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8:15 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Local science and health researchers discuss health impact of global warming

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Nearing the end of one of the warmest years on record, local researchers and healthcare professionals are urging Mid-Missourians to take steps to cope with the rising temperatures. 

Members of the public met with climate change experts last week at the Daniel Boone Regional Library in Columbia to discuss the affects of global warming on health.  The panel also stressed the importance of cutting down on the use of fossil fuels and other energy sources that harm the environment.  Biologist Dr. Richard Parker told the forum that while climate change is most likely irreversible, steps can be taken to prevent its worsening:  “We will not go back to the climate people my age think is normal.  That is gone.  We can, however, act now to reduce the changes that will be present for our children and grandchildren.”

Some of these actions include carpooling, riding bikes, investing in solar energy, and cutting down electricity costs. 

Columbia Family Health Center board member Rebecca Roesslet says using alternative energy and preparing your home for harsh weather is not only cost-efficient, but also helps reduce environmental damage:  “Many individuals think of weatherization only in the winter- some people even call it winterization.  But weatherization by nature will make a property more energy efficient, thereby reducing energy costs.”

Experts at the forum also recommended regular health check-ups and to watch out for asthma.  They say rising temperatures make it more likely for children and senior citizens to develop asthma during the spring and autumn months.