There have been a number of formulaic “I’m a doctor, climate change is bad” letters and articles. This one is by doctors whose jobs deal with climate and health. A conflict of interestsFrom The San Diego Union-Tribune, How climate change is threatening our health
This one starts with “In several recent surveys of physicians in the United States, close to 70 percent report that they are seeing the effects of climate change in their patients, here and now.” Surveys with how many respondents? And how do you “see” the effects of climate change in a patient “here and now?”
They also wander off into the wonderful statistics from WHO of 250,000 world-wide deaths per year between 2030 and 2050.
Climate change has direct health effects due to heat waves and extreme weather events, but it is also increasing respiratory and cardiovascular disease, spreading mosquito-borne diseases, and threatening our access to clean and safe water, food, shelter and security. These effects disproportionately impact the health of low-income communities, communities of color and those vulnerable due to age or pre-existing illness.
We’re having fewer extreme weather events and, if I recall correctly, mosquitos and mosquito- borne diseases have been around before the climate changed.
Also, the good doctors mix coal plant emissions and heavy trucks. More guestimates of deaths from coal plants without any basis other than suppositions from models.
Currently, toxic air emissions from burning coal and oil in the U.S. cause 13,200 deaths, 9,700 hospitalizations and over 20,000 heart attacks a year. We need a rapid transition to a clean energy economy through financial incentives and ambitious targets for energy efficiency and renewable energy. This will result in cleaner air, big reductions in respiratory and cardiovascular disease, reduced carbon pollution and decreased health care costs. The EPA’s proposal last Friday to cut emissions from medium- and heavy-duty trucks that crisscross the country, for instance, could save as much as $242 billion in health and other benefits.
This is the all-to-typical propaganda piece using unverified estimates of deaths and diseases without any diagnostic backup. Steve Milloy has demonstrated that there is no correlation between PM2.5 and deaths.
The solution for solving all the problems seems to be stop driving, start walking or bicycling or take public transportation.
And the bio’s of the authors? If they were climate change “deniers” and had a contrary view, they might be blasted for conflicts of interest.
Rudolph, M.D., MPH, is director, the Public Health Institute’s Center for Climate Change and Health. Delaney, Ph.D., is executive director of the Public Health Alliance of Southern California.
Pure propaganda, but you got to give these folks great credit for mixing everything they can into the piece.