Another Important Reason to Take Action on Climate Change: Our Kids
The poster child for climate change is often a polar bear – but maybe it should be a child. As EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy explains in a recent op-ed in The Huffington Post, children are especially vulnerable to health hazards caused by carbon pollution and warmer temperatures. McCarthy points out that our nation has a long history of taking strong measures to protect children’s health, and protecting children from the effects of climate change should be no different.
Other populations beyond just children suffer disproportionately from these health risks. For example, ecoAmerica’s recently released report, American Climate Values 2014: Insights by Racial and Ethnic Groups, found that African Americans feel especially affected by the personal health impacts of climate change. Though this issue resonates particularly strongly with some groups, good health matters to everyone. The public health community has a powerful voice – McCarthy wants them to use it.
Gina McCarthy, Contributor to The Huffington Post and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator
The missions of the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) align for a simple reason: Healthy people depend on a healthy environment to live, work, and play in.
Scientific research shows our children are especially vulnerable to environmental health hazards. October is Children’s Health Month, and as we work to raise awareness and act on health risks, we need to keep children’s health considerations and concerns at the forefront of our research, practice and policy decisions. We need to be especially vigilant as we face new health risks from climate change.
Image credit: Shutterstock via Huffington Post