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The health of people and society at large is a product of the social circumstances in which we live, our networks of relationships with other human beings, and our interactions with our built environment, with nature and so with the planet. Our genetic make up and our health care service are of lesser importance.
Global warming is already having an impact on these wider determinants of health. Unpredictable exposure to extremes of weather will cause important problems for food growing and water availability. A sea level rise of one metre will displace 120 million people. The female anophelene mosquito responsible for malaria will increase its range, producing an estimated 60 million additional cases of malaria each year. All these will provoke social, economic, and demographic dislocation. For our continuing good health we must control global warming. Most observers now agree that the only practical way of doing this is to regulate our carbon use by implementing a carbon cap and trade mechanism, as detailed in Contract and Converge.
While technological fixes are important they cannot in the foreseeable future completely replace …