Salud global: tratar las causas, no los síntomas

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¡Resolver la crisis climática puede ser una de las oportunidades de salud más importantes del siglo XXI! En este capítulo analizamos cómo la salud y el cambio climático están vinculados y por qué esto es importante.

Contaminación del aire interior y salud

¿Qué porcentaje de la población mundial crees que cocina quemando leña, carbón vegetal, estiércol animal o carbón mineral?


El humo y el hollín producidos al cocinar con estos combustibles pueden causar enfermedades cardíacas y pulmonares, así como cánceres y derrames cerebrales. Debido a que es una causa de estas enfermedades, la contaminación del aire interior es la responsable de 4,3 millones de muertes tempranas cada año, principalmente en países en desarrollo, como se muestra a continuación.

Many countries face a lot of death from indoor air pollution

These traditional cooking methods also contribute 2-5% of global annual greenhouse gas emissions.These are caused by burning the fuels and deforestation to gather them.

Earthly suffering the impacts of traditional cooking

Improved cookstoves (either solar-powered or clean fuel-burning) can cut emissions by as much as 95% as well as saving lives: for example, it is estimated that 150 million clean cookstoves could help avoid 2.2 million early deaths in India.

There are even more benefits! Improved cookstoves use less fuel, which reduces the time people spend gathering firewood. This is a difficult, and sometimes dangerous, task.

Contaminación atmosférica

Detener la contaminación del aire interior es solo una parte de la historia. El transporte es una fuente importante de contaminación atmosférica y contribuyó con el 16% de las emisiones globales de gases de efecto invernadero en 2014. También se estima que las emisiones del transporte provocaron 385 000 muertes tempranas en 2015.

Earthly suffering from outdoor air pollution

More use of public transport and electric cars are possible solutions.

More walking and cycling would be even better – these reduce emissions, improve local air quality and help prevent diseases related to inactive lifestyles.

Earthly choosing cleaner transport solutions

Protecting Nature and Health

Cutting down trees not only results in carbon emissions, but can also lead to more disease outbreaks. How?

75% of new infectious diseases in humans come from animals.

Zoonoses are diseases that come from animals

When forests are cut down, and roads built within them, humans come into much closer contact with the animals that live there. This means that diseases are more likely to spread between them.

Deforestation can cause more disease outbreaks

Preventing the loss of forests could reduce the chance of future disease outbreaks at the same time as limiting carbon emissions.

And that’s not the only health reason for protecting nature. A growing body of evidence suggests that experiencing nature can have great benefits for our physical and mental wellbeing. Put simply, being around plants and animals makes us happy!

Earthly meditating

Comida y salud

We currently produce enough food to feed our global population, but this is not shared equally. 11% of the global population is undernourished which means they don’t have enough food to support a normal, healthy life. At the same time, 8% of global deaths were due to obesity in 2017.

¿Qué causa la obesidad?


Eating too much meat (particularly red and processed meats), processed food, and sugary drinks is leading to obesity as well as type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

Research suggests that healthier diets should include less processed food and meat.

Healthy diets save lives

Conclusión

Healthier diets, clean cookstoves and transport choices are just three of the ways we can improve global health and slow climate change at the same time. Solutions that help people and the planet!

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