Environmental changes that have led to a rise in sea levels, increase in temperature, destruction of numerous habitats, and extinction of hundreds of species have affected the public health greatly. Because of the identified changes, the well-being of people all over the world is jeopardized. However, the lack of awareness and the pendency to take environmental concerns for granted makes it impossible to enhance change in target populations’ behaviors. Therefore, the use of social networks as the tool for encouraging change must be regarded as a necessity. As a result, people will be able to accept different behaviors and focus on developing healthy habits.
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Introduction: Environmental Change in the 21st Century
The changes that the global environment has experienced over the past few years have affected the quality of people’s lives across the globe. Since most of these environmental changes inflicted by people can be defined as negative, the emergence of numerous health disparities can be regarded as the prime effect of the said alterations in the environment. Therefore, a scrutiny of the effects that environmental change has on people’s health will have to be considered. A closer look at the issues that healthcare experts must handle as a result of climate change will reveal that the latter has caused the development of a continuous health crisis in the contemporary global community (Mar 2014). While the pace of negative alterations might seem barely noticeable at first, it will gradually lead to drastic outcomes such as misplacement of ethnic populations and irreparable damage to unique habitats. Consequently, the lies of not only numerous endemic species but also millions of people will be affected and jeopardized significantly (Goldman, Pe’er & Yavetz, 2015).
Synopsis: Key Challenges Posed to Public Health by Environmental Changes
An overview of key changes that affect the levels of global health to the greatest degree will show that the development of invasive biota the management of which has not yet been discovered must be acknowledged as the key challenges to public health brought by environmental changes (Chauhan, 2014). Pollution and sanitation issues combined with a steep rise in unawareness levels should also be regarded as the primary source of threat to the well-being of people all over the world. The specified problem is linked directly to a range of industrial activities carried out in the contemporary economic environment (Munir, Hussain, & Naseem, 2016). Groundwater pollution should be viewed as one of the primary means of enhancing the process of land and water contamination and the subsequent changes inflicted upon natural habitats. As a result, an array of endemics is affected, leading to a gradual change in the quality of people’s lives.
The lack of concern about environmental problems and the threats to public health that they entail should also be regarded as one of the key factors that lead to a rapid drop in public health levels. Even though industries affect the environment to a significant degree, the imprint left by individuals is also very significant. Therefore, the refusal to contribute to the improvement in pollution levels, as well as learn more about the ways of reducing one’s footprint, in general, should be recognized as a factor that ultimately leads to the deterioration of the environment and, thus, the rise in the number of negative effects that the environmental change has on people worldwide.
The specified problems require the introduction of changes that will lead to a rise in mass awareness levels. As a result, a positive change can be expected. At this point, it should be noted that some of the negative environmental changes have already made irreparable damage to the environment by altering habitats or destroying them entirely, as well as leading to the extinction of several species. However, it is crucial to introduce the measures that will allow inhibiting the further drastic outcomes of climate change and other environmental issues on life on Earth. Thus, the active use of innovative technologies, primarily, social networks, will have to be considered as a necessity. By using social media, one will be able to disseminate crucial information within a comparatively short amount of time and at the same time engage not only individuals but also entire communities into the process of exerting a positive change. Thus, the levels of mass awareness will rise consistently, and people will be willing to reduce their impact on the lives of living beings.
Environmental Factors Affecting Health: Key Threats and Their Effects
Key environmental factors can be divided into physical and social ones. Physical factors include the issue of global warming, sanitation problems (i.e., pollution), the emergence of invasive biota, etc. Social issues, in turn, include the lack of awareness, the creation of conditions that aggravate the situation by creating new disease vectors, regular release of chemicals, the creation of heat islands, and the gradual rise in war and violence rates (Hannigan, 2014).
Therefore, there is a close connection between environmental and social factors that lead to negative environmental changes. Particularly, a range of social issues defines the presence and gradual aggravation of environmental factors causing negative changes in the global environment. The lack of awareness is, perhaps, the most evident one. However, among societal problems that determine the development of environmental problems and, therefore, the creation of public health concerns, one must also mention poverty. Indeed, most of the environmentally-friendly strategies simply massive expenses (e.g., using the appliances that consume less energy, the vehicles that pollute the air to a lesser extent, etc.). Thus, apart from the lack of understanding of the consequences of mindless consumption, poverty, and similar economic concerns must be deemed as the source of the problem.
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The specified threats must be addressed by reconsidering current approaches toward managing public health by introducing the strategies that will contribute to the reinforcement of health policies aimed at raising awareness among target demographics and promoting healthy habits. The identified challenge can be managed to incorporating the latest IT tools for disseminating information and inviting global community members to participate in a dialogue concerning health issues. The proposed alteration in public health management approaches will help subvert some of the most common and most harmful myths about health, therefore, building the platform on which public health principles and be established and promoted to the members to target communities successfully.
My Role in Addressing the Issue of Environmental Change: Building Awareness
A nurse plays a crucial role in redefining people’s attitudes toward global health issues. Therefore, I believe that I can play a significant role in advancing the process of building awareness among the members of the global community. To introduce a positive worldwide change, one will have to focus on unifying people and creating a global community of health learners. Therefore, creating a network that will embrace contemporary social relationships and provide a basis for consistent communication between its members, including direct contact with a nurse and other representatives of healthcare services, must be deemed as crucial.
The active use of communication techniques that include providing essential information via social media and inviting people to participate in discussions about improving the current situation is what I can and should take to prevent further destruction of habitats. Drawing connections between keeping the environment safe and maintaining public health levels should also become an objective. By shedding light on the choices that people can make to avoid the increase of pollution levels, e.g., the use of specific transportation modes, the reconsideration of their waste management technique, and the focus on the importance of keeping their knowledge about the environment updated, I will be able to enhance the process of preserving the environment. Building knowledge within communities will also include debunking numerous myths about the environment, which is a crucial step toward improving the existing situation. While some of the myths about nature, climate change, pollution, etc., are comparatively less harmful than others, it is important to ensure that nothing obstructs people’s understanding of the subject matter.
Summary and Conclusion: Health Issues in the Era of Environmental Change
The climate change that has been taking place over the past few decades has affected the global community to a considerable extent. Therefore, actions must be taken to introduce changes to the current attitudes toward environmentalism and public health. People must see the connection between public health levels and changes in the environment. Thus, the active use of social networks must be viewed as a necessary tool for disseminating crucial information and debunking dangerous myths. As a result, a steep rise in public health levels can be expected.
Chauhan, N. (2014). Urbanization leading to high risk of gene pollution. International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Science, 3(4), 229-234.
Goldman, D., Pe’er, S., & Yavetz, B. (2017). Environmental literacy of youth movement members–is environmentalism a component of their social activism?. Environmental Education Research, 23(4), 486-514. doi:10.1080/13504622.2015.1108390
Hannigan, J. (2014). Environmental sociology. New York, NY: Routledge.
Mar, D. P. D. (2014). Environmentalism. New York, NY: Routledge.
Munir, T., Hussain, M., & Naseem, S. (2016). Water pollution – A menace of freshwater biodiversity: A review. Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies, 4(4), 578-580