Jesse Bell: 2021 Great Plains conference
"Health and Climate Change" with Dr. Jesse Bell, part of "Climate Change and Culture on the Great Plains." Bell's research explores the relationships of extreme weather, climate variability, and climate change on natural and human processes. The climate that we experience controls much of the world around us. When our climate abruptly changes or gradually shifts, there can be related consequences to both our communities and our health. The goal of Bell's work is to understand these linkages between climate and health, so that we can help prepare our populations for climate- and weather-related disasters. To determine these relationships, Bell uses a variety of climate and environmental data sources to explore associations with human health outcomes.
Bell's research explores the relationships of extreme weather, climate variability, and climate change on natural and human processes. The climate that we experience controls much of the world around us. When our climate abruptly changes or gradually shifts, there can be related consequences to both our communities and our health. The goal of Bell's work is to understand these linkages between climate and health, so that we can help prepare our populations for climate- and weather-related disasters. To determine these relationships, Bell uses a variety of climate and environmental data sources to explore associations with human health outcomes.
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[00:00:00.590]Hello, good morning.
[00:00:02.730]Good morning everyone.
[00:00:04.610]This is Lily Rauner.
[00:00:06.020]I'm an assistant professor and director
[00:00:08.120]of the medical Pathways Program here
[00:00:09.950]at the University of Nebraska Medical Center
[00:00:11.720]College of Medicine.
[00:00:12.940]And this morning you are attending
[00:00:15.480]the session titled "Health and Climate Change.'
[00:00:18.510]Dr. Bell's research explores these relationships
[00:00:21.400]of extreme weather, climate variability,
[00:00:23.800]and climate change on natural human processes.
[00:00:27.300]The climate that we experience controls much
[00:00:29.760]of the world around us
[00:00:30.930]so when our climate abruptly changes
[00:00:33.990]or gradually gradually shifts,
[00:00:36.600]there can be related consequences
[00:00:38.470]to both our communities and our health.
[00:00:41.020]So the goal of Dr Bell's work is
[00:00:44.010]to understand these linkages between climate and health
[00:00:47.080]so that we can help prepare our populations
[00:00:50.130]for climate- and weather-related disasters.
[00:00:53.590]To determine these relationships,
[00:00:55.170]Dr. Bell uses a variety of climate
[00:00:58.580]and environmental data sources to explore associations
[00:01:02.390]with human health outcomes.
[00:01:04.810]I'd like to introduce Dr. Jesse Bell.
[00:01:07.490]He'd introduce a little bit of himself and get started.
[00:01:12.203]I just wanna say thank you very much
[00:01:13.760]for having me here today.
[00:01:14.800]I really appreciate it
[00:01:16.090]and I look forward to this presentation,
[00:01:18.790]and I look forward to our discussion as well.
[00:01:21.490]I'm just gonna see if I can share my presentation.
[00:01:32.450]Hopefully you guys are seeing that okay.
[00:01:36.230]So I just wanted to talk today
[00:01:38.330]about how climate change is impacting human health.
[00:01:42.020]And so as was mentioned, I'm a faculty at UNMC,
[00:01:47.683]I'm the director
[00:01:48.710]of the new Water, Climate, and Health Program.
[00:01:51.210]And just kinda kick it off,
[00:01:52.520]I wanted to talk a little bit about this new program
[00:01:55.780]at UNMC around water, climate, and health,
[00:01:58.110]and also broadly the initiative
[00:02:00.110]of Water, Climate, and Health, it's that DWFI
[00:02:03.850]across the University of Nebraska system.
[00:02:06.930]And so this happened because of the generous support
[00:02:09.900]from the Claire M. Hubbard Foundation.
[00:02:13.200]We wouldn't be able to do this
[00:02:14.610]if it wasn't for that support.
[00:02:16.250]And what we're trying to do
[00:02:17.580]with this new Water, Climate, and Health Program
[00:02:19.640]and initiative is to try
[00:02:21.360]to develop interdisciplinary collaborations
[00:02:23.640]across the University of Nebraska system
[00:02:26.370]to try to address some of our public health challenges,
[00:02:29.370]here in the state and the region,
[00:02:32.750]dealing with water and climate.
[00:02:35.220]And we're gonna be doing this through research,
[00:02:37.890]education, policy development, and training.
[00:02:41.420]This is a new program.
[00:02:43.000]We just got started working on this last year,
[00:02:47.510]about midway through last year.
[00:02:49.007]So we're a little over six months into the program.
[00:02:52.210]So there's still a lot of developments coming along
[00:02:54.170]and I'm gonna talk a little bit about that towards the end.
[00:02:59.930]And so many of you know we're facing a changing climate.
[00:03:04.100]And we know that the climate
[00:03:05.870]and the world around us is changing,
[00:03:08.592]and we know that we're seeing an increases in temperature,
[00:03:11.890]especially here in the United States and around the globe.
[00:03:16.030]And we know that those changes in temperature
[00:03:18.870]that we've experienced over the last 50 to 100 years
[00:03:22.160]are also changing our precipitation.
[00:03:26.230]And that's documented changes
[00:03:30.270]that we've seen in our historical records here
[00:03:33.070]in the United States and around the globe.
[00:03:36.410]And we understand, moving forward,
[00:03:39.800]the physics that works behind this
[00:03:41.507]and we expect that, over the next 50 to 100 years,
[00:03:44.540]our temperatures will continue to rise
[00:03:48.230]and that our precipitation patterns will continue
[00:03:50.700]to change as well.
[00:03:52.340]Here in Nebraska in the Central Plains,
[00:03:54.320]we're expecting a lot of the area
[00:03:56.350]to become potentially dryer during the summer
[00:04:00.020]and wetter during the winter.
[00:04:03.990]And not only do we expect to see shifts
[00:04:06.330]and changes in patterns on the annual basis,
[00:04:09.360]we also expect our extremes to become more extreme.
[00:04:13.410]And so the warmest day
[00:04:15.850]of the year will likely become even warmer.
[00:04:18.670]The wettest day of the year has the potential
[00:04:21.390]of becoming even wetter.
[00:04:24.260]The annual dry spell or the dry spells
[00:04:27.360]will likely become longer.
[00:04:31.180]And we've already seen that across the United States.
[00:04:34.440]We've already seen changes
[00:04:35.900]in our extreme weather and climate-related events.
[00:04:39.620]Whether that's extreme precipitation,
[00:04:42.370]flooding rains, hurricanes, winter storms, droughts,
[00:04:46.470]heat waves or wildfires,
[00:04:48.550]we've seen changes over the last 50 to 100 years
[00:04:51.330]in the frequency and intensity of many of these events
[00:04:54.910]across the US.
[00:04:56.760]And each time one of these events happens,
[00:04:58.840]there is a potential impact
[00:05:00.350]on human health and the communities around us.
[00:05:02.490]And I wanna talk more about that in a little bit.
[00:05:06.060]And that change that we've seen
[00:05:07.530]over the last 50 to 100 years,
[00:05:10.610]we're better understanding the relationships
[00:05:12.810]that that has with human-caused climate change.
[00:05:16.250]And there's growing evidence
[00:05:17.730]that a lot of these extreme events are the changes
[00:05:21.690]that we've seen in a lot of these extreme events associated
[00:05:24.300]with the frequency and intensity of these events
[00:05:28.120]is linked to changes in human-caused climate change,
[00:05:32.500]which is due to changes in greenhouse gas emissions
[00:05:36.050]and the warming of our planet.
[00:05:41.160]And so, like I said, you know,
[00:05:43.070]we know that we've seen changes in the frequency
[00:05:45.810]and intensity of these events,
[00:05:47.850]but we also know that each time one of these events occurs,
[00:05:50.460]there is a potential economic impact
[00:05:54.930]on the world around us.
[00:05:57.020]And so NOAA,
[00:05:58.240]the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,
[00:06:00.640]this is out of the office where I used to work
[00:06:02.970]before coming to UNMC,
[00:06:05.100]they would monitor the number
[00:06:06.960]of billion dollar climate- and weather-related disasters
[00:06:10.710]that occurred every year.
[00:06:12.440]These are disasters that exceed a billion dollars
[00:06:14.940]of economic loss or economic damage.
[00:06:18.810]And they've been doing this since 1980
[00:06:20.890]up to present.
[00:06:23.635]And as you can see, in 2020, we had a record year.
