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Webinar: The Cost of Inaction: Expensive Health Harms of Climate-Sensitive Events

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Wednesday, 08 April 2020, 12:00

Wednesday, April 8, 2020. 12:00PM. Webinar: The Cost of Inaction: Expensive Health Harms of Climate-Sensitive Events. Vijay Limaye, Natural Resources Defense Council. Sponsored by National Ocean Service. More information here


Global climate change is underway and accelerating, posing serious threats to human health. Recent national and international climate change assessments have drawn attention to the substantial risks that climate change poses to economic stability; these reports have also highlighted the need for better estimates of the economic risks of the climate crisis. Amongst those risks, the physical and mental health-related costs of climate change are amongst the least studied. Our project analyzed publicly available data sets, government databases, and published analyses in the peer‐reviewed literature to estimate the human health‐related costs of a subset of 10 climate‐sensitive case studies that occurred in 11 U.S. states during 2012: wildfires in Colorado and Washington, ozone air pollution in Nevada, extreme heat in Wisconsin, infectious disease outbreaks of tick‐borne Lyme disease in Michigan and mosquito‐borne West Nile virus in Texas, extreme weather in Ohio, impacts of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey and New York, allergenic oak pollen in North Carolina, and harmful algal blooms on the Florida coast. The high health‐related costs of climate‐sensitive events highlight the need to mitigate climate change and adapt to its unavoidable impacts.

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