Preparing for Global Warming

A Framework for Protecting Community Health and the Environment in a Warmer World

Scientists predict that global warming will have serious effects on public health, from worsening air quality, degradation of food and water supplies, and increasing levels of allergens to heat waves, flooding, and changing patterns of mosquito, tick, and flea-borne disease. Fortunately, early action by city managers, health officials, and the federal government can reduce the impact of these problems on our health by preparing and responding appropriately to the effects of global warming. But we must start now.

Because climate change is already damaging human and environmental health and welfare, preparedness projects must get underway even as we pursue aggressive regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many communities are already extremely vulnerable to climate-related impacts and will remain so for years to come, regardless of proposed greenhouse gas regulations, unless there is sustained support for improving preparedness so that "a changing society can adapt to a changing climate."

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