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Why the Climate Economy #2: Health

It’s a fact that the Clean Air Act saved 160,000 lives in 2010 alone. Top medical associations have sounded the alarm on the dangers of pollution and climate change. And just yesterday we have an article about research led by Harvard about the increase in people suffering from “eco-anxiety,” for example post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, after hurricanes. And this table shows “Current estimates and future trends in chronic health conditions that interact with the health risks associated with climate change.” Besides general quality of life issues, healthier humans are better for the economy, too.What do we need to get this, a slap in the face? No, I think we all get it: we can do things better now, and we will.

The Climate Economy is going to be huge in mitigating these health issues. A big thing is going to be resilience planning, which especially helps out vulnerable populations and prepares communities for big shocks. Having an electric car and solar panels will probably improve what you breathe, but there are lots of other things we can do to improve climate-induced health issues. Here’s just one example: forest bathing. Simply walking in the forest, breathing it all in. “Scientifically proven to be good for you.” We need more of this in the world. Possibly another way to utilize forests and encourage preservation – forests do soak up the old CO2 you know, as well as increase biodiversity and provide all sorts of benefits; then there’s the health benefits of being in the healthy environment the forest affords. Maybe you think it’s silly, but it’s a growing market.

So many ways to go with health in the Climate Economy. Improving the climate, lowering pollution, decreasing environmental impact, leading to improvements in human health. How will you help people be healthier?

Photo Copyright: petarpaunchev / 123RF Stock Photo

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