5 reasons why we cannot separate care and the climate
5 REASONS WHY WE CANNOT SEPARATE CARE AND THE CLIMATE
Amy Hall on the important link between the two big crises we have now.
1 CLIMATE CHANGE IS A HEALTH EMERGENCY
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that 250,000 extra people will die because of climate change (from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress) between 2030 and 2050. Already there are more cases of asthma in children, diseases carried by insects and other conditions that are made worse by climate change and pollution. Our mental health is also at risk. Research from 2018 said that climate change could lead to 40,000 extra suicides in the US and Mexico by 2050.
All this will bring a lot more work for health workers and carers.
2 CARERS HELP FIRST IN A DISASTER
The UN said that there is now one climate disaster every week. Usually in these disasters, more disabled and older people die. They can be left out of evacuation plans, so they cannot get transport and emergency information, or people simply leave them alone.
Care workers (health workers, carers, teachers and transport workers) have the long-term care work, but also have to help first in disasters. They often have to make quick decisions about how to look after people. For example, home carer Teresa Santos died in the 2017 wildfire in California together with her client 90-year-old Sally Lewis. ‘She didn’t save herself, she stayed with my mother until the end,’ Lewis’ daughter told reporters.
3 CLIMATE CHANGE MAKES MORE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GENDERS
We need to change how society sees care and labour in the home. If we don’t, women and girls will have more and more work as climate change gets worse and there are fewer resources.
Probably by 2025 about 2.4 billion people will be living in areas without enough water. It will be harder to find fuel and wood for fires. It is mostly women and girls who get water, fuel and wood. They will need to travel further, and this brings the risk of violence and takes a lot of time, for example, from education.
4 CARE WORK IS CLIMATE WORK
Jobs that involve caring for people, and the planet, are some of the jobs that create least pollution. If we change to a greener economy, we have to value these jobs. We will need these jobs more because we have more older people and because of the climate shocks.
Covid-19 has been a warning that we can’t protect human health and also destroy the natural world. A more caring economy must also care for nature – which gives us life.
Maria Neira (director of the WHO’s department of environment and climate change) warned that the devastation of natural habitats, industrial agriculture and the trade in wildlife are important causes of diseases moving from wild creatures to humans. With other experts she wrote in June 2020 that we must make the recovery from Covid-19 just, healthy and green. We must start a wider transformation to a system that values nature as the foundation for a healthy society. If we don’t do this, and if we try to save money by not protecting the environment health systems and social support, it will cost a lot more.
NOW READ THE ORIGINAL: https://newint.org/features/2020/10/06/5-reasons-why-care-and-climate-are-inseparable
(This article is in easier English so it is possible that we changed the words, the text structure, and the quotes.)