EPA admits climate change a human health problem

Well, the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) has acknowledged that climate change poses health and lifestyle risks.

In a Reuters report filed last week, Joel Scheraga, agency representative is quoted as saying ""Climate change poses real risk to human health and the human systemsthat support our way of life in the United States."

Possible risks to humans recognized by the EPA are: more heat-related deaths, more heart and lung diseasesdue to increased ozone and health problems related to hurricanes,extreme precipitation and wildfires. The agency won’t commit to a possible figure for increased human deaths because of global warming, because the number could be changed if we "mitigate these risks."

The EPA report focuses solely on the US. (Isn’t it "global" warming?)

The Reuters article goes on to say:

The report covers much of the same substance as an EPA documentreleased on Monday that found global warming endangers human health.This document was part of the agency’s response to a 2007 Supreme Courtruling that found the EPA had the power to regulate climate-warminggreenhouse gas emissions if it was found that they hurt human health.

However, the agency has indicated no action is likely before the Bush administration leaves office next January.

Stephen Johnson, head of the environmental agency, has been called totestify on July 30 before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing onalleged White House interference with the agency. Researchers haverepeatedly complained of White House censorship of environmental science.

We admit to some bemusement over the phrase "our way of life." We can’t help thinking of "duck and cover," the government’s response to the threat of atomic bombs (school kids, get under your desks!). It’s just so profoundly inadequate.

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