LTE: Climate Change is Health Emergency September 3, 2019

Re: “Temperatures rise slightly in D-FW — Analysis finds warming in some areas, modest cooling in other parts,” Aug. 16 Metro & Business story, The Dallas Morning News.

In response to your analysis of The Washington Post’s report on trends in U.S. temperature increases, although temperature increases haven’t been as dramatic in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as in other parts of Texas, the trend to a warmer climate presents serious public health concerns.

According to Texas Physicians for Social Responsibility, we can expect to see increasing pandemics and other health crises including but not limited to intensified outbreaks of tropical diseases like Zika and West Nile virus. As physicians, we see the impacts daily.

Our emergency room physicians are the front-line doctors for climate change — they are the ones who have to care for folks during climate disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, and wildfires. And our primary care physicians and cardiologists have to deal with increased and worsening heart disease due to the increased heat and ozone action days.

We in the medical and scientific communities must continue to urge Congress to recognize climate change as a health emergency and to prioritize building healthy energy, transportation, land use, and agriculture systems to reduce future health risks from climate change.

By Dr. Julie Graves and Dr. Mary Ann Gonzales, president, Texas Physicians for Social Responsibility

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