Climate change isn’t just about sea level rise and droughts. It’s also making us sick, says Paul Auerbach, M.D., a professor of emergency medicine at Stanford University. On Tuesday, June 26, he’ll reveal the frightening ways that climate change is increasing allergens, creating toxic algal blooms, inducing heat stress, causing air degradation, and creating water and food insecurity at a program held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Burlingame Public Library, 480 Primrose Road.
The free program, “Is Climate Change Making You Sick?,” is presented by the Citizens Environmental Council of Burlingame (CEC) and is cosponsored by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby of San Mateo.
Auerbach began alerting his colleagues about the effects of climate change on human health in 2008, when he published an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association on the topic. It caught the attention of Jay Lemery, associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Colorado. They recently co-authored a book, “Enviromedics: The Impact of Climate Change on Human Health,” which will be available for sale at the program.
Auerbach, who is one of the world’s leading authorities on wilderness medicine, has witnessed how intense heat waves kill people and global warming spreads diseases carried by mosquitos, and how contaminated water due to severe flooding causes infections, sometimes life-threatening.
“When people begin to understand how much we will all suffer due to extreme weather, maybe they’ll begin to address the issue,” he said. “We’re not talking about polar bears running out of icebergs. Climate change is an international threat that threatens the future of humanity.”