On April 11th Bob Dewey, MD addressed the Rotary Club of Nashua regarding “The Health Impact of Climate Change”. Dr. Dewey is a recently retired Interventional Cardiologist who worked at the Catholic Medical Center in Manchester.  He was employed there for over 30 years.  He has also been active in the American Heart Association, where he served as President and longstanding Board Member.  He is now Vice Chair of the New Hampshire Healthcare Workers for Climate Action where he runs their speakers Bureau.  Bob is motivated to speak out on climate and health in order to leave his grandchildren a more livable planet.  
What is climate change?  A change in the average conditions, such as temperature and rainfall in a region over a long period of time.  75-80 percent of the population is concerned over climate change.
 
What causes climate change?  What is the greenhouse effect and why is it bad?
Greenhouse gases pose severe environmental and health issues. They cause climate change by trapping heat, which in turn affects various species in already arid climates. The climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions also contributes to extreme weather, wildfires, droughts and food supply disruptions. 
 
The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2021 had the following findings related to Global Warming:
 
Unequivocally due to human activity
1.1°C (2° F) warming since mid-1800’s
Will reach 1.5°C (2.7°F) within two decades
 
Climate change is the cause of increased illness, social discourse, injuries, fatalities and mental health issues.  In New Hampshire, allergies have increased drastically due to the longer growing season.  This causes allergens to remain longer and affect those suffering from respiratory and cardiac issues.  Tick borne illnesses are also more prevalent due to the warmer season.
 
Another cause of climate change and pollution is Carbon based power, which comes from burning of fossil fuels, which produces air pollutants, especially ground level ozone and small particles. These pollutants are harmful to the lungs and heart. Nearly everyone in the U.S. knows someone with a heart or lung condition.
 
Dr. Dewey noted that responding to climate change requires a 2-pronged approach.  The first is mitigation and the reduction of emissions and the stabilization of greenhouse gases.  Second, is the adaptation to climate changes that have already occurred.  Solar Power, Wind and Nuclear Energy would all reduce the climate footprint.  
 
Regarding the question of recycling solar cells, here is a reference indicating that most of the solar panels are recyclable.  It is a work in progress, but suspect it will be streamlined in the years to come. https://www.epa.gov/hw/solar-panel-recycling.
 
If you want to become involved, Dr. Dewey recommends you call, write, or email your
elected officials and make your voice heard!  You should vote, join a climate group
Talk about climate, make appropriate consumer and lifestyle choices.  Visit www.nhclimatehealth.com for additional information..
Sponsors