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Health impacts of a shifting climate are already being seen in the U.S. and rapidly growing severe. Those include direct effects, such as illness from extreme heat or drowning from floods, as well as indirect and less-obvious ones, like shifting infectious-disease patterns

Health impacts of a shifting climate are already being seen in the U.S. and rapidly growing severe. Those include direct effects, such as illness from extreme heat or drowning from floods, as well as indirect and less-obvious ones, like shifting infectious-disease patterns

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Agitated-Antelope-18

Looking at the comments in this thread confirms that we're fucked


Wagamaga

This week, the medical journal The Lancet released its annual “Report of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change” and a companion brief focused on conditions in the United States. The brief urges action to curb global-warming emissions, arguing that the health impacts of a shifting climate are already being seen in the U.S. and rapidly growing severe. Those include direct effects, such as illness from extreme heat or drowning from floods, as well as indirect and less-obvious ones, like shifting infectious-disease patterns or worsening allergies and asthma from more-intense pollen levels. Renee N. Salas, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School, ER physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, climate and health expert at the Harvard Global Health Institute, and Yerby Fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment, was the lead author of the U.S. brief and an author on the global report. She spoke with the Gazette about the findings. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)01787-6/fulltext


asdaaaaaaaa

I wonder if it'll be a slower build up, or kinda happen all of a sudden. Like having random diseases pop up more often, natural disasters, more extreme weather, etc. Or will we sort of hit a tipping point, and instead of a gradual increase, it'll jump from relatively calm to stuff happening all over.


natnguyen

I think it’ll be a slow burn, where every year more things like pandemics and fires/floods happen, until we reach an extremely preventable tipping point and the daily life of humanity changes.


NeedsSomeSnare

Trend data would suggest it will come in an S curve. The question is where we are on that S curve.


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Omniwing

Is anyone else tired of /r/science becoming more and more political every day?


NapoleonForrest

Could you explain how this is political?


BigBolognaSandwich

It is insane that this is political.


Omniwing

"Climate change is bad" is a liberal talking point.


DalinerK

Climate change is bad and is 99.9% of scientist agree it is man made. Since it dramatically changes our environmnet which supports our species it's pretty relevant


truthbants

I sometimes wonder why up sides of climate change are never written about. I’m not suggesting there is a “net” up side, but there must be some benefits. You can be sure that if climate change was making the Earth cooler, that would be a disaster too. So does that mean we just happen to be in the “perfect temperature” part of the climate cycle right now?


James_Solomon

>I sometimes wonder why up sides of climate change are never written about. I’m not suggesting there is a “net” up side, but there must be some benefits. Yes, I will retire with beachfront property. >You can be sure that if climate change was making the Earth cooler, that would be a disaster too. So does that mean we just happen to be in the “perfect temperature” part of the climate cycle right now? Humans, and many other organisms, evolved under a certain set of conditions. Change those conditions and things might get rather difficult for those organisms, especially if you do so rapidly relative to the geological timescale. The physical planet itself is rather indifferent to the climate.


truthbants

I do understand that. But humans are not going to have to evolve biologically as a result of the predicted changes. Plants benefit from higher CO2. Longer crop seasons in some places. Lower mortality from extreme cold. I am NOT trying to suggest climate change is a net positive. But I was chatting to someone who studies these things and i was of the view that climate change is 100% bad, but he pointed out that there are many countries that will benefit from a warmer climate. He also said that mentioning these things outside of small circles is usually met with derision or hostility. I expect he’s right.


James_Solomon

Yes, but since we agree that this is going to be a net negative, mentioning the positive is kind of beside the point. What's the bloody use of the small positives you mention compared to the net negatives? You're resistant to malaria if you have sickle cell anemia, but I'd prefer to take my chances with malaria. Just for fun, I am going to also quibble with your specific points as the positives are linked with the downsides. >But humans are not going to have to evolve biologically as a result of the predicted changes. [High CO2 levels impair human cognition](https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2019GH000237). Now, high intelligence is not a prerequisite for biological success – just look at the koala – however, I don't look forward to a future where people can't think properly because they can't breathe properly. >Plants benefit from higher CO2. Longer crop seasons in some places. This is true, but keep in mind that the places currently growing most of our crops are going to experience problems. California's a massive agriculture powerhouse and, [fire season has been getting longer for years, and it's pretty much always dealing with a drought of some sort now](https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-06-26/drought-wildfire-conditions-evolving-at-unprecedented-pace). It's good for Canada, no doubt, but since the infrastructure to grow crops up there at such levels to take advantage of the warmer climate isn't there, well... I suppose the maple trees will be happy at least. >Lower mortality from extreme cold. Deaths from extreme cold are definitely a problem, though this reduction is, obviously, going to come at the cost of increased deaths from extreme heat. And given what we saw with the extreme cold snap in Texas that caused the power grid to fail and many deaths last winter, the two are not actually unrelated – like with the polar vortex several years ago, [the cold wave was due to climate instability caused by global warming](https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2021/09/03/climate-change-arctic-texas-cold/). >But I was chatting to someone who studies these things and i was of the view that climate change is 100% bad, but he pointed out that there are many countries that will benefit from a warmer climate. Russia certainly thinks it might benefit since they'd be able to open up more parts of the country for development. I suppose time will tell if things will play out according to their predictions...


