I worry that effective corrective measures will not be instituted soon enough. Climate does not necessarily change gradually. The multiple factors that are now destabilizing the global climate system could cause it to jump abruptly out of its current state. At any time, the world could suddenly become much hotter or even much colder. Such a sudden, catastrophic change is the ultimate health risk-one that must be avoided at all costs.
March 2002 Rising carbon dioxide levels associated with global warming could lead to an increase in the incidence of allergies to ragweed and other plants by mid-century, according to a report appearing in the March Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology by Harvard University researchers. The study found that ragweed grown in an atmosphere with double the current carbon dioxide levels produced 61 percent more pollen than normal. Such a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide is expected to occur between 2050 and 2100. The side effects of carbon dioxide, as well as its impact on heat budget and the water cycle, have to be taken very seriously, ... I believe this study can help us understand the true costs of burning fossil fuels.
That prospect is deeply troubling, because infectious illness is a genie that can be very hard to put back into its bottle. It may kill fewer people in one fell swoop than a raging flood or an extended drought, but once it takes root in a community, it often defies eradication and can invade other areas.