CDC Says Climate Change Endangers Public Health

Sheryl Canter over at the EDF’s Climate 411 blogged about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s finally getting to address Congress on climate change’s danger to public health recently. We’re talking droughts, floods, more infectious diseases in the food and water supply, geographic spread of diseases like malaria, and increased air pollution. Apparently, though, when the CDC’s Howard Frumkin gave his statement, he stopped short of recommending an emissions cap.

It goes without saying that as air pollution gets worse, so goes the asthma flares. I’m guessing it also goes without saying that I’m very much for a CO2 cap.

After I read the post, I started thinking about which national public health groups have come out with statements about the health dangers of global warming. I also thought it might be fun to list them here:

CDC: Climate Change and Public Health (pdf)
American Public Health Association’s Blueprint: Climate Change is a Public Health Issue (pdf)
World Health Organization: Protecting Health from Climate Change

Now who’s absent from this list?

Why, the Environmental Protection Agency, the group with this Mission Statement:

The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.

See, the EPA did send information to the White House about whether it will endanger public health in the next 10 years, but the actual documents are being withheld from us.

The public.

In the meantime, our current administration does nothing.

No, that’s not true. Bush is doing something–he’s actively avoiding the problem altogether.

The U.S., for example still hasn’t ratified the Kyoto Protocol, although over 720 city mayors are trying to jumpstart climate change action on their own.

4 responses to “CDC Says Climate Change Endangers Public Health”

  1. Asthmagirl says:

    Another brilliant post.
    I think the EPA is not as clear on their mission as they ought to be. Either that or they have other entities they are concerned about. I won’t go there, but you know what I’m thinking.
    I appreciate your insight and hope that you had great coffee today. Why leave the house if you don’t have to?

  2. Amy says:

    I think—and I’m no pundit here so I may be understanding this wrong—that if the EPA is public with the endangerment, that opens the door for Congress to set an emissions cap, and our illustrious leader does not want to deal with it during the blessedly short time he has left in office. (not that he was willing before now, either.)

  3. Asthma Mom » Midweek Links: HFA Inhalers, New Asthma and Environment Report, Celsias says:

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