Climate-Health Nexus

Cross posted at On Day One

Over the weekend, Matt Yglesias and Brad Plumer posited that an auctioned carbon cap and trade system would yield significant benefits to public health. Among other things, “increases in CO2 can worsen the adverse respiratory effects of ozone and other air pollutants” and people would be incentivized to drive less, and walk more, and thus live healthier and longer. (This latter point has been researched by the New America Foundation’s Phillip Longman.)

One Health-Climate nexus less relevant here in the United States but of critical importance in much of the developing world is that warming temperatures have resulted in the appearance of disease vectors where they were previously absent. Mosquitos carrying Malaria and Dengue fever are suddenly showing up in places where the risk of these diseases used to not be so acute. Check out the World Health Organization’s climate change page, for a rather exhaustive explication of the links between human health and climate change in the developing world.