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The Natural Resources Defense Council published a report in July that details the ways in which climate change is already making existing workplace hazards worse and also creating new ones. Moreover, the situation will only get worse as temperatures rise and the weather becomes more extreme. In fact, as we have seen during the pandemic, essential workers on farms, in construction, and first-responders are increasingly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses and deaths. Indoor workers are also vulnerable to climate change — particularly teachers, janitors, and other people who spend time in older or poorly maintained buildings. And there are also secondary impacts on workers, such as when climate events reduce the take-home pay of lower-wage workers, it is then harder to for them to afford food and health care.
Why This Matters: There is still so much we don’t know about the health impacts of climate change. According to NRDC, much more research is needed the effects of climate change, including exposure to wildfire smoke, impact occupational health and safety. But we know that we need to improve our workplace health and safety laws to protect the most impacted workers from climate impacts we are seeing already. We could start by collecting more information on existing and emerging health and safety threats to vulnerable workers.
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have hit a three-million-year high, according to a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report published yesterday. Despite a brief dip in emissions in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the overall trend of increasing emissions continues, indicating last year’s dip had little to no impact on […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer A report in the Dasgupta Review shows that by using a fiscal lens to view Earth’s growing biodiversity loss, we can see how it links to economic development. By viewing nature as an asset like “produced capital (roads, buildings and factories)” or “human capital (health, knowledge and skills)” — […]
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer While coal use is a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions, another industry is set to outpace it: plastic. A new report from Bennington College and Beyond Plastics estimates the plastic industry emits over 232 million tons of greenhouse gases each year, the equivalent of 116 coal-fired power plants. […]
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