[00:06:28.550]There were $22 billion climate- and weather-related events
[00:06:33.670]that occurred here in the United States
[00:06:36.220]that totaled upwards around 450 plus billion dollars
[00:06:40.440]of economic loss to the United States.
[00:06:44.330]And we've seen an increasing trend
[00:06:46.150]over the last 40 years across the US
[00:06:48.880]in the frequency and occurrence of these types of events.
[00:06:52.407]And there's a variety of different factors for that,
[00:06:54.530]but partially it's because we're seeing the increase
[00:06:57.290]in the intensity and frequency of these events as well.
[00:07:02.770]And so, well, as you can imagine,
[00:07:04.110]anytime you have one of these types of events,
[00:07:06.280]there is a potential impact on human health.
[00:07:08.910]And a lot of times,
[00:07:10.622]that is shown in the literature
[00:07:12.990]or shown in news reports
[00:07:15.005]as you're reading about whatever disaster struck
[00:07:19.820]whatever part of the United States
[00:07:21.230]that were potentially occurred.
[00:07:24.850]But there's still a lot of work that needs to be done
[00:07:26.770]on understanding some of these linkages.
[00:07:29.120]And recently, there's been more work
[00:07:31.020]that has been focusing on understanding these linkages.
[00:07:34.070]There's been a number of reports that have come
[00:07:35.960]out to try to better understand
[00:07:37.640]how climate is impacting human health.
[00:07:41.900]And one of the first reports
[00:07:44.580]that came out looking at this,
[00:07:46.490]solely focused on the United States,
[00:07:49.110]was a report that occurred back in 2016.
[00:07:51.747]I was one of the authors on this report.
[00:07:54.550]It brought together experts
[00:07:55.850]throughout the federal government,
[00:07:59.190]throughout academia, private sector.
[00:08:02.070]We had all sorts of expertise on this report.
[00:08:04.570]Everything from medical doctors, public health experts
[00:08:08.100]to physicists, climatologists,
[00:08:13.090]and you name it.
[00:08:14.410]They were a part of this report in some way.
[00:08:16.960]And the whole purpose of this report was to try
[00:08:19.070]to understand and better understand how climate
[00:08:22.220]and changes in our climate are potentially going
[00:08:24.400]to impact our health.
[00:08:27.330]And as you can imagine,
[00:08:28.290]there was a lot of findings that came from this report
[00:08:30.990]and there was a lot of work that came
[00:08:32.710]out of this report as well.
[00:08:35.140]But at the very beginning,
[00:08:36.140]there were two findings that I think are most important
[00:08:38.610]that I put up here.
[00:08:39.870]And that is that climate change is a significant threat
[00:08:42.900]to the health of the American people
[00:08:45.160]and that every American is vulnerable
[00:08:46.960]to the health impacts associated with climate change.
[00:08:49.950]And the reason we can say that is all the different ways
[00:08:53.160]that our climate system has already over the last 50
[00:08:55.520]to 100 years here in the United States.
[00:08:59.610]And those changes are directly impacting us today.
[00:09:03.730]And those changes that we will experience over the next 50
[00:09:06.297]to 100 years will also continue
[00:09:09.730]to impact us and the individuals
[00:09:12.200]that live here in the United States
[00:09:14.210]and around the globe over that time span as well.
[00:09:20.890]And so, it's obviously, it's complex.
[00:09:24.480]There's a lot of things that are relating to human health
[00:09:27.870]when we see changes in our climate system.
[00:09:31.800]This figure here from CDC just shows some
[00:09:34.810]of those potential relationships.
[00:09:37.130]And so changes in CO2, higher temperatures,
[00:09:40.490]more extreme weather, sea level,
[00:09:43.630]which we really don't have to worry about too much here
[00:09:45.600]in the central part of the United States.
[00:09:48.040]Those changes impact the environment
[00:09:51.890]and change the environment in some way.
[00:09:54.730]And that change in the environment
[00:09:56.530]then can lead to different human health outcomes.
[00:10:00.240]And as you can see, here are a bunch
[00:10:01.860]of different pathways that we can get
[00:10:04.130]from changes in our climate system
[00:10:06.840]to changes in our environment
[00:10:08.910]to potential human health outcomes.
[00:10:15.180]But when we're talking about the changes
[00:10:17.020]in our climate and changes in our environment,
[00:10:18.957]and trying to understand the health outcomes,
[00:10:21.300]we need to be aware of the social and behavioral context,
[00:10:25.660]and the environmental institutional context.
[00:10:30.010]Social and behavioral.
[00:10:31.440]This is where we're talking
[00:10:32.440]about the individuals that live in the community.
[00:10:35.280]What is the age, gender, race, poverty?
[00:10:38.520]What's discrimination, access to care,
[00:10:41.650]preexisting health conditions?
[00:10:43.950]What is going on in the community?
[00:10:47.010]And then the environmental institutional context is
[00:10:50.210]when you're looking at the environment around the community
[00:10:54.280]and also the infrastructure of the community,
[00:10:56.900]and trying to determine what does
[00:10:58.880]that potentially look like.
[00:11:00.030]So when you do see changes in the climate system
[00:11:02.910]or you see extreme climatic events,
[00:11:05.910]that is how we get to that pathway to human health outcomes
[00:11:09.100]and determine who's potentially impacted,
[00:11:12.950]where the impacts are going to occur,
[00:11:15.600]and to what severity the impacts are going to occur as well.
[00:11:19.700]Those things are also things
[00:11:21.290]that we could help better understand
[00:11:25.520]and place mitigation into to try
[00:11:29.120]to reduce the potential impacts as well.
[00:11:33.140]And so I said that all populations are vulnerable
[00:11:36.690]to the health impacts associated with climate change,
[00:11:38.970]but certain populations,
[00:11:40.110]especially here in the United States,
[00:11:41.910]are more at risk than others.
[00:11:44.130]And like I said, in the United States,
[00:11:46.140]it's typically communities of color, children,
[00:11:48.910]older adults, and low-income communities.
[00:11:51.730]And there's a variety of different for that.
[00:11:54.420]Everything from discrimination, lack of access to care,
[00:12:00.220]preexisting health conditions,
[00:12:01.970]and the location of where some of these people may live
[00:12:05.220]that puts them in the pathway
[00:12:07.240]of some of these potential events
[00:12:11.840]and potentially be harmed
[00:12:12.970]by some of the changes that do occur.
[00:12:16.190]And so I'm gonna focus more on extreme weather
[00:12:21.320]and extreme climate,
[00:12:23.190]and the impacts that that has,
[00:12:24.700]especially on rural communities and communities here
[00:12:28.130]in the Central Plains moving forward.
[00:12:32.730]When we talk about extreme events,
[00:12:34.410]a lot of times, you know,
[00:12:36.990]we have a lot of attention to tornadoes and hurricanes,
[00:12:41.700]and floods because those impacts are more dramatic.
[00:12:46.180]They're more easy to see.
[00:12:47.930]They're able to grab attention and grab headlines.
[00:12:51.890]But here in the United States, it's actually heat waves
[00:12:54.910]that might be of the greatest concern
[00:12:57.010]when it comes to mortality.
[00:13:00.680]This example here from 2004 to 2013,
[00:13:05.870]majority of fatalities occurred with heat waves,
[00:13:08.740]then followed by tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods.
[00:13:12.700]And again, each time one of these types of events occurs,
[00:13:15.860]there is potential financial cost as well.
[00:13:18.960]And so over this exact same time period,
[00:13:21.200]there were at least about $400 billion
[00:13:26.060]of economic loss associated with hurricanes,
[00:13:28.477]$80 billion associated with heat waves and droughts,
[00:13:31.260]and then about $50 billion associated
[00:13:33.810]with tornadoes and severe storms.
[00:13:37.950]So the first one I wanted to focus on was extreme heat.
[00:13:41.340]We know that we've seen a change in temperature.
[00:13:44.250]We've seen higher humidity in certain parts
[00:13:46.350]of the United States,
[00:13:48.270]and we've also seen longer
[00:13:49.660]and more frequent heat waves as well.
[00:13:52.150]And up in the right panel,
[00:13:53.240]that's some work that I've done looking at changes
[00:13:57.209]in extreme heat events that have occurred
[00:13:59.500]from the 1950s moving forward.
[00:14:03.360]And so we've seen an increase
[00:14:05.200]in these types of events across the United States.
[00:14:09.160]And each time one of these events occurs,
[00:14:10.990]there's a variety of different human health outcomes
[00:14:13.290]that could potentially occur as well.
