cover image Enviromedics: The Impact of Climate Change on Human Health

Enviromedics: The Impact of Climate Change on Human Health

Jay Lemery and Paul Auerbach. Rowman & Littlefield, $33 (180p) ISBN 978-1-4422-4318-7

Lemery and Auerbach, of the schools of medicine at the University of Colorado and Stanford University, respectively, adopt a no-nonsense “doctor’s approach” as they survey the effects of climate change on public health. As “doctors on the front line,” the authors regularly observe the medical ramifications “of climate change, pollution, and the reduction of biodiversity.” Their aim here is to spotlight how changing environments affect health, using a “fusion science” they call “enviromedics.” The authors document manifestations of climate change alongside medical case histories that support their bleak conclusion that climate change will worsen preexisting health problems. The patients profiled include Sid, an elderly man with lung disease whose condition is exacerbated on days with an unhealthy air-quality index; Mark, who contracted malaria (one of several tropical diseases creeping into higher latitudes) from mosquitoes in New Jersey; Amanda, whose already severe allergies are bound to worsen as pollen counts are predicted to “more than double by 2040”; and John, who suffered a reaction to mussels tainted by an algae bloom, itself a result of elevated oceanic carbon dioxide levels. Climate science will continue to evolve, Lemery and Auerbach concede, but “if Earth is warming because of global climate change, then human health will suffer.” (Nov.)