In the December 2007 issue of the Journal, scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) framed the public health impacts of climate change (Luber & Hess, 2007). They noted costly catastrophic weather events (Greenough et al., 2001) and vectorborne-disease outbreaks (Gage, Buckot, Eisen, & Hayes, 2008; Greenough et al., 2001; Gubler et al., 2001; Patz, Vavrus, Uejio, & McLelan, 2008) are expected to become more frequent, widespread, and lengthy. The potential health effects of extreme heat (Luber & McGeehin, 2008), respiratory diseases (Kinney, 2008), injuries from extreme weather events (Greenough et al.,), and adverse mental health impacts (Balbus & Wilson, 2000) are also of concern. Climate change will threaten traditional public health infrastructure. It will stress environmental health services, such as efforts to respond to severe weather events and disease outbreaks, provide assurance of drinking water safety, and implement vector control measures.
As the reality of climate change becomes apparent, many government entities are taking proactive measures. These measures are broadly defined by two aspects: greenhouse gas emissions reduction (mitigation) and reducing the harm associated with climate change impacts (adaptation) (Frumkin & McMichael, 2008). Mitigation initiatives such as the Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) campaign, sponsored by the International Council Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI, 2008), have developed five milestones in addressing climate change. Participating cities must do the following:
1. conduct a baseline emissions inventory and forecast,
2. adopt an emissions reduction target for the forecast year,