Environmental Health & Climate Change
- Bad things happen. Many of us know from personal experience that trees fall on houses, basements flood in heavy rains, and cars crash. The daily news reminds us that toxic impoundment ponds breach, mines and bridges collapse, earthquakes and hurricanes devastate vulnerable places, and drought and wildfires wipe out crops. Although such events can be tragic, they are predictable, and should rarely be surprising.
- A decade ago there was active debate about whether human-induced climate change was real, and whether human contributions have played a major causal role in the recently observed global warming. That debate is largely over, although the inherent complexities of climate system science and various uncertainties over details remain. A corollary question—whether climate change would have implications for public health—also has been settled. The answer is yes. A range of possible effects has been identified, some now fairly well understood and others yet unclear.