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Climate change threatens human lives & health

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By Mercy Kelani

Greenhouse gas emissions & global warming affect the planet & its inhabitants.

According to The Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), industrial farming is responsible for the climate change disasters currently confronting Nigeria and the entire planet. The Director of the HOMEF, Nnimmo Bassey, during a stakeholder meeting with Civil Society on Agroecology, that was held in Abuja, stated that agriculture generally has no contribution in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, howbeit, industrial agriculture, due to its dependence on fertilizer, fossil fuel and monoculture contributes to global warming.

In his statement, he gave an explanation that the implementation of indigenous planting materials rather than the employment of artificial methods helps to cool the planet. Through the act of planting crops on a particular land without the use of artificial fertilizers and chemical products, the health of the soil is being protected as a result of the natural means of protection used on the crops. This practice called biodiversity, he noted, is what helps to cool the planet.

Climate change might cause 250,000 deaths every year between 2030-2050.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), climate change affects human lives and health in so many ways. One of such many ways is its threat to essential ingredients of good health such as clean air, safe drinking water, nutritious food supply, and safe shelter. It could also weaken decades of progress in global health. Climate change has also been predicted to lead to approximately 250,000 additional deaths every year, between 2030 and 2050, due to malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress.

Contemporary climate change has to do with global warming and its effects on Earth’s weather patterns. Although, there have been previous periods of climate change, but the current rate of change is apparently more rapid and has no natural cause. It is caused by the emission of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide and methane. Its transparency to sunlight allows it passage to heat the surface of the earth. After emission of the heat as infrared radiation, absorbance by the gases traps the heat near the Earth’s surface, leading to global warming.

Agroecology cools the planet; chemical fertilizers cause global warming.

The HOMEF Director further stated that while agroecology boosts and builds healthy soil, industrial agriculture that relies solely on chemical fertilizers causes harm to the soil. More chemical fertilizers are usually added to the soil yearly, not only because of infertility, but because a lot of damage has been done to the soil. This damage does not only affect the soil as it goes well beyond this. Washing off into rivers and water bodies, having negative effects on the whole ecosystem.

Agroecology, natural agriculture, is essential to cooling the planet and getting rid of global warming. Biodiversity cools the planet in the sense that the growing of variety of crops on healthy soil helps the soil absorb carbon by itself, adding more healthiness to the soil. Emphasizing on the need to be more attentive to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Bassey added that climate change will lead to agricultural failure, drying up of water bodies, environmental conflict, rising ocean temperatures, reduced fish, sea level rise, displacement of communities, and many more, if there arise no real solution.

Climate change causes death & illness from extreme weather events.

Climate change affects human health in so many ways one of which includes death and illness from increasingly frequent extreme weather events such as heatwaves, storms and floods, disruption of food system, rise in zoonoses and food, water and vector borne disease, mental health issues inclusive. Raising death concerns, it undermines social determinants for good health such as livelihoods, equality and easy access to health care and social support structures. The vulnerable and disadvantaged are mostly affected by the climate-sensitive health risks.

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