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Climatic Change, Health Inequity, and Sustainable Development

Climatic Change, Health Inequity, and Sustainable Development


Global climate change has become one of the most debated subjects all over the world. With the continued trend in global warming, several changes have taken place, which has led to adverse effects on the social, economic, and environmental health factors. Health has been affected by global climate change where the emergence of new pathogens can pose a health risk to that human health. The essay seeks to evaluate some of the relationships of health in relation to the climate change and pillars of sustainability.

Part 1: Health Relationship to pillars of Sustainable development

Health has been linked with the three pillars of sustainable development. It has been established that human health evaluated in relation to the social, and environmental perspectives have a diminishing effect on the effects of global warming through the reduction of greenhouse gases, waste management, and accessibility to potable water. Additionally all the aspects of the economy are dependent on sufficiency and safety of the energy (McMichael, 2009). Therefore, productivity and continued progress, which includes rural and urban development, are factors that are attributed to the economic stability, which implies that energy has a great effect on the prevalence of the economy. Concerning social and environmental relationship, Keynes has suggested that high-income attributed to the high economy may lead to a shift in the preferences of that consumer (Blashki et al., 2011). However, if the change in consumption is of an unsustainable nature, the environment is bound to suffer adversely.

Consequently, the dilapidation of the environment may present a risk to the human health as well as reducing the ability of that the environment to produce sustainable food capacity to mitigate the risk of health issues (Haines et al., 2012). In additional, areas that may experience long duration of summer season may experience drought due to the failure of crops to develop because of the extended period without rain. Consequently, malnutrition along with their hunger-related illness will start to arise especially in the areas that are more vulnerable to such climatic condition including Africa and Australia.

Part 2: Climate Change and Health Inequity

The environmental destruction has a great effect on the global warming. It has been widely established that the depletion of the environment affects the natural order of environmental process, which leads to increase in temperatures. The increase temperatures and the harsh climatic conditions are associated with the global warming, have a significant effect on health (Haines et al., 2012). It is estimated that an increase in the rapid and long weather conditions may create a good breeding ground for pathogens. For example, the areas that are greatly affected include Sub-Saharan African and other countries such as Australia, which currently experience harsh climatic conditions (Bowen et al., 2012).

Australia has for a long time faced a change of increase in heat during the summer season, which in turn as affected the ecological habitats of particular species of organisms. Water scarcity during such seasons prompts other harmful organisms to travel long distances for sustenance (Muennig and Celina, 2013). Researchers have predicted that because of this change in climate, which leads to change habitats by organisms, there is bound to be a human-wildlife conflict. Furthermore, the seasons such as spring may increase the probability of one contracting the diseases due to the emergence of new pathogens among other pathogens.

Similarly, one finds that because of such harsh climatic conditions such summer that lead to prolonged drought, socio-economic activities, as well as cultural aspects of their lives, are affected negatively. Lack of resources such as water and food lead to poor living conditions, which in turn leads to increased health risks to the affected communities (Haines et al., 2012). A good example is a drought that was experienced in Australia, which started in 2001 to 2007. The result of the prolonged drought was community activities developments that were geared toward increasing the resilience of the community to overcome the negative effect. Therefore, it can be argued that climate changes may attribute to connectivity and heightened awareness of the conditions that affect a certain community. It is evaluated that new diseases, as well as microbes, are bound to emerge thus posing a higher health risk.


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Bowen, K. J., Friel, S., Ebi, K., Butler, C. D., Miller, F., & McMichael, A. J. (2012). Governing for a healthy population: Towards an understanding of how decision-making will determine our global health in a changing climate. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 9(1), 55–72.

Haines, A., Alleyne, G., Kickbusch, I., Dora, C. (2012). From the Earth Summit to Rio+20: integration of health and sustainable development. The Lancet, 379(9832), 2189-97. Retrieved from the Torrens University Australia Library databases via the Course Readings list: http://onlinelibrary.tua.edu.au/pubh6002#MODULE6PART1

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McMichael, A. J. (2009). Human population health: sentinel criterion of environmental sustainabilityCurrent Opinion Environmental Sustainability,1(1), 101-106:

Muennig, P. & Celina, S. (2013). Introducing Global Health: Practice, Policy & Solutions. San Francisco: Jon Wiley & Sons.