Monday, April 11, 2016

As presidential candidates descend on Rochester, think Climate Change

President Reagan launched the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) in order provide a “… comprehensive and integrated United States research program to assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.” (THE NATIONAL GLOBAL CHANGE RESEARCH PLAN 2012–2021)
Just this week, the USGCRP released a compelling report-- HUMAN HEALTH THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON IN THE UNITED STATES—that establishes the scientific relationship between public health and Climate Change. It’s compelling.

White House: Climate Change Poses Urgent Health Risk Climate change is a major threat to human health, with extreme heat likely to kill 27,000 Americans annually by 2100, according to a report released Monday by the White House. The report, by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, outlines numerous ways global warming could devastate public health in the U.S. this century. Global warming will lead to heat waves so extreme that in the hottest times of the year, it will be “physiologically impossible” for people who work outdoors to do their jobs, John Holdren, a science advisor to the Obama administration, said during a news conference about the report. (April 4, 2016) Climate Central

As the presidential candidates descend on Rochester for our NYS primaries this week, we should all reflect for a moment on this report and consider who will lead us during Climate Change. Thirteen agencies of our government contributed to the report on human health; I mention this because, once elected, one of the candidates will be in charge of those 13 governmental agencies.

The next President will be a major factor in our ability to adapt and mitigate Climate Change. Public health is but one of the concerns with Climate Change.

Those candidates who believe that there are more important problems than Climate Change don’t understand that even if the nuclear threat trumps Climate Change, he or she will still have to deal with Climate Change. Our new normal will be public health and Climate Change, social unrest and Climate Change, extreme weather and Climate Change, food and Climate Change, ad Infinitum.  

These presidential candidates coming to Rochester should be pressed hard on their approach to Climate Change. Failure by the media to do so would be shirking their responsibility to us. We should demand that our media not shirk their responsibility.


Time passes. 

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