truthbants

For me it’s simply about maintaining balance to ensure reporting remains credible. I think most skepticism is rooted in one thing, trust. I see arguments of skeptics ultimately come down to “if they’re not reporting accurately (or at extremes sometimes lying) about this, what else are they reporting inaccurately about”. Wild fires is a good example. No doubt that increasing temperature and reduced precipitation increases risk. BUT, anyone I’ve heard from who understands the major cause of large scale forest fires knows it’s overwhelming been caused by poor forestry management. Controlled burning was unpopular with the very people who now cry that it is purely down to climate change. By demonstrating a willingness to acknowledge things that don’t always align perfectly with the narrative, you gain trust that reporting is not blinkered. Keeping everything on message is what political parties do. It’s not what scientists or media should do. Many with good intentions become more preoccupied with lambasting heretics than caring about what is actually true. I think behind this is deeply held belief by many (that I do not share), that the public are stupid, and if you don’t tell them one consistent message, they’ll get confused. Ultimately it’s this view that underlies authoritarian tendencies (even among many who would insist they are not authoritarian).


Small_Peanut_Cutie

Well, humanity was nice for the little while that I've known it, I guess.


Wookie-Riot

So I guess heat stroke or drownings are now climate caused? Bahahaha


sunbearimon

Extreme heat and floods are a result of climate change, so the people who die from them died because of climate change. Stop me if I’m going too fast for you


thekeldog

Does the annual decrease in cold deaths also get attributed to climate change?


sunbearimon

I’m not actually sure if there will be a decrease in cold deaths. Because of disruptions of warming ocean currents extreme cold is also more likely in a lot of places, like North America and Northern Europe. The Gulf Stream is at its weakest in a millennium at the moment and it’ll be really bad for us if it collapses. And there’s also the fact that we’re better at preventing deaths in the climates that we’re used to. Places that are cold at the moment are built for it, with things like housing insulation, heating systems, even people’s clothes. The cold is much less of an issue in those places than heatwaves, which they were not built for. I couldn’t tell you that not a single death will prevented by climate change, but taken in totality with the deaths it’s likely to cause - the numbers don’t look good for us.


thekeldog

Not sure if you’re familiar with the work Bjorn Lomborg has done about this? He claims (with citations) that some [180,000 cold deaths would be avoided](https://www.lomborg.com/the-heresy-of-heat-and-cold-deaths) > Moreover, when the researchers include increasing temperatures of 0.26°C/decade (0.47°F/decade), they find heat deaths increase, but cold deaths decrease more than twice as much: Another thing to keep in mind, if in response to climate change we end up making energy more expensive, the cost to heat heat homes during winter goes up and for some poor people that *will* be the difference between living and dying.


sunbearimon

I’m not super familiar with Bjorn Lomborg, but I know that following his book the Sceptical Environmentalist he was formally accused of scientific dishonesty by the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty. The DCSD found the book to be scientifically dishonest through misrepresentation of scientific facts, but Lomborg himself not guilty due to his lack of expertise in the fields in question. So I’d take his predictions with a very large pinch of salt.


Wookie-Riot

Yeah exactly CLIMATE CHANGE has always existed so why now start blaming it for loss of life?


sunbearimon

I left the anthropogenic out because at this point I assumed it was a given. Yes, the climate has shifted naturally over the course of earth’s history. That’s not what we’re talking about here. It’s pretty obvious to anyone paying even a little bit of attention that this is the result of humans emitting greenhouse gases on an industrial global scale for over a century. You’d have to be awfully ignorant or disingenuous to say that isn’t an obvious causal relationship.