Why Environment Matters
Environment impacts our health in many ways. Research shows that our environment is changing, and we are already seeing the impacts of those changes on our health as Canadians. Climate change is worsening our health by:
- Affecting our hearts and lungs from worsening air pollution and hotter weather
- Creating trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from emergency evacuations and displacement from floods and wildfires
- Increasing food insecurity due to extreme weather events
- Spreading Lyme disease into new regions in Canada
Improving our environment will directly improve our health.
We will see immediate physical and mental health benefits when we take on climate solutions that work on:
- Improving air quality
- Increasing physical activity
- Supporting sustainable food systems
- Enhancing the natural environment
Together, we can improve our health by improving our environment.
The impacts of a changing climate are no longer just being felt in far away places, they are being experienced by our friends and neighbours in our own community. In Chatham-Kent, we are seeing hotter summers, greener winters, more extreme weather, and poorer air quality. Our community has also experienced more and more erosion and flooding which has greatly affected our shoreline residents – threatening their homes and impacting their mental health. Climate projections for Chatham-Kent suggest that our local climate will continue to get hotter and wetter in the future and that the health impacts of climate change will increase accordingly.
Taking action to address climate change is one way of ensuring everyone has the same opportunity for good health. This is important as some people are more vulnerable to the health impacts and the increasing energy costs climate change will cause.
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