We hear a lot about climate change these days. Sure, we have had some of the warmest years recently since records were kept, but many don’t care and a few even think climate change is a hoax or fearmongering, though why thousands of scientists would want to perpetrate a hoax or purposely make us afraid makes little sense.
Now The Lancet, Britain’s most respected medical journal, reports that climate change may seriously affect our health.
Remember that time in Chicago when the temperature spiked for a few days above 100 and some 500 people died in one day? Thankfully most of us don’t live in cities where the pavement and buildings soak up and retain the heat. But could it happen here?
Our warmer years have brought longer allergy seasons by about 25 to 35% – that means allergy sufferers are feeling miserable longer. While allergies may not be life threatening, they can sure make you feel like a zombie some days and make you work less effectively.
Disease bearing insects such as ticks are not only more common now here but have extended their active period – they appear earlier in the spring and stay later into the fall.
Deer ticks carry more diseases than ever before including Lyme, Anaplasmosis and Powassan. Lyme disease seems to be almost common here. So many friends and relatives have had Lyme or have it still that we’ve lost count. Some say you’re never rid of it. Lyme can affect your joints, heart and even your mind.
Anaplasmosis is on the rise in Maine and the rest of New England. Anaplasmosis feels like a severe case of Lyme disease but can be bad enough to send you to the hospital.
Powassan seems even worse, since there is no known cure. Powassan can wreak havoc with your breathing and your mind and can be deadly.
While you may claim climate change is a hoax or another crazy cause for alarm, people have died in their overheated rooms and apartments during temperature spikes; allergies are afflicting you, your family and friends much longer, and disease bearing insects that may make you sick or send you to the hospital are more common.
Perhaps we can deal with these health challenges. Nevertheless, as Pope Francis warned negotiators at the COP 23 talks last week, don’t have the “four perverse attitudes” regarding the future of the planet—“denial, indifference, resignation and trust in inadequate solutions.”