[00:14:14.990]Heat stroke, dehydration, heat-related illness,
[00:14:19.260]and a variety of other health issues as well
[00:14:21.480]that are more indirect.
[00:14:24.520]Cardiovascular issues, respiratory issues,
[00:14:26.840]and even mental health issues as well.
[00:14:30.300]The at-risk populations, there's a variety of them.
[00:14:33.170]Outdoor workers, student athletes,
[00:14:36.620]people in cities are obviously at risk,
[00:14:39.160]anybody without air conditioning,
[00:14:42.640]people with chronic diseases, pregnant women,
[00:14:45.150]older adults, and younger children.
[00:14:49.180]And so like I said, heat waves,
[00:14:52.151]on an average annual basis,
[00:14:54.660]likely kill more people in the United States
[00:14:57.410]than any other climate- or weather-related disaster.
[00:15:01.360]And so the reason for that is,
[00:15:04.880]well, there's two reasons.
[00:15:06.330]Spatial and temporal.
[00:15:08.970]Spatial being that heat waves occur all
[00:15:12.120]across the United States.
[00:15:14.220]Whether you're in Nebraska
[00:15:17.220]or you're in Arizona, or in the Northeast
[00:15:20.060]or the Southeast, or wherever it may be,
[00:15:22.330]it's likely that a heat wave will hit there
[00:15:25.030]at some point during the year.
[00:15:27.690]And each time one of those heat waves occurs,
[00:15:29.860]there is a potential for a human health outcome.
[00:15:33.150]Not only that, the temporal part,
[00:15:36.210]so time, you're likely to see multiple heat waves
[00:15:39.570]in any given location over the year
[00:15:44.100]or over the summer.
[00:15:45.710]And so there's a number of examples
[00:15:47.790]that have happened here in Nebraska
[00:15:49.130]where you'll see one heat wave,
[00:15:50.540]and then maybe a week later, you'll see another heat wave.
[00:15:53.150]And each time one of these events occurs,
[00:15:54.830]there is a potential for a human health outcome
[00:15:59.990]or a fatality.
[00:16:01.970]And then, on top of it, we're looking at extreme weather.
[00:16:06.800]And this is kind of where we get to that precipitation side.
[00:16:10.280]You know, either too much or not enough.
[00:16:13.880]And with extreme weather,
[00:16:15.570]we have heavy downpours, floods, droughts, major storms.
[00:16:21.040]We're also seeing these events coming back-to-back,
[00:16:24.260]where, you know, maybe in, like for example,
[00:16:28.550]here in Nebraska in 2019 we saw flooding,
[00:16:32.170]in 2020 we saw drought.
[00:16:36.550]And when these events occur,
[00:16:38.680]they can lead to injury, illness,
[00:16:41.460]displacement, and even death.
[00:16:44.800]The at-risk populations are basically anybody
[00:16:47.100]in the pathway of these storms,
[00:16:51.010]but certain populations are obviously more at risk.
[00:16:54.630]A lot of times these are the elderly,
[00:16:57.400]individuals with disability,
[00:16:59.370]people that are more impoverished
[00:17:01.440]that are unable to get out of the way of the storm
[00:17:04.180]or the the potential impacts from the storm.
[00:17:08.020]Also, individuals that are coming back
[00:17:10.597]and trying to clean up,
[00:17:12.140]and help with some of the evacuation.
[00:17:13.950]Those people are also at risk
[00:17:16.790]before and after the storm as well.
[00:17:19.390]And so, in 2000...
[00:17:22.080]Well, so we worked on a report that came out
[00:17:24.580]of the Lancet Countdown
[00:17:27.360]which was looking at climate and health.
[00:17:29.630]I was one of the authors to create this case study
[00:17:33.730]around the 2019 flooding that happened
[00:17:36.340]in the central part of the United States
[00:17:38.380]to talk about the impacts, especially on rural communities,
[00:17:42.190]and what did that mean for potential human health impacts
[00:17:45.420]across this region?
[00:17:48.030]And just to familiarize you,
[00:17:49.370]I'm sure many of you remember the flooding
[00:17:51.090]that happened in 2019,
[00:17:53.890]it started in March and it was the costliest,
[00:17:57.700]if not one of the costliest,
[00:17:59.000]inland flooding events in US history.
[00:18:02.540]It led to at least three deaths.
[00:18:05.010]Hundreds of people were displaced.
[00:18:08.400]Likelihood the death rate was much higher than that,
[00:18:10.950]but as far as direct deaths, there were at least three.
[00:18:16.850]And it also caused wide-scale damage
[00:18:19.280]to infrastructure throughout this region
[00:18:22.510]of the United States.
[00:18:23.960]And it hit multiple states from Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri,
[00:18:27.510]South Dakota, Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin,
[00:18:33.790]And it had a significant impact
[00:18:35.340]on rural communities for a variety of different reasons.
[00:18:39.720]It caused millions of acres of agricultural land
[00:18:42.830]to be inundated with floodwaters.
[00:18:45.010]It killed thousands of livestock.
[00:18:48.190]It prevented crop planning throughout the region as well.
[00:18:52.390]Here in Nebraska alone,
[00:18:55.170]there were 104 cities, 81 counties,
[00:18:59.390]and five tribal nations
[00:19:01.130]that received disaster declarations associated
[00:19:03.670]with this flooding event that occurred.
[00:19:06.410]And FEMA approved
[00:19:08.380]over 3,000 individual assistant applications
[00:19:12.340]just in Nebraska alone associated with this flooding event.
[00:19:19.020]But not only did it impact the people directly
[00:19:22.720]and impact the communities around us,
[00:19:24.250]it also impacted the healthcare
[00:19:27.190]and healthcare delivery within the state.
[00:19:30.280]There were at least two hospitals
[00:19:31.990]that sustained damage in Nebraska.
[00:19:34.490]A dozen long-term care facilities were evacuated.
[00:19:38.540]And then there were access to care issues
[00:19:40.560]that happened across the state as well.
[00:19:42.150]And this was especially prominent
[00:19:43.490]in rural communities and rural areas of Nebraska.
[00:19:48.650]With flooded roads and damaged infrastructure,
[00:19:51.490]it made it difficult, if not impossible,
[00:19:53.920]for individuals to reach clinics
[00:19:55.790]and hospitals to seek medical care.
[00:19:58.810]And this occurred for months after the event.
[00:20:03.350]After the initial flooding event.
[00:20:06.730]And it should be also be noted a lot of times
[00:20:10.700]coastal areas get a lot of attention
[00:20:13.040]when we're talking about flooding,
[00:20:15.290]but actually, it's inland states that are some
[00:20:19.160]of the most impacted by flooding here in the United States.
[00:20:23.330]Nebraska is one of the most flood-prone states
[00:20:26.410]in the US.
[00:20:27.243]I think we're ranked somewhere around fifth or sixth
[00:20:29.570]as far as the number of flooding events
[00:20:31.160]that occur historically.
[00:20:35.290]And so the other end of the spectrum
[00:20:38.178]that I'm focusing a lot of work on is drought.
[00:20:41.200]And the impacts that drought has on communities
[00:20:43.680]and the impact that drought has on human health.
[00:20:47.530]We've understood for a long time here in the United States
[00:20:50.510]that drought likely has significant impacts
[00:20:54.560]on communities and on our health.
[00:20:56.410]And you could go all the way back to the Dust Bowl,
[00:20:59.510]the 1930s, which was a significant drought
[00:21:02.240]that hit the central part of the Great Plains in Nebraska,
[00:21:05.100]as some of the pictures here show,
[00:21:07.230]were impacted and you saw large dust storms.
[00:21:10.160]And they were talking about the significant impacts
[00:21:12.460]that this had on communities throughout Nebraska
[00:21:15.137]and the Central Plains, and how loss of agriculture,
[00:21:19.610]loss of livelihood, increased stress
[00:21:23.610]on farmers and individuals.
[00:21:26.810]You saw people moving out of the region
[00:21:28.930]and then also potential health impacts associated
[00:21:31.470]with the exposure or the chronic exposure of dust.
[00:21:37.170]Moving forward, we know that droughts are still
[00:21:40.000]a significant issue here in the Central Plains region.
[00:21:45.690]This is looking at the recent drought monitor data
[00:21:50.030]that comes out of right here
[00:21:51.750]at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
[00:21:54.900]And as you can see, about 50% of our state
[00:21:57.980]or especially the Western part of the state
[00:21:59.960]is being impacted by dry conditions
[00:22:01.890]and drought conditions already now
[00:22:04.930]at the beginning of the growing season.
