(Christopher Ragan and Courtney Howard/ The Conversation) — Doctors and economists may seem like strange partners. We spend our days working on very different problems in very different settings. But climate change has injected a common and urgent vocabulary into our work. We find ourselves agreeing both about the nature of the problem and the best solution. It’s essential that we put a price on carbon pollution.
For doctors across Canada, the evidence at the bedside is increasingly hard to ignore: climate change poses a serious health risk.
Emergency physician Edward Xie has worked in Toronto for over 10 years. Lately, he’s seen more patients anxious about tick bites. It’s no wonder. A recent medical study shows a fivefold increase in Lyme disease cases in Ontario between 2012 and 2017 as ticks expand their habitat northward.
Dr. Xie also notices more cases of heat exhaustion and dehydration in summer months — particularly among elderly and low-income individuals who lack adequate housing. In Toronto alone, heat already contributes to an estimated 120 deaths each year. The city expects that number to grow. (…)