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– Letter to the Editor –

– Letter to the Editor –

Letter to the Editor:

Climate change is affecting EVERYONE’s health. As a population health nurse, having lived here and served our rural communities, this letter is written out of worry, compassion and concern, about climate change affecting the health of people in our communities.

Climate change and COVID-19 requires us to critically question, and examine, whether our systems and policies equitably impact all of us, given the inequities we see occurring with the disproportionate death and disease rates of COVID-19, amongst low-income populations and especially our brown, black and indigenous families.

Climate change harms health and especially impacts our most vulnerable populations, with increased cases of heat stroke/heat exhaustion, injuries, death and illness, with weather-related natural disasters, more mosquito, tick-borne and other infectious diseases, and increasing amounts of asthma and cardiac cases, because of air pollution.

When all these climate change variables are combined with economic issues, we see increasing mental distress, as our health continuum is affected, when uncertainties, fear, distrust and inequities are exacerbated around housing, transportation, job security and education/training.

In fact, there are over 100 health organizations and individuals noting climate change is a health emergency (https://

So, what can we do? We can collectively identify the strengths of our rural communities and embrace climate changes solutions, such as investing in solar and wind options. Climate health is human health and affects ALL of us.

Please contact your legislators and/or the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change, to express your thoughts on the priorities and goals (DOAGovernorTaskForceonClimateChange@

Pam L. Guthman, DNP, RN-BC, Holcombe