A child born today faces two possible futures. In one, the world continues to burn fossil fuels, making the child more likely to develop asthma from air pollution, at greater risk of vector-borne diseases, and more vulnerable to anxiety as extreme weather events threaten his community.
In the other, those risks are diminished because the world has responded quickly and adequately to climate change, with a large-scale shift away from fossil fuels.
These two, starkly different paths are the focus of a report published Wednesday by the medical journal The Lancet that shows how the future health of a child born today will be intrinsically linked to climate change, from womb to adolescence.
“Without accelerated intervention, this new era will come to define the health of people at every stage of their lives,” the authors write.
In the latest update to the Lancet Countdown—an ongoing study of the impacts of climate change on health—100 experts from around the globe write that the world’s response to climate change will dramatically alter the lives of children. [Continue reading…]