Saturday, April 5, 2014

Climate Change and Your Health

I find it incredible that there are still some people who deny that climate change is absolutely proven and accepted by the world’s scientists.
This is not a matter of pessimism or “gloom and doom” from self-appointed experts. Rather science confirms what indigenous people have been prophesying and warning for a very long time. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just released its latest report on the effects of climate change on human health. This report, like previous ones on the effects of climate change on planetary health, went through an extraordinary peer review process: more than 300 authors whose work was subjected to four rounds of peer-review and fact-checking by scientists appointed by member-state governments. Among the climate-change based predictions for the near future are: “greater risk of injury, disease and death due to more intense heat waves and fires, increased risk of under-nutrition resulting from diminished food production in poor regions, increased risks of food- and water-borne diseases and vector-borne (animal and insect caused) diseases.” And these risks do not even include the effects of climate-altering pollutants. The primary recommendations of the Panel are familiar to us: a need for cleaner energy sources and more efficient technologies, shift towards vegetarianism especially in high meat-consumption societies (the meat industry is a major contributor to Greenhouse Effect), improved transport systems and reduced use of motor vehicles. More than 200 years ago, the Seneca spiritual leader and prophet Handsome Lake warned that a time would come when waters would be polluted and fire would destroy the world if the Creator’s natural laws and ethics were violated.