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Climate Change Linked to Rise in Malaria, Asthma

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  • mtneuman@juno.com
    Climate Change Linked to Rise in Malaria, Asthma ... USA: November 2, 2005 NEW YORK - Climate change may promote the spread of deadly diseases like malaria and
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 1, 2005
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      Climate Change Linked to Rise in Malaria, Asthma
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      USA: November 2, 2005


      NEW YORK - Climate change may promote the spread of deadly diseases like
      malaria and asthma in both rich and poor countries by increasing the
      range of parasitic insects and whipping up dust from storms, a new report
      says.


      As climates warm, malaria is becoming more common in the traditionally
      cool mountains of Africa, Asia and Latin America where 10 percent of the
      world's people live, said Dr. Paul Epstein, the lead author of "Climate
      Change Futures."
      "Colonizers escaped (to mountainous areas) to avoid the swamps that bred
      malaria. Those areas are no longer safe," Epstein told reporters upon
      presenting the study, noting that malaria cases have quadrupled in the
      past 10 years and kill 3,000 African babies a day.

      Epstein, of the Harvard Medical School, wrote the report in collaboration
      with reinsurer Swiss Re and the United Nations Development Program.

      The report warned that "malaria could suddenly swell in developed
      nations, especially in those areas now bordering the margins of current
      transmission."

      Scientists believe greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2)
      released by cars and utilities burning fossil fuels, lead to climate
      change by trapping the sun's heat in the atmosphere. That can lead to
      rising seas that may cause flooding and stronger storms.

      Rising temperatures increase the range of the mosquitoes and ticks that
      carry maladies like malaria, West Nile virus and Lyme disease, the study
      said.

      Cases of asthma, which is worsened by particulates in the air, can
      increase from greater amounts of CO2, the report said. Plants high in
      pollen and some soil fungi grow better with higher levels of the gas.


      WICKED WINDS

      In addition, climate change's stronger winds increase the amount of dust
      in the air from expanding deserts, which compound the effects of air
      pollutants and smog from the burning of fossil fuels as well as the risks
      to asthma sufferers, it said.

      That could increase the $18 billion that asthma and allergies cost the US
      health care system each year, according to the report, which lists
      suggestions large companies could take to reduce their liabilities from
      greenhouse gas emissions.

      Last month, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit from eight states and New
      York City against five of the largest US utilities claiming that their
      emissions were a public nuisance and would cause property harm. The case
      is on appeal.

      The authors of the study hope to bring their findings to corporate boards
      to reduce climate risks and liabilities.

      Companies can lessen risks by joining markets that trade greenhouse gases
      and by broadening their energy palate from coal and oil to alternatives
      such as wind and solar power, and possibly, nuclear and hydrogen power,
      Epstein said.

      US President George W. Bush dropped out of Kyoto Protocol on climate
      change early in his first term.

      The agreement created a carbon dioxide market in Europe that allows
      companies that chose not to cut their greenhouse gases to buy credits
      from companies that have.

      The United Nations will hold climate talks later this month in Montreal
      in which countries including the United States will discuss how to
      proceed with the Kyoto Protocol.

      Story by Timothy Gardner
      http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/33285/story.htm
    • Mike Neuman
      Climate Change Linked to Rise in Malaria, Asthma November 03, 2005 — By Timothy Gardner, Reuters NEW YORK — Climate change may promote the spread of deadly
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 3, 2005
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        Climate Change Linked to Rise in Malaria, Asthma

        November 03, 2005 — By Timothy Gardner, Reuters
        NEW YORK — Climate change may promote the spread of deadly diseases
        like malaria and asthma in both rich and poor countries by increasing
        the range of parasitic insects and whipping up dust from storms, a
        new report says.

        As climates warm, malaria is becoming more common in the
        traditionally cool mountains of Africa, Asia and Latin America where
        10 percent of the world's people live, said Dr. Paul Epstein, the
        lead author of "Climate Change Futures."

        "Colonizers escaped (to mountainous areas) to avoid the swamps that
        bred malaria. Those areas are no longer safe," Epstein told reporters
        upon presenting the study, noting that malaria cases have quadrupled
        in the past 10 years and kill 3,000 African babies a day.

        Epstein, of the Harvard Medical School, wrote the report in
        collaboration with reinsurer Swiss Re and the United Nations
        Development Program.

        The report warned that "malaria could suddenly swell in developed
        nations, especially in those areas now bordering the margins of
        current transmission."

        Scientists believe greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2)
        released by cars and utilities burning fossil fuels, lead to climate
        change by trapping the sun's heat in the atmosphere. That can lead to
        rising seas that may cause flooding and stronger storms.

        Rising temperatures increase the range of the mosquitoes and ticks
        that carry maladies like malaria, West Nile virus and Lyme disease,
        the study said.

        Cases of asthma, which is worsened by particulates in the air, can
        increase from greater amounts of CO2, the report said. Plants high in
        pollen and some soil fungi grow better with higher levels of the gas.

        WICKED WINDS

        In addition, climate change's stronger winds increase the amount of
        dust in the air from expanding deserts, which compound the effects of
        air pollutants and smog from the burning of fossil fuels as well as
        the risks to asthma sufferers, it said.

        That could increase the $18 billion that asthma and allergies cost
        the U.S. health care system each year, according to the report, which
        lists suggestions large companies could take to reduce their
        liabilities from greenhouse gas emissions.

        Last month, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit from eight states and
        New York City against five of the largest U.S. utilities claiming
        that their emissions were a public nuisance and would cause property
        harm. The case is on appeal.

        The authors of the study hope to bring their findings to corporate
        boards to reduce climate risks and liabilities.

        Companies can lessen risks by joining markets that trade greenhouse
        gases and by broadening their energy palate from coal and oil to
        alternatives such as wind and solar power, and possibly, nuclear and
        hydrogen power, Epstein said.

        President Bush dropped out of Kyoto Protocol on climate change early
        in his first term.

        The agreement created a carbon dioxide market in Europe that allows
        companies that chose not to cut their greenhouse gases to buy credits
        from companies that have.

        The United Nations will hold climate talks later this month in
        Montreal in which countries including the United States will discuss
        how to proceed with the Kyoto Protocol.

        http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/33285/story.htm
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