Is climate change harmful to human health?

Climate change, together with other natural and human-made health stressors, influences human health and disease in numerous ways. Some existing health threats will intensify and new health threats will emerge. Not everyone is equally at risk. Important considerations include age, economic resources, and location.

In the U.S., public health can be affected by disruptions of physical, biological, and ecological systems, including disturbances originating here and elsewhere. The health effects of these disruptions include increased respiratory and cardiovascular disease, injuries and premature deaths related to extreme weather events, changes in the prevalence and geographical distribution of food- and water-borne illnesses and other infectious diseases, and threats to mental health.

Do scientists agree on climate change?

Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature by John Cook, Dana Nuccitelli, Sarah A Green, Mark Richardson, Bärbel Winkler, Rob Painting, Robert Way, Peter Jacobs and Andrew Skuce

"Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus on AGW (anthropogenic global warming) is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research."

"However, there is a significant gap between public perception and reality, with 57% of the US public either disagreeing or unaware that scientists overwhelmingly agree that the earth is warming due to human activity"

 

Are climate models reliable?

Climate is a large-scale phenomenon that emerges from complicated interactions among small-scale physical systems. Yet despite the phenomenon's complexity, climate models have demonstrated some impressive successes.

Climate projections made with sophisticated computer codes have informed the world's policymakers about the potential dangers of anthropogenic interference with Earth's climate system. Those codes purport to model a large part of the system. But what physics goes into the models, how are the models evaluated, and how reliable are they?

The task climate modelers have set for themselves is to take their knowledge of the local interactions of air masses, water, energy, and momentum and from that knowledge explain the climate system's large-scale features, variability, and response to external pressures, or "forcings." That is a formidable task, and though far from complete, the results so far have been surprisingly successful. Thus, climatologists have some confidence that theirs isn't a foolhardy endeavor.

Wind turbines and birds

The Audubon Society supports wind energy. Audubon’s research shows that climate change is a big threat for North American birds: Our Birds and Climate Change Report confirmed that 314 species stand to lose more than 50 percent of their current ranges by 2080.

Audubon and other leaders in the science and conservation space agree that that in order to help prevent species extinctions and other catastrophic effects of climate change, we must significantly reduce pollution from fossil fuels as quickly as possible.

Is wind energy a waste of taxpayer money?

A 200 MW wind farm generates approximately $1,325,200 in property tax revenue annually. In a rural Nebraska county this would equal:
-Approximately 39% increase in property tax revenue,
-Equivalent to approximately $6,626 per MW per year to the county,
-Of which, approximately $4,770 will be distributed to the local public schools.

Developing 1,000 MW of wind power in Nebraska:
-Cumulative economic benefits: $1.1 billion

Increasing wind generation by 20% of the national electricity would benefit Nebraska by:
-Creating ~3,100 long term jobs,
-Creating ~25,000 temporary jobs,
-Increasing property taxes revenues by ~$31 million annually, and
-Creating payments to landowners for leases of ~$21 million annually.