Think climate change is just about the changes in the weather? Think again.
Climate change is already changing the world we live in, though we can’t always see it. Climate is defined as the weather in a particular area measured over a period of time. But it isn’t just about weather.
Climate change impacts the food we grow and eat, our air quality, and a host of other things that as a planner, you are working to overcome with complete streets, community gardens, and health in all policies.
What happens if our climate continues to become warmer? Certain crops can only grow in a specific climate. If climate change causes a drier, less rainy climate, we’ll see the sources for many healthful foods reduced or disappear completely. Not being able to grow food could eventually cause a global food crisis.
What happens if the sea level rises? In the same way that the Dust Bowl forced many families to abandon their homes to escape the severe drought of the 1930s, rising sea levels could force many people living below our rising sea levels to abandon their homes and create climate refugees right here in the United States.
It’s difficult to find your local park for exercise if it’s under a foot of water. Follow APHA on Twitter to read more about research and policy that addresses what could happen to our green spaces and communities if we don’t address climate change systemically.
What can you do? Use your planning experience and some of the emerging technologies to propose “green” buildings and solutions that address climate change. Your expertise can be invaluable in mitigating the effects of climate change on livable communities.
Join APHA in celebrating the Year of Climate Change and Health and learn more about how your work in nutrition and physical activity is connected to climate change.