July 28, 2022
The Positive Effects on Public Health That Can Result from Cutting Greenhouse Gas Emissions
It is commonly established that the emissions of greenhouse gas that humans produce are altering the climate. People in every region of the globe are being impacted by a variety of phenomena, including but not limited to: higher average temperatures, increasing sea levels, and more severe weather patterns.
But have you ever considered how the effects of global warming may manifest in your body?
The continual research that is being done has helped us establish a much better understanding of how our well-being is directly tied to the climate, as well as what we can do to turn things around and improve the situation.
And so, from a medical point of view, what are the advantages of lowering your overall carbon footprint? Let’s find out.
Freer Skies and Healthier Air are on the Way
COVID-19 may have brought many of our cities to a stop, but it also provided us with a peek of how much cleaner the air may be in a world without pollution.
Because fewer people were driving and there were fewer automobiles on the road, there was a dramatic decrease in the amount of pollution in the air around the nation. At the height of the lockdown, researchers from Columbia University discovered that carbon monoxide levels in New York City were 50 percent lower than the usual, while the flow of traffic was 35 percent quicker than typical.
“The decline that we observed beginning last Friday, March 13th, was unlike anything that we’ve ever seen before.” We often see drops in activity throughout the course of the weekend or during the holidays; nevertheless, this is a whole distinct phenomenon. — Roisin Commane, Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Columbia University
According to some studies, approximately one hundred thousand people in the United States pass away annually as a result of conditions that are linked to air pollution. These conditions are brought on by factors such as vehicle exhausts, power stations, factories, and even methane emissions from local farmland.
Reducing our carbon emissions not only assists in reversing the effects of global warming, but it also makes people’s lives in cities all over the globe better.
A Source of Water That Is Both Safer And Healthier To Drink
The implications of global warming are not limited to the standard of the air that we breathe. As more research is published, we are learning exactly how much the availability of our water and the quality of it is impacted by the amount of greenhouse gases that we emit into the atmosphere.
Because of global warming, rainfall patterns have become more erratic, earning the moniker “drought and deluge” to describe the alternating long stretches of drought and sudden bursts of precipitation that interrupt them. These downpours may create floods and lead to high water runoff levels, which can then allow pesticides and other agricultural chemicals to mix together.
Toxic algal blooms are made more frequent and strong as a result of climate change, which makes it more difficult to manage wastewater and poses a substantial danger to both human health and the health of waterways. Additionally, greenhouse gas emissions cause an increase in air temperature, which is a component that may have an effect on the amount of oxygen that is present in raindrops and lead to decreased rainfall totals.
Because of the interconnected nature of all of our fragile ecosystems, the decisions we make in one region almost always have repercussions in a number of other regions. And when we take measures to minimize the amount of greenhouse gases we emit – such as making the transition to renewable energy or opting for public transportation rather than driving our own automobiles – we are also directly enhancing the quality of the water that we have access to.
Affordable Medical Care for Everyone
Recent studies have shown that lowering carbon emissions not only has positive effects on people’s health, but it may also result in significant financial savings.
“Climate change and the pollution of the air caused by fossil fuels are inextricably intertwined. When we burn fossil fuels, we put our health at risk in two different ways: directly, by creating pollutants; and indirectly, by releasing greenhouse gases. In many cases, taxpayers are responsible for covering not only the direct but also the indirect expenses. — The Citizen’s Climate Lobby
According to the findings of a recent research, only eleven climate-related disasters in 2012—including intense wildfires and hurricanes—added about $10 billion to the cost of medical care in the United States. And if nothing is done, we may expect to witness an increase in the number of heatwaves, floods, and storms that have a negative effect on human life and drive up the expenses of our healthcare system.
It may seem as if lowering your carbon footprint by purchasing a greenhouse gas emissions offset would result in greater expenditures; nevertheless, this is really an excellent strategy for preventing future increases in the cost of medical care. If we had cleaner air, water, and food, it would be much easier on our hospitals and the people who work in them, and we would not have to deal with nearly as many of the climate-related health problems that we do now.
When we bring down our emission levels, we bring up our health levels.
Taking measures to mitigate the effects of climate change not only helps protect the natural world and the ecosystems in which we live, but it also has a positive impact on our own health.
Everything we do, from the air we breathe to the food we eat to the water we drink, is in some way influenced by the state of the environment around us and how healthy it is. Because we now have a better understanding of the many diverse sources of greenhouse gas emissions, we are now in a position to make more informed decisions – and to create alternatives that are less polluting.
Short-term actions you may do to help the environment include decreasing the amount of energy you use, recycling the trash you produce, improving the decisions you make as a customer, and buying carbon offsets. Longer term solutions include making investments in renewable energy sources, increasing the energy efficiency of your house, and switching to more environmentally friendly means of transportation.
Our wellbeing is the most valuable asset we own, and it is inextricably linked to the state of the environment we live in. When we make adjustments in our lives to reduce our carbon footprint, even if it’s only one step at a time, it sets all of us on the road to living longer and healthier lives overall.