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Public Health and Climate Change Adaptation at the Federal Level

In this week’s reading, climate change and adaption among humans was the issue at hand. We learned that human-occupied environments of today are extremely different from those of tropical forests beginnings as well, historical Neanderthals. Within environments, one’s body will either adapt to hot or cold conditions. The way in which the body adapts to these environments is known as thermoregulation in correspondence with homeostasis. They body reacts based solely on its environment. With this aspect, we can also expand this knowledge into broader realms of nutrition. In direct relation with body temperature, the contraction of muscles, and acclimatization, what is put into the body helps regulate certain temperatures. Ecologically speaking, agricultural production is also based on particular environmental conditions. Without the production of fruits, vegetables, and domesticated farm animals, the average human body cannot exist very long in strenuous environments of excess heat or extreme cold. This brings to my article entitled, “Public Health and Climate Change Adaptation at the Federal Level.”

In this piece, Jeremy J. Hess and Paul J. Schramm, identify on a federal level, agencies response to an executive order by President Obama among public health and climate change adaptation. They began by exploring what climate change is, and how it contributes to executive orders of public health. “Climate change is projected to cause many adverse health effects in the United States and abroad. The adverse health effects will result from a range of direct and indirect exposures that come from shifting ecosystems dynamics; worsening air quality, increasingly frequent and severe extreme heat events; shifts in precipitation, including more frequent and severe storms and floods; sea level rise; and ocean acidification.” The Department of Health and Human resources, which houses the CDC and other agencies, take part in a wide range of activities affected by climate change. It ranges from ensuring food safety to research formulating healthcare policy. Climate change and adaptation has become such a grave issue among the CDC that federal law has to be more incorporated for health disparities as well as a larger outlook on global warming. They begin with an assessment of recent and projected future climatic shift, considers how these shifts affect agency missions and operations, and then moves toward development of adaptation plan and a formalized institutional learning component.  CDC programs range from disaster preparedness to vector-borne and zoonotic disease programs to other programs addressing global health.

Each program seeks to identify populations most vulnerable to certain impacts, anticipate future trends, and assure systems are in place to detect and respond to emerging health threats, and take steps to assure that these health risks can be managed now and in the future. In my opinion, it seems like the government is actually taking human adaption to climate change into account globally. The interesting idea about this program projection and federal law efforts is the issue around disease. I’m fully aware that climate changes and other environmental factors contribute to disease, but with ongoing epidemic of Ebola, do you guys believe this executive order is reared more toward climate adaption, or public health, or both? This article was slightly misleading in my opinion, because of the executive order, the mention of disease, but not much information on direct contact with the human bodies throughout the U.S. and abroad. In other words, all these programs may sound intriguing, but when will they be implemented and to what extent?

J. Hess and J. Schramm. Public Health and Climate Change Adaptation at the Federal Level. American Journal of Public Health. march 2014, Vol 104, No. 3.