[00:22:09.690]And so we're doing a lotta work because, like I said,
[00:22:13.090]internationally, we know that droughts
[00:22:15.070]likely kill more people
[00:22:16.310]than any other climate- or weather-related disaster.
[00:22:19.980]And that's due to famine and malnutrition.
[00:22:23.140]If you look back historically over the last a hundred
[00:22:25.280]or so years.
[00:22:26.113]But here in the United States,
[00:22:27.710]we really don't think of drought as a human health threat.
[00:22:30.830]We think of it more in the terms of agriculture
[00:22:33.750]or water management,
[00:22:36.070]but there's more and more growing evidence
[00:22:38.340]that shows that drought is actually linked
[00:22:40.810]to health through various different pathways.
[00:22:44.510]Like I mentioned before, like other climatic events,
[00:22:48.160]drought can change the environment around us.
[00:22:51.050]Those changes in the environment can potentially lead
[00:22:54.210]to human health outcomes.
[00:22:55.780]And there's a variety of different health outcomes
[00:22:57.840]that have been studied right here in the United States.
[00:23:01.330]And so we're trying to better understand some
[00:23:04.060]of these relationships
[00:23:05.490]and better understand what does this mean.
[00:23:08.140]One of the communities that is definitely most impacted
[00:23:10.790]is rural communities when a drought event occurs
[00:23:13.810]because of the reliance on land
[00:23:17.170]for the livelihoods of the individuals living
[00:23:20.290]in those committees.
[00:23:24.227]And so we know that these pathways
[00:23:28.990]can be kind of complex.
[00:23:31.410]And this is some work that I've done trying
[00:23:33.330]to understand some of these pathways
[00:23:34.990]from getting to drought events to human health outcomes
[00:23:38.658]and mental health is definitely one
[00:23:40.690]of the more complex pathways to understand,
[00:23:43.640]but there are linkages there.
[00:23:48.610]And we need to better understand these linkages
[00:23:50.900]so when drought events do occur
[00:23:52.430]that we can help with better preparing our communities
[00:23:55.060]and reducing the potential health impacts,
[00:23:57.050]and understanding the threats that they have
[00:23:58.860]within our communities as well.
[00:24:01.470]And so, internationally,
[00:24:04.420]there's been a lot of work that has shown
[00:24:06.660]how drought potentially is related back
[00:24:09.620]to stress and even suicide.
[00:24:13.920]This has been work that's been done
[00:24:15.320]in Australia, India, and Africa,
[00:24:18.930]where they've seen, during certain drought events,
[00:24:21.530]an increase in suicide,
[00:24:22.910]especially in farming and rural communities.
[00:24:25.530]We can also see that right here in the United States.
[00:24:28.300]We already know that farmers
[00:24:29.760]have higher suicide rates compared
[00:24:33.190]to a lot of other occupations.
[00:24:35.900]And as you can imagine, a large stressful event
[00:24:39.400]like a drought event can potentially lead
[00:24:41.760]to more stress, more anxiety
[00:24:47.720]There's just, anecdotally,
[00:24:48.970]there's this news report that came out
[00:24:51.340]from when they were talking to a Kansas farmer
[00:24:54.500]and talking about the alarming suicide rates in farmers.
[00:24:57.250]And one of the things that he brought up was
[00:24:59.718]that nothing gets a farmer down more than a drought.
[00:25:06.060]And so not only that,
[00:25:08.170]we're trying to understand just as a whole,
[00:25:10.350]through some of the work that I'm doing with my team,
[00:25:13.540]is what does it actually mean as far
[00:25:16.800]as all-cause mortality and changes
[00:25:19.440]in mortality when we're seeing drought events
[00:25:21.480]or flooding events, or any of these other events.
[00:25:23.880]Are we seeing more people potentially die
[00:25:26.600]associated with some of these events?
[00:25:29.430]And this is some preliminary work.
[00:25:32.430]It's not published yet.
[00:25:34.460]But we looked at drought events
[00:25:36.870]that hit Nebraska going back from the 1980s
[00:25:40.780]up into a couple years ago
[00:25:43.290]and we looked at different age groups
[00:25:45.580]and tried to identify if we saw any changes
[00:25:48.990]in mortality and all-cause mortality
[00:25:52.290]across Nebraska for these different age groups.
[00:25:56.330]And what we found was that white females
[00:25:59.010]between the ages of 45 and 55 years of age,
[00:26:02.370]we saw an increase in mortality during drought events
[00:26:04.800]during that time span.
[00:26:06.340]And white males between the ages of 45 and 65 years of age,
[00:26:10.970]we also saw an increase in mortality associated
[00:26:13.740]with that age group as well.
[00:26:17.570]We don't understand all the linkages here.
[00:26:20.020]We don't understand what are those pathways
[00:26:22.960]between the drought event
[00:26:23.980]and these particular mortality events at this time.
[00:26:27.140]And we're trying to explore
[00:26:28.160]that more to better understand some of these relationships
[00:26:31.220]so that we could better help prepare
[00:26:32.940]our public health communities
[00:26:34.240]and educate our public health leaders
[00:26:36.680]across the state and across the region
[00:26:39.180]on why this potentially is,
[00:26:40.780]and this kind of fits into some of the broader work
[00:26:42.740]that we're doing, trying to better understand
[00:26:45.020]and better prepare for the health impacts associated
[00:26:50.960]So public health has a role in all of this
[00:26:53.970]in trying to understand some of these linkages
[00:26:58.530]between human health outcomes
[00:27:01.260]and associated with extreme weather and climate events,
[00:27:05.780]and what does that potentially mean
[00:27:07.330]as our climate is changing
[00:27:09.057]and all the potential impacts that it has on human health.
[00:27:14.500]And I put this figure up here
[00:27:16.220]because I think it does a good job
[00:27:17.900]of really explaining some of those linkages.
[00:27:22.600]So, with public health,
[00:27:24.470]we can help with better educating the public
[00:27:27.300]so that they understand the threats
[00:27:29.450]that the changes in the climate and weather have on them.
[00:27:33.990]We can enhance monitoring
[00:27:35.420]because there's a lot that we don't know
[00:27:36.970]or there's some things that we know,
[00:27:38.470]but we don't quite understand all the linkages yet,
[00:27:41.550]and if we improve monitoring around some of these issues,
[00:27:44.320]that'll help with better understanding some of these threats
[00:27:49.230]so that we can be better prepared the next time
[00:27:51.580]that these threats occur
[00:27:53.450]and be providing warning systems,
[00:27:55.940]so potentially reducing the number of health impacts.
[00:27:59.800]Research is another big area.
[00:28:02.640]Like I said, there's a lot of work
[00:28:04.220]that's already out there,
[00:28:05.300]but there's a lot that we don't know.
[00:28:07.800]Drought is a perfect example.
[00:28:09.940]It's not until recently that we really started looking
[00:28:12.640]at drought in a different way
[00:28:13.810]and trying to understand how it impacts human health.
[00:28:18.290]You know, and as I talked about
[00:28:19.440]with the flooding event that occurred,
[00:28:21.380]there were three confirmed deaths,
[00:28:22.790]but there were probably many more deaths that occurred
[00:28:25.030]because of all those indirect pathways
[00:28:27.820]as people were dealing with the flooding situation.
[00:28:32.060]So if we better understand some of these relationships
[00:28:34.500]and do research in better understanding some
[00:28:36.260]of these relationships,
[00:28:37.660]that can help with the education
[00:28:41.290]and monitoring as well.
[00:28:43.060]And then contributing to public dialogue.
[00:28:47.420]A lot of times, and this has been work that I've focused on,
[00:28:50.970]a lot of times there's been work
[00:28:52.360]that's been done looking at,
[00:28:55.640]you know, how climate is impacting communities
[00:28:58.070]or how drought is impacting communities,
[00:28:59.760]or whatever it may be,
[00:29:02.110]and public health isn't at the table.
[00:29:04.721]And not having them at the table means
[00:29:08.420]that they're not there to contribute
[00:29:10.350]to the dialogue so that people better understand,
[00:29:13.430]the decision makers and people
[00:29:14.413]that are putting things into play
[00:29:16.900]better understand what this actually means
[00:29:18.960]in terms of human health outcomes as well.
[00:29:24.420]And so there's still a lotta work that needs to be done,
[00:29:28.240]especially here in the central part of the United States.
