Doctor, Doctor — Health and Climate Change

April 5, 2011

Climate change has already worm-holed its way into the tattered fabric of everyday life.
The American Medical Association and its editorial from yesterday (Monday):

If physicians want evidence of climate change, they may well find it in their own offices.
Patients are presenting with illnesses that once happened only in warmer areas.
Chronic conditions are becoming aggravated by more frequent and extended heat waves.
Allergy and asthma seasons are getting longer.
Spates of injuries are resulting from more intense ice storms and snowstorms.
Scientific evidence shows that the world’s climate is changing and that the results have public health consequences.
The American Medical Association is working to ensure that physicians and others in health care understand the rise in climate-related illnesses and injuries so they can prepare and respond to them.
The Association also is promoting environmentally responsible practices that would reduce waste and energy consumption.

The disastrous edge of climate change might be much, much closer to the precipice than fully realized.

(Illustration found here via Google Images).

The AMA concludes:

Climate change is hardly a physician-only concern.
However, doctors may find themselves on the front lines in dealing with its serious and immediate problems. Patients are sicker or developing new conditions as a result of changes in the weather.
Greater awareness and understanding of the situation, from a medical perspective, is a proper priority.

The editorial mentions Florida and Maine, where health-related shit not seen in those locations are cropping up and is seemingly getting worse — in both states vector-borne diseases are spreading with Florida’s changing weather allowing for dengue-infected mosquitoes to circulate while in Maine, warmer and shorter winters makes for more deer ticks, thus more cases of Lyme disease.
This is how the ‘rubber meets the road,’ worse-case scenario with climate change originates.

(h/t to Climate Science).

The underlying horror in all this — beyond health and death (nothing heavy) — are climate zombies.
People in power, despite the massive, overwhelming evidence to the contrary, have sold their souls, and the souls of their children and grandchildren, to corporate/big oil.
Last week, the U.S. House Committee on Science Space and Technology held a hearing on Climate Change: Examining the Processes Used to Create Science and Policy, where more bullshit was piled higher than found in an overcrowded cow pasture.
Some of the shit was just pure lies, other shit was twisted from half truths.
Read a most-excellent break down on the hearings’ stink at Skeptical Science.

Paul Krugman in his post Sunday at the New York Times touches the hearing’s politics of climate denial and GOPed bullshit despite the evidence — even if their star witnesses turn on them and confess, Yes! Yes! climate change is happening.
The core of horror:

Of course, it’s actually the climate deniers who have the agenda, and nobody who’s been following this discussion believed for a moment that they would accept a result confirming global warming.
But it’s worth stepping back for a moment and thinking not just about the science here, but about the morality.
For years now, large numbers of prominent scientists have been warning, with increasing urgency, that if we continue with business as usual, the results will be very bad, perhaps catastrophic.
They could be wrong.
But if you’re going to assert that they are in fact wrong, you have a moral responsibility to approach the topic with high seriousness and an open mind.
After all, if the scientists are right, you’ll be doing a great deal of damage.
But what we had, instead of high seriousness, was a farce: a supposedly crucial hearing stacked with people who had no business being there and instant ostracism for a climate skeptic who was actually willing to change his mind in the face of evidence.
As I said, no surprise: as Upton Sinclair pointed out long ago, it’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.
But it’s terrifying to realize that this kind of cynical careerism — for that’s what it is — has probably ensured that we won’t do anything about climate change until catastrophe is already upon us.
So on second thought, I was wrong when I said that the joke was on the G.O.P.; actually, the joke is on the human race.

And I’ve got to stop watching Scrubs on Netflicks prior to going to bed.
Dreams of hospital hallways populated with weird people and animals, a lot of mouths and tongues, and just strange shit unsettling my sleep.
And that freakin’ song never leaves my head: “I can’t do this all on my own, I’m no superman…I’m no superman…I’m no superman…

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