The effect of climate change on health

We can’t tell what effects climate change might have on health, but the Ministry of Health is trying to look ahead and work out what impact it could have.

Julie Anne Genter:  Climate change and health report launched

A new report shows how climate change will impact on New Zealander’s health over the next 50-100 years, and makes the case for better preparation.

It can’t show how it will impact, it can only consider possible impacts, dependent on many things.

“Our climate is changing, and how this impacts on people’s health will also change. We need our health system to be better prepared to deal with increased temperatures and more extreme weather events,” Associate Minister for Health Julie Anne Genter said today.

The report was commissioned by the Ministry of Health and published by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR).

“The risks outlined in this report show why we need to act to reduce climate pollution now, as well as prepare for the level of climate change that is already set to happen.

“The flooding and evacuation of Edgecumbe caused serious disruption to people’s lives. Already this year we have seen how a storm like cyclone Fehi caused a state of emergency in Buller and Dunedin.

“Today’s report maps out where the problems will be. Allergens and irritants in air, extreme weather events, ultra-violet solar radiation, and vector-borne, water-borne and infectious diseases might all increase in the coming decades and they have the potential to impact on our health and the health of our loved ones.

Ultra-violet solar radiation has been an issue for decades, and these days many people, especially young people, are instructed to take precautions that may benefit their health in decades ahead.

This is complex.

“The spread of infectious disease, particularly in our water sources, is of concern and needs greater attention.

“The Ministry of Health will be working with DHBs, many of which are already doing a lot of work on this, to become more sustainable and reduce their carbon footprints. The Ministry has asked ESR to provide scientific advice on how the health sector can adapt to climate change.

“I’m really encouraged to see greater work happening on preparing for how climate change will affect us. Later this year the Heat Health Plan Guide will be published.

“Climate change is one of the biggest threats to society this century but reports like todays will ensure New Zealand is better prepared for dealing with future challenges,” Ms Genter said.

It is a large potential threat, and we should be doing things to try to mitigate possible effects, and we should be far less wasteful, we should produce less rubbish, reduce our energy needs, use cleaner energy, and eat a better range of healthy foods.

Regardless of what climate change al these things will be of benefit to us individually, the country will benefit, and the planet will benefit.

I’m having trouble finding the actual report. It doesn’t seem to be on the Ministry of Health site, nor on the ESR site. I have asked Julie Anne Genter for a link but haven’t had a response yet.

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18 Comments

  1. Grimm

     /  May 15, 2018

    As usual, she conflates a bunch of unrelated issues (ultra-violet solar radiation? Seriously?) to make her appear more knowledgeable and sophisticated than the rest of us.

    We know that the go to solution for changing the weather is a huge conference in a resort somewhere, so why doesn’t she just cut straight to that?

    Reply
  2. phantom snowflake

     /  May 15, 2018

    This is one area in which, interestingly, Samoa has greatly outpaced us. This report:
    Samoa’s Climate Adaptation Strategy for Health” was released in early 2014, and their Ministry Of Health has a team currently working in this area.
    http://health.gov.ws/images/uploadPDFs/HealthPlans/ClimateAdaptationStrategyforHealth.pdf

    Reply
    • Grimm

       /  May 15, 2018

      Seriously? That’s just a list of things that they should already be doing to deal with disease, water quality and cyclones. Just in case they, you know, they happen in Samoa at some point.

      It’s really just a try on for more research money to get “data”.

      Reply
      • phantom snowflake

         /  May 15, 2018

        You wouldn’t have written such drivel if you had read more than 1 of the 42 pages in the report. What’s your fuckn problem? Is it a racial thing?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  May 15, 2018

          Crap. This is the money sentence:
          Substantial resources are required to implement the proposed climate adaptation for health actions. It is recommended that applications for further external funding are
          developed, in consultation with international donors.

          Even a dumb Lefty should be able to read between the fuzz lines to get to that meat.

          Reply
          • phantom snowflake

             /  May 15, 2018

            The idea that Samoa’s Ministry Of Health seeking some external funding proves that this project is a scam is simply absurd.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 15, 2018

              The idea that Samoa’s MoH is seeking external funding to improve current health services and data under the guise of preparing for climate change is too bloody obvious to ignore.

          • phantom snowflake

             /  May 15, 2018

            “dumb Lefty”. What? Are you an ‘Intellectual Supremacist’ too?

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 15, 2018

              Apology for the redundancy.

        • Grimm

           /  May 15, 2018

          I disagree with you, so I’m a racist? That’s original.

          I was going to accuse you of being a useful idiot for the Climate Industrial Complex. But I’m hesitating on “useful”.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  May 15, 2018

            Must we have all this unpleasantness? It’s very hard on emoters like moi. 😭

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 15, 2018

              Shhh. You’ll attract Griff. We are trying to keep it polite.

            • Gezza

               /  May 15, 2018

              Quite hurt you never even up-ticked me Al,

            • Grimm

               /  May 15, 2018

              “What’s your fuckn problem? Is it a racial thing?”

              Go police somewhere else.

            • Gezza

               /  May 15, 2018

              Had to downtick for swearing I’m afraid.
              What’s my problem?
              You must be quite new here I think. o_O

  3. Zedd

     /  May 15, 2018

    Climate change is one issue.. the other is the huge amount of NON-biodegradable plastic (inc. micro-fibres) that are piling up (takes 100s years to breakdown).. I hear 85% of all ‘drinking water’ now contains it !!
    There is no MAGIC place, called ‘Away’ were all the pollution goes to.. we need to just stop it asap 😦

    Reply
    • Zedd

       /  May 15, 2018

      there ARE natural alternatives to: fossil fuels/petrochemicals

      Reply
      • Grimm

         /  May 15, 2018

        There are. In order they are;

        Poverty
        Disease
        Cold
        Hunger

        Reply

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