[00:29:33.880]This map is showing all of the States
[00:29:37.190]that are being funded currently
[00:29:38.610]by CDC's Climate-Ready States & Cities Initiative.
[00:29:44.040]That initiative is providing funding
[00:29:47.530]to the local public health departments,
[00:29:49.260]state public health departments
[00:29:51.130]to understand the threats of climate,
[00:29:54.410]changes in the climate system,
[00:29:55.760]and what that means for human health outcomes
[00:29:57.670]so that they can be better prepared.
[00:30:00.340]And one of the things that you'll notice is one,
[00:30:02.670]there's not a lot of states that are receiving this funding.
[00:30:05.930]Also, you'll notice that there's a great big chunk
[00:30:08.230]of the middle of the United States
[00:30:09.880]in the Central Plains that there isn't funding going to,
[00:30:14.560]to help with better understanding
[00:30:15.567]and better preparing for this work.
[00:30:18.240]You know, a lotta people talk about climate change
[00:30:20.390]and they talk about mitigation,
[00:30:22.030]and how do we reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
[00:30:25.210]And although I think that's incredibly important,
[00:30:28.026]and don't get me wrong there,
[00:30:29.453]one of the things I think is even just as important,
[00:30:31.760]if not more important,
[00:30:33.301]is preparing our communities and preparing our individuals
[00:30:38.480]for the potential impacts of climate change
[00:30:41.230]as we move forward.
[00:30:43.120]Because we all, as I've already mentioned,
[00:30:45.430]we are already in the middle of a changed climate.
[00:30:49.630]Our climate system has changed
[00:30:51.430]over the last 50 to 100 years.
[00:30:54.050]Those changes in our climate are impacting us today
[00:30:57.770]and we expect that those changes will continue
[00:31:00.800]over the next 50 to 100 years,
[00:31:02.950]and that will continue to impact us as we move forward.
[00:31:07.230]And so we need to better understand the threats that we face
[00:31:11.380]so that we're preparing our communities
[00:31:13.080]around us and reducing the potential health impacts,
[00:31:16.830]and supporting and strengthening our communities
[00:31:19.110]so that we have fewer health impacts as well.
[00:31:22.230]But there's a lotta challenges with that.
[00:31:25.600]As you can see, there's only a handful of states
[00:31:28.000]that are receiving funding.
[00:31:29.610]But not only that, in the United States,
[00:31:33.050]when we look at our total US health spending,
[00:31:36.010]so that's all the spending that we put into health,
[00:31:39.030]only about 1.5 to 3% of that is into public health spending.
[00:31:43.820]And so that's a pretty small percentage
[00:31:45.830]when we look at it from the broader landscape.
[00:31:49.500]And then even a much thinner slice
[00:31:52.440]of that is going to climate change preparedness.
[00:31:55.290]So there's some borders
[00:31:57.250]or there's some barriers that we have to cross
[00:31:59.180]and be able to address that.
[00:32:01.130]It doesn't mean that there isn't opportunities
[00:32:03.020]to address some of these issues,
[00:32:04.800]it just means that there are some challenges
[00:32:07.890]that we have to overcome.
[00:32:10.930]But the way that I look at it is
[00:32:13.760]that there's a lot of opportunity
[00:32:15.500]and there's a lot of movement that we can make,
[00:32:17.850]and you're seeing a lot of movement here within Nebraska,
[00:32:21.490]the region, and across the United States and
[00:32:24.030]across the globe in trying to better prepare communities
[00:32:27.210]for the health impacts associated with climate change.
[00:32:30.330]And so, with that, you know,
[00:32:33.330]I just wanted to have some closing thoughts here.
[00:32:36.770]We know that extreme events,
[00:32:39.670]we know that our climate is changing
[00:32:41.250]and the changes in our climate
[00:32:43.160]are impacting climate extremes and weather extremes.
[00:32:47.280]And these changes or these extreme events
[00:32:52.050]have impacts on human health.
[00:32:54.380]And those threats are faced here in Nebraska.
[00:32:57.268]We know that all populations
[00:32:59.610]in the United States are potentially vulnerable
[00:33:01.940]to the risks associated with climate change,
[00:33:07.710]but some are more vulnerable than others
[00:33:09.980]or more at risk than others.
[00:33:12.780]Extreme weather events are becoming more extreme
[00:33:16.200]and more common.
[00:33:17.500]Because of this, the costs are increasing.
[00:33:20.540]And the costs aren't just in the terms of human health,
[00:33:24.290]but they're in the financial burden as well.
[00:33:27.920]And we face that here in Nebraska
[00:33:30.420]and we face it across the United States,
[00:33:33.090]and across the Central Plains as well.
[00:33:35.620]And so it's key that we prepare for these health threats.
[00:33:39.730]We need to prepare our public health officials,
[00:33:45.100]we need to help prepare our healthcare delivery systems,
[00:33:48.390]and we need to prepare emergency response
[00:33:52.150]in being able to better understand these threats
[00:33:55.460]and what they mean to our communities.
[00:33:57.730]Because if we strengthen our communities
[00:34:02.680]especially associated with some of these climatic events
[00:34:05.010]and changes in our climate system,
[00:34:06.710]then we have stronger communities
[00:34:08.380]and we can potentially reduce
[00:34:09.720]the human health impacts as well.
[00:34:12.830]And so the way I see it is there's
[00:34:15.720]a lotta opportunity here to try to address some
[00:34:17.890]of these key issues.
[00:34:19.560]And then, in addressing these key issues,
[00:34:21.760]we need to make sure that we're approaching it
[00:34:23.430]from a multidisciplinary approach
[00:34:25.910]and making sure that we're also focusing
[00:34:27.810]on rural communities
[00:34:29.110]'cause a lotta times they're overlooked in this equation.
[00:34:32.970]And so it is important and it is critical
[00:34:35.920]that we're investing in public health in this endeavor,
[00:34:40.980]but it's also important
[00:34:42.050]that we're investing into many other areas as well.
[00:34:44.860]And so there's a lot of work to be done, but,
[00:34:48.060]you know, as we are doing this work,
[00:34:50.464]we're making our community stronger to reduce impacts.
[00:34:55.860]And so with that, I just wanted to say thank you very much.
[00:34:58.730]I really appreciate your time
[00:35:00.150]and I look forward to any questions that you may have.
[00:35:07.280]Thank you very much, Dr. Bell.
[00:35:09.070]I'm gonna go ahead and address all
[00:35:12.020]of the questions that have come in and comments.
[00:35:15.210]If you thought of any question,
[00:35:17.800]just please post it in the Q&A box
[00:35:21.820]and we will get to it.
[00:35:23.240]So here is a few questions.
[00:35:24.610]I'm gonna start with a comment that Dennis made.
[00:35:27.770]And he said, "Excellent presentation.
[00:35:30.330]Good to see a presenter with some common sense
[00:35:32.940]in dealing with real issues."
[00:35:37.030]The first question that came in is,
[00:35:38.307]"The report that you mentioned
[00:35:39.600]at the beginning of your presentation,
[00:35:41.930]can you tell us where the people can find it?
[00:35:46.390]Is it available?"
[00:35:47.930]Sure. Well, first, I'll just,
[00:35:50.960]I really appreciate Dennis's comment there (laughs)
[00:35:53.694]and I'll just quickly touch on that.
[00:35:57.600]And I agree with you, Dennis.
[00:35:58.930]Like when we're talking about climate change
[00:36:01.810]and addressing climate change,
[00:36:02.680]it is so important that we're talking
[00:36:05.470]about solutions and we're talking
[00:36:07.430]about solutions that we have to address and deal with now.
[00:36:10.270]And one of the reasons for that is, like I said,
[00:36:13.000]we're already in a changed climate.
[00:36:16.260]You know, it's not about
[00:36:18.980]if we're gonna see another flooding event
[00:36:22.490]like 2019 or if we're gonna see another drought event,
[00:36:25.870]it's when and how intense that next when will be.
[00:36:30.110]And so the way I see it is kind of a win-win.
[00:36:34.250]If we're better preparing our communities
[00:36:35.787]and better preparing our healthcare,
[00:36:38.620]and public health and all these other avenues
[00:36:42.270]for these climatic events,
[00:36:44.960]it's a natural win for us
[00:36:47.240]because we know that the next one is going to occur.
[00:36:49.890]You know, Nebraska is a perfect example
[00:36:51.990]and the Central Plains.
[00:36:53.540]You know, there was flooding in 2011
[00:36:55.890]that had significant, huge impacts
[00:36:58.010]across the state and across the region.
