One of the books I read in my IAS 4013 Capstone on Global Environment and Disease Crises was Fevered: Why a Hotter Planet Will Hurt Our Health by Linda Marsa. It focused on how the impending climate crisis is not just an environmental issue, but also a grave health issue that concerns us all. Below are some key takeaways from Fevered: Why a Hotter Planet Will Hurt Our Health

  1. Climate change will impact and already has negatively impacted our health, with extreme weather and higher temperatures as high contributors. This means an increase in tropical diseases, allergies, asthma, heat strokes, cancer, lung disease, insect-related diseases, and more. Though many like to think of the climate crisis as something in the future… the climate crisis is now. And it is already impacting us. It just so happens that some of us are privileged enough not to feel its effects as people without resources, protections, political and economic clout, or shelter from these harsher environments.
  2. Look to Hurricane Katrina and the dust bowl as examples of the intensity of weather events that will become our new normal. The frequency and magnitude of these natural disasters are only going to increase, leaving less and less time for recovery efforts across the world. 
  3. The re-emergence of diseases has begun, and will only continue as our climate warms. For instance, dengue fever made a comeback in Texas and fungus-borne diseases showed up in Arizona. These risks merit our attention and diligence to invest in trash removal, better sanitation services, and ensuring that our people have access to clean drinking water.

So, where do we go from here? What issue do we focus on first? On an individual level, it is worthwhile to read books like these to educate ourselves about the climate crisis and understand its level of urgency. From there, we the people can drive change by forcing our local leaders to prioritize climate change, which will compound and move forward efforts on the international scale.