White House Report Details Climate Change Health Risks Republicans Are Exacerbating

Despite what Republicans claim, or cannot believe because “they aren’t scientists,” climate change is real and a clear and present danger to all Americans. Whether it is the threat to national security, economic stability, agriculture’s demise or vanishing water supplies, every American either will, or already has, felt the adverse effects of burning fossil fuels. While most people consider the damage of rising seas, wildfires, droughts, flooding, nasty air or food shortages the most serious threats of climate change, there is another immediate threat they likely never consider; the threat to their health.

Whether every American knows or believes it or not, they are at great risk of severe illnesses and death due to the effects of what is synonymous with Republicans; climate change. Of course Republicans are not climate change, but they have worked diligently over the past decade to either deny it exists, deny it has adverse consequences or wage major battles to increase its effects; including blocking every attempt by President Obama to reduce it. In fact, if not for Barack Obama, America would not have made any attempts whatsoever to combat climate change which is why he has to resort to Executive orders to circumvent climate change denying Republicans.

Since it has been left to him to fight a one-man battle that greatly restricts how much he can do, President Obama’s Administration spent the past three years to research and report on exactly how Americans are going to get sick, suffer and die due to climate change-borne illnesses; especially the poor, children, and the elderly. The people the GOP typically considers expendable like so much rubbish.

The report released Thursday is titled “The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States” and it details exactly how anthropogenic climate change is making Americans sick, and explains how it is only going to make more Americans much, much sicker. The monumental undertaking was three years in the making and involved over 100 climate and public health experts and is based on over 1,800 published scientific studies and federal research. To guarantee that everything in the report was immune from Republicans and fossil fuel industry nay-sayers and conspiracy-mongers, it was reviewed in depth by the National Academies of Sciences.

A fact sheet for the report provided by the White House said;

The report significantly advances what we know about the impacts of climate change on public health, and the confidence with which we know it. As the climate continues to change, the risks to human health will grow, exacerbating existing health threats and creating new public health challenges, and impacting more people in more places. From children to the elderly, every American is vulnerable to the health impacts associated with climate change, now and well into the future.”

Besides the 100 climate and health experts and 1,800 separate published scientific studies, the White House effort also included the participation of representatives from a number of federal departments and agencies doing what they were created to do; protect the health and welfare of the American people. Involved in the massive study was the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. It is noteworthy that except for the Defense Department, the other agencies and departments are frequent and regular targets of climate denying Republicans and their fossil fuel funding machine, the Koch brothers.

The administrator of the EPA, a favorite target of Republicans and the oil industry, Gina McCarthy, was at the White House event to unveil the report and said regarding climate change, “It’s not just about polar bears and melting ice caps. It’s about our families. It’s about our future.”

The Surgeon General that Republicans despise like plague, Dr. Vivek Murthy, saidthe report will help doctors to quantify the sheer number of pathways through which climate affects health.” Dr. Murthy said the information in the report is crucial to aid the nation’s physicians because climate change affects more people in more ways than doctors are accustomed to seeing; he cited “increased pollen, wildfires and air pollution exacerbated by emissions from power plants as emergent climate change-related threats to public health.”

Just a few of the ways climate change has already increased health risks to Americans, especially the poor, children, and the elderly are; Increased asthma, respiratory illnesses and diseases, worsening and increased incidents of allergies, extreme heat-related premature deaths, explosion in cases of Lyme disease, an increase in water-borne and related illnesses, and increased exposure to contaminated food. Worst of all, and of no consequence to Republicans, is that all of these life and health risks will have the greatest impact on the most vulnerable Americans.

Climate change will have the largest health impact on vulnerable populations, including those with low incomes, some communities of color, limited English proficiency and immigrant groups, Indigenous peoples, children, pregnant women, older adults, vulnerable occupational groups, persons with disabilities, and persons with preexisting or chronic medical conditions.”

It is noteworthy that the groups in the above list will suffer “the largest health impact” from climate change; they are by no means the only groups to be affected. Every American is subjected to the same dirty air, polluted water, and contaminated food sources, and as climate change increases so will the incidences of health impacts on even healthy, non-vulnerable people. Still, Republicans claim climate change is a big liberal hoax and continue obstructing any and every attempt by President Obama to address the issue and do something no Republican will even consider; work for and protect the American people.