The Ohio Health Issues Poll is conducted every year to learn more about the health opinions, behaviors and status of Ohio adults. In 2019, OHIP asked about global warming because research shows that changes to the climate can affect health.1 In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has identified climate change as one of the major public health challenges facing the country today.2
Most Ohio adults think global warming is affecting the U.S.
OHIP asked “How much do you think global warming is currently affecting the United States?” About 7 in 10 Ohio adults (72%) said they think global warming is affecting the United States either a great deal or some. This is similar to the nation. More than 7 in 10 U.S. adults (75%) said they think climate change is affecting the U.S.3
OHIP also asked, “How much do you think global warming is currently affecting your local community?” About 6 in 10 Ohio adults (59%) reported that they think global warming is affecting their local community a great deal or some. This also mirrors adults in the nation. Six in 10 U.S. adults (59%) reported that climate change is affecting their local community.3
Climate change has become a politically charged issue in recent years. More than 9 in 10 Democrats (95%) think that climate change is affecting the nation. This is higher than both Independents (69%) and Republicans (50%). Similarly, about 8 in 10 Democrats (83%) believe climate change is affecting their local community. That compares with just 50% of Independents and 38% of Republicans.
Climate change affects much that can have an impact on health. The National Climate Assessment asserts that climate change affects human health primarily through extreme weather events, higher concentrations of air pollution and the increased spread of communicable diseases. These health risks are particularly true for certain groups of people, including children, the elderly and minority populations.4
Climate change is uniquely affecting Ohio. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio’s major bodies of water are being affected, including increased flooding of the Ohio River and seasonal ice on the Great Lakes forming later in the season and melting earlier. Additionally, it is expected that higher temperatures in the near future will lead to reduced production of corn and soybeans in rural areas and increased public health issues in urban areas.5
Green Umbrella is a local organization working collaboratively with partners to create a resilient, sustainable Greater Cincinnati. Its vision is a vibrant community in which environmental sustainability is woven into our way of life. One of the ways Green Umbrella hopes to achieve this vision is the Cincinnati 2030 District, a network of buildings committed to reducing energy use, water use and transportation emissions by 50% by 2030. This initiative uses partnership, innovation and practical incentives to address one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in our region: commercial building stock. To learn more about Green Umbrella’s work, please visit https://www.greenumbrella.org.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Climate Effects on Health. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2mzjIm9.
2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2016). Climate Change and Human Health. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2oYNXJA.
3. Pew Research Center. (2018). Majorities See Government Efforts to Protect the Environment as Insufficient. Retrieved from https://pewrsr.ch/2GbpmpB.
4. U.S. Global Change Research Program. (2018). Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: Fourth National Climate Assessment. Retrieved from: https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/.
5. Environmental Protection Agency. (2016). What climate change means for Ohio. Retrieved from: https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-09/documents/climatechange-oh.pdf.
Interact for Health regularly conducts research and collects data in order to monitor and evaluate our region’s health status and to measure public opinions about health policy.
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