Global Warming: Water and Disease

Global warming will drive significant increases in waterborne diseases around the world, according to a report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, reported in the Washington Post by Kari Lydersen.

According to scientists, weather events will become more extreme which means heavier rains triggering sewage overflows, contaminated water supplies and more standing water among other things. It will also result in more mosquitoes which carry West Nile virus, malaria and dengue fever. And it could result in contaminated fresh produce and shellfish.

The report portends more events similar to those that have already occurred and that are not limited to a particular region. Lydersen writes heavy rainfalls have already resulted in drainage overflows in Chicago and Milwaukee in recent years resulting in contamination of Lake Michigan waters and the deaths of 54 people in Milwaukee from cryptosporidium.

Warmer temperatures have already resulted in mosquitoes moving from lower elevations in mountainous regions to higher locations, bringing with them exposure to mosquito-borne

It’s abundantly clear that the health of the environment is intimately and inescapably interconnected with the health of the human race and all other living creatures. The challenge the world faces is both urgent and far more significant than the individual crises we become so concerned about such as the price of a gallon of gasoline.

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