[00:37:00.760]And then in 2019,
[00:37:04.880]we saw a similar if not more impactful event.
[00:37:10.830]And the same with the drought events.
[00:37:12.220]We continuously see these types of events occurring.
[00:37:14.730]So I definitely appreciate that comment.
[00:37:18.540]And then talking about the report.
[00:37:22.080]So I'm guessing it's the original report that came out
[00:37:27.000]of the White House in 2016.
[00:37:29.750]That was through the US Global Change Research Program.
[00:37:33.140]And all those reports are publicly available online.
[00:37:37.540]I usually put that up somewhere.
[00:37:40.330]Let me see if I can just run back real quick
[00:37:43.689]with my slide deck.
[00:37:48.130]And so you can go to this website
[00:37:52.970]up at the top if you're looking for this individual report.
[00:37:57.560]It's a wonderful, very comprehensive report.
[00:38:00.050]There's other reports that are in there.
[00:38:03.160]This is the same group that does
[00:38:04.430]the "National Climate Assessment."
[00:38:06.340]And the "National Climate Assessment" is this big,
[00:38:08.820]large assessment of the US climate
[00:38:12.110]and what does it mean for impacts across different sectors.
[00:38:15.040]Health is one of those sectors that typically gets in there.
[00:38:18.010]But this particular report,
[00:38:19.250]they decided to focus in just in on health.
[00:38:22.350]And then if you were talking about The Lancet report,
[00:38:26.150]which we did and we focused on just the flooding event
[00:38:30.210]for the case study,
[00:38:33.360]I don't have the website up on for this one,
[00:38:36.280]but you can just Google
[00:38:38.840]Lancet Countdown 2020 US report
[00:38:44.350]and they'll have the full report.
[00:38:46.037]And you can read about their recommendations
[00:38:48.170]because they had a short policy document
[00:38:52.740]where it was just kind of going
[00:38:53.730]through policy recommendations.
[00:38:55.340]And then they had certain case studies.
[00:38:57.470]And that's where this 2019 case study came from.
[00:39:01.930]Which one of the reasons we wanted to do it was
[00:39:03.950]because of the impacts that it has
[00:39:05.490]on rural communities and how there's been a lot of focus
[00:39:09.480]that's typically been more on coastal areas
[00:39:12.780]or urban settings,
[00:39:15.050]but this, we really thought,
[00:39:17.100]was a good example of how these types
[00:39:20.450]of disasters could potentially be related back
[00:39:22.500]to human health impacts
[00:39:24.220]within rural areas in central part of the United States
[00:39:28.190]which is often overlooked with these types of issues.
[00:39:33.110]So I went ahead and put links in the chat
[00:39:37.420]for anyone that wants to get links to those two reports.
[00:39:40.573]So thank you, Nancy, for a great question
[00:39:44.270]and getting everyone those resources.
[00:39:47.740]The next question comes from an anonymous attendee.
[00:39:51.840]As college students, what do you challenge us to do
[00:39:55.140]to restore the environment
[00:39:57.310]and thus slow the climate change?
[00:40:01.313]That's a great question.
[00:40:04.560]You know, and I'm gonna answer that
[00:40:07.760]in two different ways.
[00:40:08.830]And one of the things that I wanna bring up
[00:40:11.060]is the education piece
[00:40:14.550]and just better understanding the impacts
[00:40:18.070]that it has on your community
[00:40:19.400]and impacts that it has on the individuals around you.
[00:40:25.140]I typically say, you know, 'cause sometimes,
[00:40:28.110]you know, if you wanna talk about
[00:40:29.630]from an individualistic point of view,
[00:40:33.040]like sometimes this just feels overwhelming.
[00:40:36.690]You know, the global climate is changing,
[00:40:40.280]there's so many factors that interplay,
[00:40:42.810]how do we potentially do anything to even make a drop
[00:40:46.790]in the bucket on this?
[00:40:48.340]And I say, you know,
[00:40:49.460]the first thing that you try to do is you change yourself
[00:40:52.530]and your own personal behavior.
[00:40:55.330]Changing your own personal behavior has influence
[00:40:58.230]on the people around you.
[00:41:00.410]And then, you will look out at your community
[00:41:02.730]and are there ways to change your community,
[00:41:05.200]and be active in your community and helping educate
[00:41:08.180]and inform the people,
[00:41:09.450]and the individuals and decision makers
[00:41:12.070]in your community on how to be better prepared
[00:41:14.790]and how to potentially take action on some of these issues?
[00:41:19.180]And so I think that's, you know,
[00:41:21.480]the first two steps I always recommend for anybody.
[00:41:25.200]And that makes a huge difference.
[00:41:27.990]You know, you see these types of shifts
[00:41:29.890]and you see these types of changes
[00:41:31.460]that are occurring within communities like Omaha, Lincoln,
[00:41:35.970]and throughout the Central Plains.
[00:41:39.740]And those are happening because of individual's actions
[00:41:42.900]and individual interests, and education around these issues.
[00:41:46.590]So, you know, although this seems overwhelming at times,
[00:41:50.220]there's a lot of local impact that we can make.
[00:41:53.710]And then the other thing that I just kind of wanted
[00:41:56.550]to bring up here that, you know,
[00:41:58.270]we're trying to do is help better educate
[00:42:01.020]and inform public health and healthcare professionals,
[00:42:04.490]especially the next generation,
[00:42:06.370]around some of these issues associated
[00:42:08.270]with climate and changes in climate,
[00:42:10.530]and changes in extreme weather events
[00:42:12.430]and what does it mean for the populations
[00:42:14.570]that they're going to serve.
[00:42:17.610]And I'll quickly mention this, the reason,
[00:42:21.480]so here at the University of Nebraska Medical Center,
[00:42:25.950]we are developing multiple initiatives to help
[00:42:29.720]with expanding education around some of this work.
[00:42:33.330]Both at the medical school
[00:42:34.920]and across the campus as a whole,
[00:42:36.960]and the College of Public Health
[00:42:38.326]and throughout the campus.
[00:42:41.950]The reason for those education initiatives
[00:42:45.310]and initiatives to work on some
[00:42:47.340]of these types of topics is because of student support.
[00:42:50.830]If students were not engaged in and involved,
[00:42:54.460]and interested in this, it would never have gone anywhere.
[00:42:57.760]When I first got here at UNMC,
[00:43:00.350]I asked if there was a student organization
[00:43:02.660]that was focusing on sustainability
[00:43:04.580]or any of these other issues.
[00:43:05.840]And people were like,
[00:43:06.673]"Oh, medical students are too busy.
[00:43:09.150]Public health students aren't here long enough
[00:43:11.590]and it just isn't gonna happen."
[00:43:13.280]And within a year that I was here,
[00:43:15.360]medical students reached out to me
[00:43:17.760]and they formed this group here,
[00:43:22.440]a student organization here
[00:43:23.810]at UNMC called HEAL, Healthy Earth Alliance.
[00:43:27.090]And that's really helped drive a lot of this conversation
[00:43:30.670]and talk, and leadership at UNMC
[00:43:32.730]has taken this very seriously.
[00:43:35.450]And because of that,
[00:43:36.840]now we have all these initiatives
[00:43:38.390]where we can help with educating
[00:43:40.930]both the graduates of UMC,
[00:43:44.650]and hopefully this will continue to develop
[00:43:46.860]over the next year or two and further on,
[00:43:50.610]help educating the graduates of this college
[00:43:53.630]from this university
[00:43:55.030]so that they better understand some of these relationships
[00:43:57.390]so that they can be better engaged in this
[00:43:59.380]when they go out and serve their communities in the future.
[00:44:05.880]Kay, we have about eight other questions to get through.
[00:44:08.450]And Tom asks, "Are the Ready States and Cities grants issued
[00:44:12.540]under a competitive system or some other scheme?"
[00:44:15.931]It is. It is a competitive system.
[00:44:17.860]So that used to, or that's still being run
[00:44:20.370]out of the Climate and Health Program at CDC.
[00:44:24.830]They issue this grant application.
[00:44:29.890]It's a competitive.
[00:44:31.660]Typically, the state health department has
[00:44:34.456]to compete for the grant,
[00:44:36.890]but there's usually academic partners that are associated
[00:44:39.960]with that grant as well.
[00:44:42.740]Most of the funding has been going
[00:44:45.390]to state health departments.
[00:44:47.110]There are a few city examples
[00:44:49.650]across the United States.
