[Hpn] Homeless and Global Warming
Thu, 18 Dec 2003 01:54:13 -0800
Not just risk of hypothermia out there- following are some articles and one
blurb on global warming- the homeless population certainly seems at risk, although
it is little mentioned in the following articles.
1)Global warming kills 150,000 people a year, warns UN
By Terry Kirby, Chief Reporter
12 December 2003
Global warming is killing about 150,000 people a year, mostly in deprived and
tropical areas, and the toll could rise dramatically if efforts are not made
to combat climate change, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned yesterday.
The United Nations agency said the health of millions of people was under threat
as a consequence of rising temperatures and uncertain weather patterns, which
many scientists claim are caused by greenhouse gas emissions.
The WHO said climate change could cause increases in malaria and other insect-born
diseases, malnutrition and pollution-related diseases, as well as deaths from
extreme one-offs such as this summer's heatwave in Europe.
The report, which has been published this week to coincide with the UN conference
in Milan on climate change, blamed global warming for 2.4 per cent of diarrhoea
cases and 2 per cent of all cases of malaria worldwide. It estimated that, by
2030, climate change could cause 300,000 deaths annually and that a further
5.5 million years of healthy living had been lost worldwide due to debilitating
diseases caused by rising temperatures.
The report said: "The 1990s were the hottest decade on record and the upward
trend in the world's temperature does not look like it is abating. In Europe
this past summer, for example, an estimated 20,000 people died due to extremely
Much of Europe suffered heavily in the heatwave because air conditioning is
not common in homes, in part because of high energy costs. The conference heard
on Wednesday insurance estimates which suggested that the European heatwave
cost $10bn (£5.7bn). Hospitals in London had reported an increase in admissions
of young children suffering renal problems. Dr Bettina Menne, a WHO hygiene
specialist, said the problems were probably linked to dehydration during the
The WHO said that installing air conditioning in homes, workplaces, hospitals
or residences for the elderly would also risk increasing the emissions of gases
from the burning of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal.
Kerstin Leitner, the WHO assistant director general, said: "There is growing
evidence that changes in the global climate will have profound effects on the
health and well-being of citizens in countries around the world."
The report said that even a rise of a few degrees in average annual temperatures
could expose millions more people to the threat from malaria. This would be
by both extending the malaria season in countries, where it is already endemic,
and also by allowing the malaria mosquito to live in countries where, at present,
it cannot survive, such as Europe. Other diseases spread by mosquitoes, such
as dengue fever, could also increase.
Hotter and wetter conditions are also likely to increase the spread of diarrhoeal
disease, which is particularly dangerous to children. And people living in deprived
conditions who cannot afford proper refrigeration are more likely to eat food
tainted with increased bacterial contamination, caused by higher temperatures.
Countries which are heavily dependent on a predictable monsoon season for the
cultivation of rice crops - such as India, Bangladesh and Burma - are more likely
to suffer increases in malnutrition if the changes affect the reliability of
the rainy season.
The report also said that increasing air pollution might lead to a rise in allergic
conditions, such as asthma, and lung and respiratory complaints.
18 December 2003 09:58
2)Inuit begin rights case over global warming
By Paul Brown
December 16, 2003
The Inuit of Canada and Alaska are launching a human rights case against the
Bush Administration, arguing they face extinction because of global warming.
By repudiating the Kyoto Protocol and refusing to cut carbon dioxide emissions,
which constitute 25 per cent of the world's total, Washington is violating their
human rights, the Inuit claim.
They are inviting the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, based in Washington,
to visit the Arctic Circle to witness the devastation caused by global warming.
Sheila Watt-Cloutier, the chairwoman of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, which
represents her 155,000 people inside the Arctic Circle, said: "We want to show
that we are not powerless victims. These are drastic times for our people and
require drastic measures."
The human rights case was announced at the weekend climate talks in Milan, where
140 countries tried to put the finishing touches to the Kyoto Protocol, the
first international agreement to reduce greenhouse gases.
The backing of Russia, which is hesitating to ratify the agreement, is needed
to bring the protocol into force. The US is trying to persuade Russian President
Vladimir Putin not to sign the protocol.
As they are not recognised as having a nation state, the Inuit have no voice
at the conference.
Ms Watt-Cloutier said: "We have lived in harmony with our surroundings for millennia,
but that is being taken away from us."
3)Extreme Heat- National Center for Environmental Health
>From 1979 –1999, excessive heat exposure caused 8,015 deaths in the United States.
During this period, more people in this country died from extreme heat than
from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. Because
most heat-related deaths occur during the summer, and because weather projections
for this year indicate a hotter-than-average summer, people should be aware
of who is at greatest risk and what actions can be taken to prevent a heat-related
illness or death. The elderly, the very young and people with mental illness
and chronic diseases are at highest risk. However, even young and healthy individuals
can succumb to heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during
hot weather. Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related
illness and death. If a home is not air-conditioned, people can reduce their
risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are
air-conditioned. Suggestions for preventing a heat-related illness include frequently
drinking water or nonalcoholic fluids; wearing lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting
clothing; and reducing or eliminating strenuous activities or doing them during
cooler parts of the day. Periodically checking on neighbors who do not have
air conditioning is recommended. By knowing who is at risk and what prevention
measures to take, heat-related illness and death can be prevented.
Frequently Asked Questions
Tips on Prevention and Managing Heat
Heat Related Illness
Complete Print Version (pdf)
Click here to download Adobe® Acrobat® Reader™ free
People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate
and properly cool themselves. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But
under some conditions, sweating just isn’t enough. In such cases, a person’s
body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain
or other vital organs.
Several factors affect the body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot
weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing
the body from releasing heat quickly. Other conditions related to risk include
age (the elderly and young children), obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease,
mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug use and alcohol
Summer time activity, whether on the playing field or the construction site,
must be balanced with measures that aid the body's cooling mechanisms and prevent
Something to go "hmmmmmm" About...
Global Warming Bush Seeds
Global Warming Bush Seeds
The planet is broiling while G.W. Bush fiddles with his air conditioner. America
is quickly discovering what G.W. stands for: Global Warming! Now The Funny Times
presents a new tribute to the Shrub: Global Warming Bush Seeds. Each seed packet
features the art of cartoonist Matt Wuerker, depicting G.W. as a gas station
attendant (the perfect front man for an oil and gas industry intent on ignoring
environmental problems.) Inside are genuine Burning Bush seeds, an ornamental
shrub which, like our planet, will change color from lucsious green to fireball
Get Your Lifetime, Free Web Address at http://www.lookscool.com