While no one is safe from global warming, some communities are more vulnerable than others. “Age and medical conditions put certain people at increased risk,” Salas said. And so does inability to appropriately protect yourself from heat, such as not being able to pay for air conditioning or find a backup cool location when power outages occur.”


Global heating causes other public health problems too, from making bacterial infections more resistant to antibiotics and making it harder for students to learn to making some medications less effective and worsening the impacts of air pollution.

The good news is that we know how to fix all this. It starts with stopping fossil fuel companies from extracting or burning any more coal, oil, or gas.


“The planet has a fever, that’s its symptom” said Salas. ‘I want to be as precise in my treatment and make sure that I am getting right at the heart of the cause, so the ultimate prevention is the reduction of greenhouse gas reductions and fossil fuel combustion.”

We’re moving in the wrong direction, but there are lots of people trying to fix that. You could be one of them. In the 2020s, we need to make sure they win.