The People's Perspective on Medicine

Show 1127: The Health Impact of Environmental Disaster

As the earth warms, environmental disaster has become more common. How does this affect both physical and mental health?
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The Health Impact of Environmental Disaster

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Since 1995, the world has experienced twenty of the hottest years on record. The wildfires raging across western states are expected to burn more acreage than last year’s devastating fires. Hurricanes like Sandy, Harvey, Irma and Maria have caused enormous destruction. And less conspicuously but just as ominous, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have been creeping up. How does such environmental disaster affect human health?

Here is a link to an analysis of how ongoing changes in climate will affect heat waves:

And, if you need a bit more info on heat waves, this is from the Washington Post.

CO2 and Food Crops:

You might imagine that plants exposed to extra carbon dioxide would grow more quickly, perhaps providing extra food for an increasing human population. But did you know that a number of food crops have lower levels of crucial nutrients like zinc, iron, protein and certain B vitamins when they grow under conditions of enriched CO2 in their atmosphere? How will this alter the nutritional status of the populations that depend on these crops?

Infectious Diseases and Their Vectors:

As climate patterns change, arthropods like ticks and mosquitoes move around and adapt. A number of these blood-sucking critters carry dangerous diseases like Zika virus, dengue fever, chikungunya, Lyme disease or Powassan virus. Will warmer winter temperatures allow them to spread into new territory? Will the diseases go with them?

What about malaria? It was once a serious public health menace for the eastern seaboard of the United States. Will it make a comeback?

Mental Health Effects of Climate Change:

Many people are extremely distressed by the idea of global climate changes and environmental disaster. Can parents help their children develop psychological resilience in the face of such challenges? What can people do to feel more empowered?

This Week’s Guests:

Sam S. Myers, MD, MPH, is Director of the Planetary Health Alliance. He is a principal research scientist in the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Myers works in the emerging field of planetary health, focused on the human health impacts of global environmental change.
Websites: and

Jonathan Patz, MD, MPH, is Professor and John P. Holton Chair of Health and the Environment at the University of Wisconsin. He is Director of the Global Health Institute.
Website: Citizens Climate Lobby.

Lise Van Susteren, MD, is a psychiatrist in private practice in Washington, DC. A climate activist, she has a special interest in the psychological effects of climate change.
Website: Climate Neutral Now

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Enough with this global climate change scare tactics. There are to many data points that affect worldwide climate to ever be able to use a computer model to predict what temperatures will be in 80 to 100 years.
World War III will do much more damage to our planet than a 2 to 3 degree rise in average temperatures. When the Nukes start flying no one will care about climate change. Then Jesus Christ will have to return and save mankind from this sinful world.

Enough with the global climate change BS. There are too many data points to input into a climate model to ever know what the Temp average will be in 80 to 100 years.

Besides world war III will do much more damage to our planet than burning fuel. When the Nukes start flying no one will care about climate change. It will be a disaster of biblical proportions and Christ will return and rescue mankind from this sinful world.

Thank you for this terrific program. It’s so important that we understand the many consequences to our health and well being of climate change.

Global warming is nonsense that is only padding deep global elite pockets and taking away the God given liberties of the masses in the world!

Do your own research and stop falling for this ridiculous fear factor garbage! BTW, we have been having far colder temps in the last few years than hotter!

There are fewer hurricanes, not more, which you would have seen had you looked at the data. Wildfires are more disastrous, because of a change in forest management. And, even the United Nations admits there has been no increased warming for more than 20 years despite increases in CO2.

Enough with the political dogma.

I was disappointed that no mention was made of the real cause of global warming: overpopulation. So there are increasing sewage overflows. Where do you think that sewage is coming from? Have 2 children, and you are doubling your sewage output.

Sixty years ago when the population of the U.S. was about one half of what it is now we weren’t having all these problems. Just think how much better off the world would be with the technology and knowledge of today combined with the population numbers of yesterday. And, by the way, we already have means of stopping and reversing climate change. It is called birth control.

Too much politics from Dr Susteren . I was interested in het advice as a person that went through Irma and Maria last year and might have to go through Beryl this weekend. I was hoping to get some good advice on how to quiet my anxiety, but her only interest was toward the people that follow the global warning dogma and might face problems from people that don’t … This is pathetic. She did not come to your show as a medical Doctor but as a political activist. We have enough of that in our every day life. I love you show and was really disappointed in your choice today

Unfortunately, the “record” only goes back about 150 years or so and is completely useless for making long term predictions. We are headed toward much colder weather over the next 5-8 years, which will cause havoc with growing food and cause major shortages.

This is not the popular opinion, but predictions should be made on facts and we will never get those with global warming science all one sided based on fake facts and opinions. The sun has been in a downward heating and sunspot cycle and this will tell the story.

CHEM TRAIL and messing with our FOOD RE GMOS

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