Scientists argue that if we do not urgently take action to improve the health of the planet, the consequences will be extremely serious.
“Human health is already suffering from a global rise in temperature and the destruction of the world,” said an editorial published in more than 220 leading magazines ahead of the COP26 climate summit in November this year.
Since the pre-industrial era, the planet's temperature has risen by about 1.1 degrees Celsius. An editorial written by the chief editors of more than a dozen journals, including the Lancet, the East African Medical Journal, the Brazilian Revista de Saude Publica and the International Nursing Review, argues that this circumstance has caused many health problems.
“Over the past 20 years, deaths from heat among people over 65 have increased by more than 50%,” the doctors write. "Higher temperatures have led to increased levels of dehydration and impaired renal function, dermatological malignancies, tropical infections, adverse mental health effects, pregnancy complications, allergies, and cardiovascular and pulmonary disease and mortality."
They also pointed to the decline in agricultural production, "hampering efforts to reduce world hunger." Scientists have warned that the consequences that affect the most vulnerable parts of society (such as minorities, children and the lower population) are just the beginning.
Currently, according to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, by 2030, global warming may reach + 1.5 ° C compared to pre-industrial levels. And this, along with the ongoing loss of biodiversity, “risks causing catastrophic health damage that cannot be reversed,” the authors of the article warn.
The report also notes that many governments have met the COVID-19 threat with "unprecedented funding," and called for a "similar emergency response" to the environmental crisis, highlighting the benefits of such measures. “Improving air quality alone will bring health benefits that easily offset the global cost of reducing emissions,” the scientists said.
The authors also stated that "governments must make fundamental changes to the organization of our society and economy and the way we live."