[00:44:51.100]They've also expanded it out
[00:44:52.810]for tribal communities and territories as well.
[00:44:58.170]And so there's been some additional funding
[00:45:00.443]that has been going out to some of these other areas
[00:45:05.930]of the United States as well, so.
[00:45:08.110]But it is a competitive grant and hopefully,
[00:45:11.930]in the future,
[00:45:12.763]they'll be expanding the funding to that
[00:45:14.830]because that'll be incredibly important
[00:45:16.850]so that we can make sure that states
[00:45:18.180]like Nebraska can potentially be a part of it in the future.
[00:45:23.000]So another funding-type question from Joe came
[00:45:26.260]and he says,
[00:45:27.177]"Well, shortfalls in federal funding are a reality.
[00:45:30.760]What should we be doing recognizing
[00:45:32.600]that there won't be sufficient federal funds?"
[00:45:36.100]Yeah, that's a great point.
[00:45:37.420]And, you know, one of the things
[00:45:41.230]that I saw, you know,
[00:45:43.047]and this is just an example for when I was at CDC,
[00:45:48.260]it doesn't have to be one program
[00:45:50.400]or one group that is focused on this.
[00:45:53.800]Any activity could potentially link this back in some way.
[00:45:57.770]And so, even though I showed all of those states
[00:46:01.949]that have funding and I show that there's a lot that don't,
[00:46:06.130]there's also a number of states
[00:46:08.200]that don't have funding
[00:46:09.870]that are taking up this initiative
[00:46:11.890]in a variety of different ways.
[00:46:13.410]Whether it's through academic partnerships
[00:46:16.180]and looking for other funding sources to try
[00:46:18.630]to expand activities around this, to,
[00:46:24.520]let's see, to internal funding within states.
[00:46:27.350]And sometimes that comes from pressure
[00:46:28.900]within the state itself to invest more
[00:46:32.010]into some of these types of preparedness activities.
[00:46:35.090]To even like here
[00:46:40.030]at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
[00:46:44.130]We now have a foundation to build on
[00:46:47.380]because of the Water, Climate and Health Program.
[00:46:50.350]And there's opportunities to build collaboration
[00:46:52.540]around some of these types of, some of this work
[00:46:55.250]to help try to tackle some of these issues across Nebraska.
[00:46:58.410]And we're doing that through pilot grants
[00:47:00.580]that we're gonna be issuing
[00:47:01.970]through Water, Climate, and Health
[00:47:04.850]to student fellowships through DWFI
[00:47:08.590]to help encourage collaboration and research
[00:47:11.360]on some of these issues.
[00:47:15.700]All right, we have about six questions left
[00:47:17.590]and about 10 minutes left.
[00:47:19.740]Does your team see a potential arbovirus vectors
[00:47:23.880]and the diseases they carry
[00:47:26.020]to increase in Southeast and Eastern Nebraska due
[00:47:30.070]to the predicted seasonal increase
[00:47:32.150]in heat and moisture in those areas?
[00:47:34.260]Question from Mike.
[00:47:36.050]That's a great question.
[00:47:40.940]We haven't looked directly at that.
[00:47:43.920]I can give you the name of a colleague
[00:47:45.730]who I bet would be able to answer that question to the,
[00:47:49.500]which would be Kelly Smith
[00:47:51.470]at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
[00:47:54.690]So I'll defer to her
[00:47:56.660]and she could probably do a better job of answering that.
[00:48:01.240]But you gotta go find her, I apologize. (laughs)
[00:48:05.450]A question from Bud.
[00:48:06.620]Can you speculate on the Built Environment's role
[00:48:09.750]moving forward for healthy, climate-resilient communities?
[00:48:15.520]Can you ask that question again?
[00:48:16.765]Sorry, I just wanna make sure I understood it correctly.
[00:48:18.810]Bud asks, "Can you speculate
[00:48:21.480]on the Built Environment's role in moving forward
[00:48:26.480]for healthy, climate-resilient communities?"
[00:48:29.820]That's a great question.
[00:48:33.310]You know, there's multiple benefits
[00:48:36.790]and we're seeing a lot of this
[00:48:37.960]across the United States,
[00:48:39.370]where you have more walkable cities,
[00:48:41.670]you have a better public infrastructure
[00:48:44.610]or public transportation,
[00:48:48.370]and building infrastructure to reduce some
[00:48:50.900]of these potential impacts of extreme events
[00:48:53.410]which then can have also positive impacts
[00:48:56.580]on the community as a whole.
[00:48:58.570]And there's so much work that needs to be done,
[00:49:02.900]but also so much work that can be done.
[00:49:05.750]And it is such an easy win-win
[00:49:09.650]where, you know, you start developing bike lanes
[00:49:12.370]and bike paths which then promotes more healthy living,
[00:49:17.010]which then also promotes less CO2 emissions.
[00:49:21.340]These types of things just have the capability
[00:49:24.180]of really building off of each other
[00:49:25.730]so there's a lot of opportunity.
[00:49:28.600]And especially as communities are developing and changing.
[00:49:32.140]And as we're seeing here in Omaha, where I'm at,
[00:49:34.940]a large change in the community is always hopeful
[00:49:38.780]that people are thinking back to
[00:49:41.570]how do we better prepare our communities
[00:49:43.960]and also change our communities
[00:49:46.330]for the climatic events that we're going
[00:49:49.710]to be facing in the future as well.
[00:49:55.673]Kay, we have a question from Ken.
[00:49:57.400]What does the Coronavirus pandemic tell us
[00:49:59.850]about dealing with climate change?
[00:50:01.950]Oof. That's a good one. (laughs)
[00:50:07.040]You know, I think the pandemic itself,
[00:50:16.329]it's shown us a lot of possibility,
[00:50:19.550]I think, you know,
[00:50:22.640]that there is a lot of opportunity out there
[00:50:25.810]to change some of our actions
[00:50:27.520]and change some of the way that we live
[00:50:29.790]in order to focus more in on the things
[00:50:34.010]that really matter
[00:50:35.520]and not be as big with consumerism.
[00:50:40.850]It also has shown us
[00:50:42.040]that these types of events don't really stop at a border.
[00:50:46.660]That this is a global issue.
[00:50:49.630]The pandemic was a global issue
[00:50:51.290]and it's still a global issue.
[00:50:52.860]And climate change is a global issue
[00:50:54.500]and will remain a global issue as well.
[00:50:56.210]And so it shows that we really can't just pretend
[00:50:59.050]that it won't happen and hope
[00:51:00.860]that it just stops at our borders because it won't.
[00:51:04.530]But then, it also, you know,
[00:51:07.620]to some extent, it's given me some hope
[00:51:09.450]because you see a lot of people making sacrifices
[00:51:12.230]for the health of others.
[00:51:14.120]And with the pandemic,
[00:51:16.160]people were making sacrifices
[00:51:18.170]for those that were most at risk,
[00:51:20.670]which were older adults
[00:51:22.210]and people have preexisting health conditions.
[00:51:24.130]So it's not everybody,
[00:51:25.020]but they were making a sacrifice for others.
[00:51:32.260]I say that, but then also,
[00:51:35.350]with climate change it's the same thing.
[00:51:37.470]There might be sacrifices that we have to make,
[00:51:39.810]but it's for the next generation
[00:51:41.440]or for the younger generation
[00:51:44.090]that are coming up, are the ones that are
[00:51:46.240]gonna follow us as well.
[00:51:48.250]And so there are those hopes, but yeah,
[00:51:50.200]it definitely, and I'll have to say with some
[00:51:53.080]of the anti information,
[00:51:56.830]anti-science stuff that came out around the pandemic,
[00:52:00.170]it's very similar to some of the stuff
[00:52:02.100]that we saw associated with climate change
[00:52:04.010]for years as well.
[00:52:05.010]And so that is like one of the discouraging parts of it.
[00:52:11.630]And Janet's question,
[00:52:13.860]she has both a comment and a question.
[00:52:16.640]Thank you for your insight and research.
[00:52:18.700]I'm particularly interested
[00:52:21.880]in the mental health impact.
[00:52:23.550]Depression and suicide.
[00:52:25.230]Are you aware of any specific preparations being made
[00:52:28.200]to respond to those issues?
[00:52:29.790]Funding or education?
[00:52:34.770]So the education piece,
[00:52:37.530]I've seen this as we've gone around.
