Dangerous dogs to grumpy grannies: The effects of climate change

Associate Professor Donna Green, Founder of the Climate Change Research Centre at UNSW Sydney spoke at the latest #GeorgeTalks seminar on the effects of climate change and its impact on human health.

“Climate change has already affected your health, and will inevitably directly, and indirectly, affect the health of every living thing”, said Associate Professor Green.

“We need to be prepared for more death and sickness from heat-related diseases. However, direct impacts, such as a heatwave, are just the most visible impacts.

“The depth and complexity of the indirect impacts of climate change on our health are only just beginning to be appreciated.

“We know of an increasing mental health burden from extreme weather events, and we have seen an increase in domestic violence in hot weather. The distribution of some infectious diseases is also shifting.

“Unfortunately, these health impacts are distributed unequally. Within a population, children, the elderly, and already socially or economically disadvantaged groups are most likely to be affected first and hardest. The geographic distribution of these health impacts is also unequal, with people living nearer the equator / in lower income countries, more likely to experience more extreme weather, and face a larger health burden.”

Additional Resources:

Associate Professor Donna Green: Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW Sydney

Donna Green is a founding member of the Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, and an Associate Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes and the NHMRC Centre for Energy, Air Pollution and Health Research. As an interdisciplinary environmental scientist, her current research interests include climate change, air pollution and human health, quantitative environmental justice research, and climate impacts on Indigenous communities. She teaches domestic energy policy and co-authored Screw Light Bulbs: Smarter ways to save Australians time and money.