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How the Climate Crisis Threatens Our Health and What We Can Do about It

by Paul R. Epstein and Dan Ferber

Pub Date: April 4th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-520-26909-5
Publisher: Univ. of California

A comprehensive read on climate change, its environmental and health impacts and the actions that can be taken against it—as seen through a health professional's eyes.

Malaria and cholera in the Chesapeake Bay? Don't panic! The bacteria that cause these two diseases doesn't naturally exist in the Mid-Atlantic states. They'll only appear and begin wreaking havoc if water temperatures rise. The climate is changing around the planet as a result of scientifically proven global warming, and an increase in epidemics with outbreaks in new areas is just one of the dozens of forecasted health crises. Epstein (Center for Health and Global Environment/Harvard Univ.) has spent the better part of his medical career as an environmental activist, raising awareness in an effort to inspire change through his work with United Nations, insurance agencies and fellow health-care providers. Here, Epstein teams up with Science magazine’s Ferber, and through expressive and simplistic prose, the authors present the adverse impacts climate change will have on human health. Deadly heat waves, drought and famine will result in increased asthma and allergies; instances of Lyme Disease are also expected to increase. This is no time for hand-wringing, the authors write. They urge a change in lifestyle and industry standards, and they provide suggestions and talking points for policymakers.

A harrowing look at the road ahead that should urge immediate, proactive change.