#WorldHealthDay- Raising awareness for a #HealthierTomorrow
The 7th of April is celebrated every year as World Health Day. Every year the WHO sets a theme for the year to focus attention on a certain issue. The theme of this year’s World Health day is – Our Planet, Our Health. This theme highlights the issue of Climate Change and stresses upon an action plan for a #HealthierTomorrow.
With the rise in global temperature, this theme is very apt to underline the urgency of stemming climate change.
We have only one planet and we must ensure that we protect and preserve it for life to continue on our Earth.
If global warming continues, by 2050 the earth will be 2 degree C warmer which would be catastrophic for the planet
According to the World Health Organization, more than 13 million people die each year due to preventable environmental causes around the world. This includes the climate problem, which is the world’s single greatest health concern.
Despite constant warnings by the IPCC, Climate change was not taken seriously by governments worldwide. Now, we are looking into the face of a looming climate crisis that is further escalating into a health crisis.
How climate change affects our health?
What is Climate change?
Before we go into the factors that have caused our climate to change, let us first understand what we mean by climate change.
Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. (source )
To conclude , climate change would mean delayed monsoons, landslides, floods, and tornadoes …. All of which is attributed to the rising global temperatures and changing wind patterns.
Causes of Climate change
Climate Change could be caused by natural events, such as changes in the solar cycle. However since the 1800s, human activities, and industrialization have been the primary driving force behind climate change. Industrialization heralded massive reliance on combustion of fossil fuels like, coal, petrol and natural gas.
Also , other than the burning of fossil fuels, our reducing green cover is another cause of climate change. These climatic shifts pose a big challenge to a #HappierTomorrow.
A report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has firmly stated that all coal-fired power plants in India without the technology to capture and store carbon (CCS), need to be shuttered by 2050 if the world aspired to limit global temperature rise to 1.5c.
According to the Central Electricity Authority, India has about 211 GW of operational coal-fired power plants — roughly 10% of global capacity. Unfortunately, none of the existing thermal power plants is equipped with the technology to Capture and store Carbon (CCS).
That means India urgently needs to look at alternative sources of power generation like Solar power and wind energy to meet its power demand. We also need to urgently equip our coal-based power plants with CCS technology to reduce carbon emissions. (source)
How climate change robs us of a #HealthierTomorrow?
The burning of fossil fuels like coal and petrol is degrading our air quality. In fact, many Indian cities have unacceptably high levels of suspended particulate matter (SPM). More and more people are now suffering from respiratory problems like asthma, lung cancer, and COPD. Read more about air pollution here.
Soil and Water pollution
The burning of fossil fuels causes increased atmospheric concentrations of Sulphur dioxide and Nitrogen Oxide gases . When these gases wash down with rainwater, they can cause acid rain. Acid rain causes the soil PH to change causing soil acidification and ocean acidification. This acidification adversely affects both plant life and aquatic life
A rise in Vector-borne diseases
Rise in temperatures helps the vectors like mosquitoes and houseflies to breed , in turn causing a rise in vector borne diseases like diarrheas , cholera , malaria, dengue , yellow fever etc.
How can we control Climate Change and ensure a #HappierTomorrow
Corrective action to control climate Change and a #Happiertomorrow will need strong decisions to be made on different levels :
Governments need to come together to formulate policies and laws that promote well-being and sustainability and penalize polluters. Increase funding and incentives for technology that relies on renewable sources of energy.
Create and conserve green spaces
Movements and awareness to reduce food wastage
Discourage Fossil fuel usage
Discourage use of single use plastics
Call for action against polluting industries
Commercial Establishments need to
Utilize green sources of energy
Cut down power consumption
Adopt and encourage energy-efficient technology
Reduce and treat waste generated by them
Focus on employee well-being like maternity leaves , Breastfeeding spaces , mental health counselling
Walk or pedal to your work.
Cut down power consumption
Switch to green energy
Avoid processed food
Buy fresh and local produce
Reduce, Recycle and Reuse
The concept of Well Being Economies for a #HappierTomorrow
The World Health Organization (WHO) envisions our economies to be well-being economy. An Economy that has human well-being, equity, and ecological sustainability as its goals. This is not far from what Mahatma Gandhi had once said,
” BY RAMARAJYA I do not mean Hindu Raj. Ramarajya of my dream ensures equal rights alike of prince and pauper.” (source )
On that note , let us pledge to put our hearts into controlling global warming and stemming Climate change to create a #Happiertomorrow for life on earth.
“This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter “