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Heat Advisory: Protecting Health on a Warming Planet
by Dr. Alan Lockwood

Drawing on peer-reviewed scientific and medical research, Dr. Lockwood meticulously details the symptoms of climate change and their medical side effects.

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New Global Warming Factsheets

Heat's Deadly Effects (PDF)
Heat-related illnesses are serious and can lead to death.  In fact, extreme heat events are already a significant public health problem in the U.S.

Vector-Borne and Water-Borne Diseases (PDF)
Learn how changes in temperature and precipitation affect the development, reproduction, behavior and geographic range of insects that carry dangerous infectious diseases.  Climate change and its effects such as intense storms and flooding are also likely to worsen the spread of water-borne diseases. 

Shrinking the Food Supply (PDF)
Global warming will damage crops, increase the risks of secondary impacts such as fires, insect pests and pathogens, and endanger in food security, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia.  The U.S. won’t be exempt from the impacts, either.

Vulnerable Populations, Environmental Justice (PDF)
Global warming threatens to harm our health and well-being – but it won’t affect all of us equally.  Some groups of people are more likely to be harmed than others.  The most vulnerable tend to be the youngest and the oldest among us, the poor, and those who are already sick.  The disproportionate and discriminatory impacts that climate change will have on vulnerable populations make climate change one of the most significant environmental justice issues of our time.

Mental Health Implications of Global Warming (PDF)
While the physical threats from global warming are more widely known, a larger number of people are likely to be vulnerable to climate change’s mental health implications.  Among the anticipated impacts:  increased alcohol abuse, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, grief, and family violence. 

Page Updated October 8, 2013

Browse Resources

Action Alerts

  • Tell the EPA: Don't delay methane protections

    Tell the EPA: don't delay the proposed rule to capture leaking methane gas. Our health and the health of the climate cannot wait!

  • Tell Congress—defend the Clean Air Act against Big Oil!

    President Trump, his new EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, and some in Congress are attempting to block or weaken clean air and climate protections like the Clean Power Plan. Tell your member of Congress to support full implementation of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Power Plan.

More action alerts»

Resources

  • Climate Communicators Guide

    Our new guide for climate communicators speaking on behalf of PSR, featuring tips for speaking on climate change and health, and sample presentations and other resources. Read more »

  • Environmental Health

    This introductory course in Environmental Health is intended for undergraduate- and graduate-level students of medicine, environmental sciences or public health, and provides foundational theoretical and practical knowledge and skills. Free course offered by NextGenU. Read more »

  • Video: Fracking - Too Dirty, Too Dangerous

    Former executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Catherine Thomasson, MD, presents findings from PSR's report "Too Dirty, Too Dangerous: Why Health Professionals Reject Natural Gas". It is based on summaries of recent medical and scientific studies which clearly convey the health threats that accompany use of methane as a fuel. Read more »

In the Spotlight

  • November 30, 2016
    Eating for Climate and Health
    PSR's new PowerPoint presentation on how climate change impacts food production, and agriculture's contribution to climate change.