Is Climate Change the “Defining Challenge of Our Age”?

  title={Is Climate Change the “Defining Challenge of Our Age”?},
  author={Indur M Goklany},
  journal={Energy \& Environment},
  pages={279 - 302}
  • I. Goklany
  • Published 1 July 2009
  • Economics
  • Energy & Environment
Climate change, some claim, is this century's most important environmental challenge. Mortality estimates for the year 2000 from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate, however, that a dozen other risk factors contribute more to global mortality and global burden of disease. Moreover, the state-of-the-art British-sponsored fast track assessments (FTAs) of the global impacts of climate change show that through 2085–2100, climate change would contribute less to human health and… Expand

Figures and Tables from this paper

Is climate change the number one threat to humanity
This paper challenges claims that global warming outranks other threats facing humanity through the foreseeable future (assumed to be 2085–2100). World Health Organization and BritishExpand
Politicians must heed health effects of climate change
The UCL Lancet Commission on climate change and health concludes: “Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century” and calls on doctors to demand that their politicians listen to the clear facts and act now to implement strategies that will benefi t the health of communities worldwide. Expand
Economic Assessment of the Damages Caused by Global Warming
Damages avoided – the principal benefit of mitigating climate change – are investigated in this chapter, particularly the potential adverse impacts on the primary sectors, biodiversity and humanExpand
Economic Assessment of the Damages Caused by Global Warming
Damages avoided – the principal benefit of mitigating climate change – are investigated in this chapter, particularly the potential adverse impacts on the primary sectors, biodiversity and humanExpand
Global Health Threats: Global Warming in Perspective
Some authorities have claimed that global warming is one of the most—if not the most—important public health threat of this century. They do not, however, support this assertion by comparativeExpand
The debate on climate change and health in the context of ecological public health: a necessary corrective to Costello et al.'s 'biggest global health threat', or co-opted apologists for the neoliberal hegemony?
  • B. Goodman
  • Political Science, Medicine
  • Public health
  • 2014
Ecological public health appears to be a way forward in addressing not only social determinants of health but also the political and ecological determinants which might allow us to consider not just public health butAlso planetary health and health threats that arise from growth based capitalism. Expand
Farmers have always had to deal with the vagaries of precipitation and heat. At times, there might be too much rainfall or too little, or too many days of adverse temperatures that might preventExpand
Economic Development in Developing Countries: Advancing Human Well‐being and the Capacity to Adapt to Global Warming
Developing countries have long been deemed to be at greater risk from global warming than are poorer and global warming (GW) is projected to exacerbate the problems of poverty that many of them faceExpand
Deaths and death rates from extreme weather events: 1900-2008
Proponents of drastic greenhouse gas controls claim that human greenhouse gas emissions cause global warming, which then exacerbates the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, includingExpand
Trapped Between the Falling Sky and the Rising Seas: The Imagined Terrors of the Impacts of Climate Change
Some advocates of drastic greenhouse gas controls claim that the costs of global warming are underestimated and that a proper accounting of the full costs raises the specter of economic and politicalExpand


This paper examines the validity of the assertion that anthropogenic climate change is the overriding environmental concern facing the globe today. Examination of recent trends for someExpand
Impact of regional climate change on human health
The growing evidence that climate–health relationships pose increasing health risks under future projections of climate change is reviewed and that the warming trend over recent decades has already contributed to increased morbidity and mortality in many regions of the world. Expand
Millions at risk: defining critical climate change threats and targets
Agreements to mitigate climate change have been hampered by several things, not least their cost. But the cost might well be more acceptable if we had a clear picture of what damages would be avoidedExpand
A Climate Policy for the Short and Medium Term: Stabilization or Adaptation?
An evaluation of analyses sponsored by the predecessor to the U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) of the global impacts of climate change under various mitigationExpand
Climate and socio-economic scenarios for global-scale climate change impacts assessments: characterising the SRES storylines
This paper describes the way in which the socio-economic projections in the SRES scenarios were applied in a global-scale assessment of the impacts of climate change on food security, water stresses,Expand
Economics Of Climate Change
Global climate change poses a threat to the well-being of humans and other living things through impacts on ecosystem functioning, biodiversity, capital productivity, and human health. Climate changeExpand
The Consequences of CO2 Stabilisation for the Impacts of Climate Change
This paper reports the main results of an assessment of the global-scale implications of the stabilisation of atmospheric CO2 concentrations at 750 ppm (by 2250) and 550 ppm (by 2150), in relationtoExpand
Effects of climate change on global food production under SRES emissions and socio-economic scenarios
This paper analyses the global consequences to crop yields, production, and risk of hunger of linked socio-economic and climate scenarios. Potential impacts of climate change are estimated forExpand
Climate change 2007 : impacts, adaptation and vulnerability
Foreword Preface Introduction Summary for policymakers Technical summary 1. Assessment of observed changes and responses in natural and managed systems 2. New assessment methodologies and theExpand
Possible Responses to Global Climate Change: Integrating Mitigation and Adaptation
Abstract How do we as cities, nations, and global communities best respond to global climate change? Mitigation+urtailing greenhouse gas emissions- dominated initial discussions of theExpand