S6 E4: Unhealthy Planet, Unhealthy People

Feb 01, 09:00 PM

In this episode of CPR’s Connect the Dots, host Rob Verchick and his guests explore how climate change is impacting our health.

When we consider the climate crisis, our attention often gravitates toward extreme weather. We worry about wildfires burning our homes and hurricanes ripping down powerlines. There’s another side of the story, however — our health. From how we feel after a long run to the ability of our bodies to ward off illness, the environment makes a difference.

Climate disruption invades our neighborhoods, and some are hit harder than others. Poor air quality results in unsafe living conditions and can lead to illnesses like asthma or even cancer. Extreme heat makes it hard for kids to play outside. Flooding and wildfires spread debris, bacteria, and toxic chemicals. Warmer temperatures prompt insects to migrate north, carrying infectious diseases to new areas. And that’s only the beginning. 

Guests in this episode include:

Howard Frumkin, senior vice president with the Trust for Public Land and a professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health

Ilan Kelman, professor of disasters and health at University College London

Carter Mathes, professor at Rutgers University and long-time resident of East Orange, New Jersey