Published November 24, 2008 08:52 AM

AMA meeting: Global warming has health toll, delegates warn

 Most climate scientists say the Earth is getting hotter and that human activity is speeding up the process. At its Interim Meeting in November, the AMA House of Delegates agreed with the scientific consensus.

The house endorsed the findings of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Delegates also warned that climate change could have dramatic public health consequences, causing heat waves, drought and flooding, cutting potable water supplies, displacing populations and spreading infectious diseases.


Policymakers should "work to reduce human contributions" to global warming, says the AMA's new policy, which is based on a report from the Association's Council on Science and Public Health.

"The scientific evidence is clear that global climate change can cause serious health consequences, and we need to be a part of planning as people talk about preparing for climate change occurring," said AMA Board of Trustees member William A. Hazel Jr., MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Oakton, Va.

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