Thursday, July 17, 2008

Feds: Climate change to cause 'irreversible' health risks

USA Today: An Environmental Protection Agency report released Thursday warns that global warming will increase disease and other health problems nationwide in coming decades. "Climate change poses real risks to human health," says the EPA's Joel Scheraga. Some of the environmental effects will be irreversible, he says. The report details health impacts ranging from hantavirus to wildfires to asthma, all increased by climate change.

In a statement, Rick Piltz of the Government Accountability Project, a former U.S. Climate Change Science Program (USCCSP) staffer, charged that EPA had stalled release of the health report since April for political reasons. And, he charges, the agency did not mention the health risks in a recent Supreme Court-ordered report on the dangers of greenhouse gases.

"If you read between the lines," says Sen. Barbara Boxer, (D-Calif.), "this EPA report on the health effects of climate change provides further evidence that our families and communities are seriously endangered by global warming, and that we must act now. Unfortunately, as the Bush Administration made clear last week, they have no plan to address this serious threat."…

This is a deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, a hantavirus carrier that becomes a threat when it enters human habitation in rural and suburban areas. CDC, Wikimedia Commons

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