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“A Hotter Planet Is Already Killing Americans, Health Experts Warn”

“A new report presented climate change as an immediate public health danger and urged lawmakers to curb greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Rising temperatures and environmental pollutants are already endangering the health and well-being of Americans, with fatal consequences for thousands of older men and women, a team of public health experts warned Wednesday. Their report, published in The Lancet, called on lawmakers to stem the rise of planet-warming gases in the next five years.

The section on the United States presents climate change as a public health risk now, rather than a hazard faced by future generations. It points to the immediate dangers of extreme heat, wildfires and air pollution, and makes the case for rapidly shifting to a green economy as a way to improve public health.

The coronavirus pandemic, the authors point out, has served as a reminder of the urgent need to strengthen the country’s public health system — something that’s going to be all the more necessary for Americans to deal with the health effects of climate change, which, the authors conclude, disproportionately harm those with the fewest resources to respond to threats.”

Somini Sengupta reports for the New York Times December 2, 2020.