To the Editor:
Many have read or heard about the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and its warning that action needs to be taken immediately. Given current fossil fuel consumption trajectories, climate change will become the major threat to human health in the 21st century. Worldwide, 2017 was the third warmest year on record according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Since 2010, globally we have seen the five warmest years on record. Right here at home, Lake Champlain temperatures have been increasing and water sources have been contaminated. If we continue on our current path, changes in the vector ecology would result in an increase in tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease, hospitals will see an increase in emergency room visits for summer heat-related illness and there will be an increase in mental health issues and respiratory problems.
It is imperative that you know what each candidate’s position is on climate change and what strategies, if elected, will be implemented to protect the health and well-being of Vermonters. Let them know climate change needs to be a focus in the next legislative session and get out and vote.
The Vermont Climate and Health Alliance, a group of health care professionals and researchers, is concerned about the direction our state and country are going regarding climate change and its impact on human and animal health. To learn more about the impact of climate change on human health in Vermont and the United States, visit vtcha.org. And get out and vote!
Gayle Finkelstein, R.N.