January 2017 through April 2017 temperature rankings in the U.S. Graphic: National Centers for Environmental Information

By Alex Harris
9 February 2018

(Miami Herald) – When most people think about climate change — if they do at all — what usually comes to mind is melting glaciers, starving polar bears and flood waters lapping at the doors of Miami Beach condo buildings.

The popular thought is that the future impacts of a warming globe are just that, problems for the future.

But doctors in Florida say the changing climate is a public health risk, one they already see in their waiting rooms right now. Now, some clinicians have formed a new group to sound the alarm.

They want to educate people and policymakers about the dangers of a hotter, more humid world, and the risks to their most vulnerable patients, patients like the one Dr. Cheryl Holder, president of the Florida State Medical Association, met one suffocatingly hot Miami summer day.

The elderly woman arrived at Holder’s clinic with two requests — more medicine and her doctor’s signature on a form for her power company.

She had asthma, worsened by the heat wave stifling South Florida, so she burned through her prescription earlier than expected. She cranked the air conditioning down in her Opa-Locka home to cope, but when her bill came at the end of the month she was shocked. On a fixed income, it wasn’t an expense she could afford. […]

“Being in Florida especially, you can’t not realize what’s happening to our climate,” she said. “I see it right now on a day-to-day basis.” [more]

If you live in Florida, doctors say climate change is already affecting your health

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