great if you could participate!
Two quick notes: In order to do this survey, you need to be, (1) A U.S. Citizen, and (2) Over 18-years-old.
“Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, moved late on Wednesday to reject the scientific conclusion of the agency’s own chemical safety experts who under the Obama administration recommended that one of the nation’s most widely used insecticides be permanently banned at farms nationwide because of the harm it potentially causes children and farm workers. The ruling by Mr. Pruitt, in one of his first formal actions as the nation’s top environmental official, rejected a petition filed a decade ago by two environmental groups that had asked that the agency ban all uses of chlorpyrifos. The chemical was banned in 2000 for use in most household settings, but still today is used at about 40,000 farms on about 50 different types of crops, ranging from almonds to apples. Late last year, and based in part on research conducted at Columbia University, E.P.A. scientists concluded that exposure to the chemical that has been in use since 1965 was potentially causing significant health consequences. They included learning and memory declines, particularly among farm workers and young children who may be exposed through drinking water and other sources. But Dow Chemical, which makes the product, along with farm groups that use it, had argued that the science demonstrating that chlorpyrifos caused such harm is inconclusive — especially when properly used to kill crop-spoiling insects. An E.P.A. scientific review panel made up of academic experts last July also had raised questions about some of the conclusions the chemical safety staff had reached. That led the staff to revise the way it had justified its findings of harm, although the agency employees as of late last year still concluded that the chemical should be banned.Mr. Pruitt, in an announcement issued Wednesday night, said the agency needed to study the science more.”