I blog about environmental and social justice issues because I am very concerned about the health of the interdependent web of life of which we are a part.

Melting Arctic ice.......beautiful and frightening!

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Climate Change and Your Health

The Centers for Disease Control in  the States writes  that climate change is a health threat.  They say
Climate is one of many variables known to affect the rates of these infectious diseases. Climate change may result in changing distribution of VBZD prevalent in the U.S. This could cause formerly-prevalent diseases such as malaria and dengue fever to re-emerge, or facilitate the introduction and spread of new disease agents, such as West Nile virus. http://www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/effects/vectorborne.htm

So does the World Health Organization.   They state
the overall health effects of a changing climate are likely to be overwhelmingly negative.  http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs266/en/
An article in the Journal of  American Medical Association reinforces this point.
Harm from climate change includes respiratory disorders, infectious diseases, food insecurity, and mental health disorders, said the JAMA study, Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities for Global Healthhttp://www.desmogblog.com/2014/09/27/doctors-remind-politicians-health-consequences-failure-address-climate-change
One of the consequences of Canadians' denial of climate change has been that we haven't taken action on vector borne illnesses.  Canada only started tracking Lyme disease, a tick borne and treatable illness,  in 2009.  2009, for Pete's sakes! 

Today, Canada's PHA recognizes endemic populations of ticks that could carry the disease in six Canadian provinces: Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia.   http://www.straight.com/news/738356/lyme-disease-surges-north-canada-moves-out-denial
The interior of BC doesn't have any ticks, does it?  Naaaah - we don't have to worry about climate change here - if you're my acquaintance with the Phd and the big case of denial.

If you're not in denial, please contact  your MP and instruct them  to nag  the government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.   Next time you see your doctor (if you have a doctor) suggest that they collectively remind the government of their responsibilities.  Increased health costs due to climate change are the last thing our health care system needs.

Friday, September 26, 2014

China Canada FIPPA

Elizabeth May's press conference after the China FIPPA was quietly passed on a Friday.  Please listen to the whole thing - Elizabeth May is amazing.  She says this treaty trumps court decisions.

Why would Mr. Harper pass this thing?  Perhaps he's attempting to do an end run around the rights of First Nations.  The Tyee suggested that was the case in an article yesterday.
Perhaps most importantly, the deal fails to protect aboriginal rights under the Constitution. The implications of this omission are profound. While our federal government has a duty to consult First Nations, Chinese state-owned companies can sue Canada through a secret international arbitration panel for any such accommodation that impacts their economic interests. http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2014/09/25/Harper-Skins-Constitution/
And even if we abrogate this tomorrow, we're in thrall to it for the next sixteen years. 

Climate Change Denial

The climate has changed.   It's affecting us.  right here, right now.  The photo below is of Kamloops on July 23, 2014.   No, this dealership isn't anywhere near the river.

Today's Globe and Mail describes an event that affects 20 million people in Brazil.  No water.....
South America’s largest city is nine months into an unprecedented drought, with no end in sight. The water shortage is already squeezing businesses in Sao Paulo and threatens to further undermine the stalled economy in Brazil, until recently one of the world’s fastest-growing. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/unprecedented-drought-puts-sao-paulo-water-supply-at-risk/article20798270/#dashboard/follows/
Why do people still deny climate change?  Or deny that we need to take action now?

A right wing editor states that:

"The people I work with at the National Post — because there are some colleagues I have who are what you may call 'climate change deniers' — generally the one universal aspect is that they tend to be right-wing in their thinking, they see market-based solutions as the solution to enriching our society in every respect and it bothers them, the idea that here's this problem that cannot be solved with unfettered industrial activity." https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=7545992365056379718#editor/target=post;postID=1041667914935287024


An educated person I know - she teaches at a university  -  said "It won't happen in my lifetime.   And I'm enjoying the warm September."  When I retorted that I hoped she would enjoy a polar vortex winter, she said, " But that happened in TO. It won't happen here." 

Climate change deniers are afraid of changing their comfortable lifestyles and world views.  I have news for them:  change is inevitable.  Climate change is already here.  If we don't treat it as a major crisis, things are gonna get a whole lot worse.