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Friday, August 30, 2013

Your health and climate change

There is a lot of noise these days about global warming and how it threatens to annihilate the human race. There are also numerous versions and theories both supporting and discrediting this. Before this catastrophic event occurs, there would exist a very long process of human suffering and torture at the hands of a merciless nature. If I may ask – what is the one thing that you wish to have till the end? While wealth would definitely be a priority, health would be the most important one. Good health brings happiness and happiness is the healthiest of human emotions. So before climate change wipes out our race, what suffering has it got at stake for us?

Global warming as the term suggests is causing an increase in the average surface temperature of the earth. Warmer surface temperatures would result in a variety of ill effects affecting people of all ages alike. A prolonged spell of hot weather, with high relative humidity and less cooler nights would induce severe heat related stress on elderly people, leading to death. 
Warmer surface temperatures would also cause an increase in the breeding rates of rodents and pests – which are disease carriers. There would be a decrease in the overall quality of water, as the microorganisms purifying this water would reduce their functioning as a result of a warmer climate. This would lead to an increase in water borne diseases. Warmer atmospheric conditions would result in an increase in ozone production. Ozone in the lower levels of the atmosphere is a pollutant and together with pollen would lead to deadly cases of respiratory diseases amongst the new born and the elderly.
Climate change is also going to influence our health through a number of indirect factors. Topping this list is – natural disasters. Climate change would result in numerous natural calamities often with devastating effects. Changing precipitation patterns coupled with a warmer atmosphere would result in longer dry spells with sudden heavy downpour causing annual flash floods. People living along the coasts would be forced to migrate due to rising sea levels and non-availability of fresh drinking water. People would also be force to relocate due to adverse weather conditions, land slides, earthquakes, increased volcanic activity and food availability. This mass relocation of people would instantly lead to a rise in the number of diseased population.
The second factor is the reduction in the quality of available fresh water. The United Nations Organization estimates that about one third of the world population would be deprived of quality drinking water by 2050. This would result in an increase in the spread of water related diseases. 
Another important factor is food scarcity. Changing soil patterns, failing monsoons, annual flash floods and increase in surface temperatures would result in large-scale crop failure. Lack of adequate food intake would result in further aggravation of the spread of diseases. Finally, scientists claim that there would be a hundred per cent rise in the occurrences of new incurable diseases, many of which (MERS, SARS, H1N5 etc.) are already causing wide spread panic.

The question we need to ask ourselves today is – where are we headed? Is this the future you want to live in? Is the future you want your children to grow up in?

It’s high time we make a choice and chose our alliances. Climate change and its catastrophic effects can be mitigated. A deep thought provoking approach must be initiated by every local and national government for this cause. People must be educated and enlightened. Governments must have a plan for its citizens. If we still chose to be ignorant and consider living foolishly, then we would simply suffer and die a painful death and our children would curse us for the gifts we have given them.

We can change the world! Let’s join together and act! Wake up!