From the Optimal Aging Portal: Rebuilding greener, healthier and stronger economies to face climate change
Published: June 30, 2020
The Bottom Line
- Climate change is affecting everyone on the planet, but research evidence shows that it is disproportionately affecting older adults.
- As countries move toward rebuilding their economies after COVID-19, their recovery plans can shape a new path towards greener, healthier and stronger economies.
- Advocate for positive climate actions in the recovery plans, raise awareness about climate change as a pressing global issue; and encouraging individuals to take simple actions.
The last decade has been the warmest ever recorded. Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere rose to new records. Weather patterns are changing, sea levels are rising, and extreme weather events are becoming more common (such as droughts, fires and floods).
Climate change is affecting everyone on the planet, but research evidence shows that it is disproportionately affecting older adults. Many older adults live in urban and densely populated areas and are likely to be increasingly affected by climate stressors, such as hurricanes, droughts, floods, infectious disease, air pollution, and rising summer temperatures. They may also have chronic health conditions (diabetes, respiratory problems, cardiovascular diseases), as well as other social conditions (social isolation, limited income and poor housing) that put them at greater risk.
For some, climate change seems inevitable. But recent events have shown that it may be possible to change the course of climate change.
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The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (mcmasteroptimalaging.org), a unique online health resource created by McMaster University to support the healthy aging of Canada’s older adult population, is highlighting ways to stay active and engaged while practicing physical distancing during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.