[00:52:39.930]I know a lot of extension agencies
[00:52:42.240]have really picked up this mantle,
[00:52:44.730]especially when we're talking about rural communities
[00:52:47.480]and how some of these extreme events
[00:52:49.340]can potentially impact rural communities.
[00:52:52.170]So I've seen a lot of those types
[00:52:53.520]of educational opportunities developing.
[00:52:58.080]And I think there's becoming more awareness of this.
[00:53:00.500]I actually was a part of a podcast
[00:53:02.330]that came out a couple like,
[00:53:04.780]well, I don't know if it's officially out yet,
[00:53:06.180]but I got interviewed for it a couple of weeks ago.
[00:53:09.300]And that was around mental health.
[00:53:12.550]And it was associated with droughts
[00:53:15.790]because they're in a big drought right now
[00:53:17.310]in the Southwestern part of the United States.
[00:53:19.770]And the reason that it occurred was
[00:53:22.130]because this particular podcast,
[00:53:23.850]which was focused more on farmers,
[00:53:26.090]they were interviewing a rancher in the Southwest part
[00:53:28.810]of the US and he talked about,
[00:53:30.850]he's like, "Yeah, you know, water resource,"
[00:53:32.440]and all this other stuff, but he's like, "I'm stressed."
[00:53:34.210]He's like, "This is impacting me.
[00:53:36.893]This is impacting my livelihood."
[00:53:39.530]And after they listened to that conversation,
[00:53:41.830]they realized that they were like,
[00:53:43.010]we wanted to do that particular podcast,
[00:53:45.380]which is through the USDA,
[00:53:46.740]wanting to do something that was more tailored
[00:53:48.630]around mental health impacts
[00:53:51.070]and just bringing awareness to it.
[00:53:54.800]And some of the state funding
[00:53:59.880]through CDC has been around mental health,
[00:54:02.250]but there's definitely much more work that needs to be done.
[00:54:05.250]And that's the unfortunate part of it.
[00:54:08.280]Rural communities, there's typically less access to care.
[00:54:12.070]I mean, there's already access to care issues
[00:54:13.920]in rural communities,
[00:54:14.753]but especially with when it comes to mental health.
[00:54:17.690]And so a lot of the resources aren't there
[00:54:20.010]and we also,
[00:54:25.450]is that all so stoic,
[00:54:27.110]I can handle it type of mentality as well.
[00:54:33.300]So there's still a lot of work that needs to be done
[00:54:35.210]and I think bringing attention to this is the best way
[00:54:37.820]of trying to get that moving forward.
[00:54:42.370]Okay, we have about four minutes
[00:54:44.010]and about two more questions.
[00:54:45.930]Patricia says, "It's not climate change, a noun,
[00:54:49.940]it's changing climate, a verb.
[00:54:52.660]We do not really know where we are
[00:54:54.260]in the process of this change.
[00:54:55.990]We're not in the middle of it.
[00:54:57.880]I'd be curious what research has been done
[00:54:59.800]on Arctic blasts coming from the North
[00:55:02.960]that will be sitting on top of the plains states to come?
[00:55:08.500]You know, and the recent event
[00:55:11.660]that happened this last winter is a great example of that.
[00:55:15.910]I know that there's been a lot
[00:55:17.010]of work trying to better understand,
[00:55:20.560]you know, some of these types of changes.
[00:55:22.760]Yeah, I talked about it with winter storms and how,
[00:55:28.016]you know, we're actually seeing an increase
[00:55:30.060]in the frequency of and intensity of winter storms.
[00:55:33.930]And a lot of times that's kind of counterintuitive.
[00:55:36.830]People don't really think of it that way, right.
[00:55:38.740]You see a increase in temperature,
[00:55:40.460]but you're seeing more winter storms.
[00:55:43.030]But I also talked about
[00:55:44.340]how we're expecting, in the future,
[00:55:48.470]that this part of the United States
[00:55:50.130]will likely get more winter precipitation.
[00:55:53.920]It doesn't mean that we're not going to get winters,
[00:55:56.670]it just means that the way that winters manifest
[00:55:59.760]might be different.
[00:56:00.710]And so we might see more
[00:56:01.810]of these types of storm-like events.
[00:56:04.440]And as you were talking about,
[00:56:07.560]that's one of the, and so I should just say there's a lot
[00:56:10.510]of work that's happening in NASA and NOAA,
[00:56:12.630]and in different organizations that are trying
[00:56:14.400]to understand some of these relationships
[00:56:16.040]with like the,
[00:56:18.310]and also across academic centers across the United States,
[00:56:20.970]looking at things like the polar vortex
[00:56:23.960]and change in jet stream.
[00:56:26.440]And that's also she just talks about
[00:56:30.590]like the interconnectedness of all of this as well
[00:56:33.680]because we're seeing greater changes in temperature
[00:56:37.670]at higher, like more northern latitudes.
[00:56:43.120]Those greater changes in temperature
[00:56:44.720]are de-stabilizing the jet stream up
[00:56:47.340]around the Arctic, especially during the winters,
[00:56:49.490]where you see these types of events occur,
[00:56:51.430]where you see a dropdown of the jet stream
[00:56:54.780]which then potentially leads to these freezing events
[00:57:00.040]and very cold, sustained cold events.
[00:57:03.190]And so there's a lot more work
[00:57:05.190]that obviously needs to go into it,
[00:57:06.770]but it also talks about the ripple effects
[00:57:09.060]across our global system
[00:57:11.020]and how one change somewhere
[00:57:13.680]might actually have impacts on us thousands of miles away,
[00:57:18.010]but we're just not aware of it yet.
[00:57:22.000]And Molly asks,
[00:57:23.357]"Is extreme heat the biggest health risk
[00:57:26.410]because it happens in many places?"
[00:57:30.163](sighs) I would say it is and I would also,
[00:57:37.270]I would say all of them are pretty equal as far as the risk.
[00:57:40.220]And if you're in the middle of a disaster,
[00:57:42.030]that's the risk that you're most worried about
[00:57:43.880]or the next potential disaster as well,
[00:57:46.660]or recovering from that particular disaster.
[00:57:50.740]Heat is obviously one that is of concern.
[00:57:54.830]And, you know, honestly,
[00:57:56.010]there's more work that needs to be got,
[00:57:57.860]that needs to go into understand the impacts
[00:58:00.590]of extreme heat on human health
[00:58:02.600]because it does cause so many deaths
[00:58:04.420]and it does occur so often across the United States.
[00:58:07.750]It's kind of this forgotten issue
[00:58:10.330]where a lot of times it's kind of in the background.
[00:58:12.190]People are like, "Oh, it's hot."
[00:58:13.730]But then all of a sudden you see a hospital report come out
[00:58:17.040]and they said, you know,
[00:58:18.490]there was a increase in emergency room visits
[00:58:21.450]on extreme heat day by 50 people.
[00:58:25.350]Well, we understand now,
[00:58:26.790]especially with the pandemic,
[00:58:27.910]what those changes and those fluctuations
[00:58:30.860]in hospital's capacity means.
[00:58:36.451]And you know, there's a lot more that needs to be done,
[00:58:38.370]especially in rural communities,
[00:58:39.710]for better preparedness
[00:58:43.030]and understanding some of these potential impacts.
[00:58:46.970]Unfortunately, as typical of many things,
[00:58:50.240]it's not until you see something very severe,
[00:58:52.250]very impactful, that we actually prepare for it,
[00:58:55.770]for the next one.
[00:58:57.260]And so, yeah.
[00:59:00.820]My goal is to try to do it before it happens.
[00:59:03.880]And so that we might not even notice
[00:59:05.610]that this type of event or any type of event occurs
[00:59:08.850]with much as far as human health impacts.
[00:59:14.890]And the final question from Benjamin.
[00:59:17.920]Are there projects that students can participate
[00:59:20.830]in regarding the environmental protection
[00:59:23.260]in the health sector?
[00:59:24.790]Oh, of course!
[00:59:26.040]Of course. There's so much work that can be done.
[00:59:30.330]You know, it's everything from working
[00:59:32.160]with local public health departments
[00:59:34.138]and trying to devise a better understanding
[00:59:37.720]of some of these issues
[00:59:39.081]to working with academic partners
[00:59:41.850]and participating in some of the work
[00:59:45.630]You know, and people like me are always looking
[00:59:49.040]for help and assistance in dealing
[00:59:51.920]with some of these issues.
[00:59:54.147]There's tons of work and students are definitely needed
[00:59:57.270]in trying to help address some of these issues as well.
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