How fossil fuel-derived pesticides and plastics harm health, biodiversity, and the climate

The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology
From Barbara Demeneix


Three global challenges menace survival as we know it: climate change, loss of biodiversity, and chemical pollution (including endocrine-disrupting chemicals). These threats are more strongly interlinked than previously thought by their common origins in fossil fuels such as coal, oil, or gas, including that derived from fracking.

It is well established that accumulation of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (CO2, methane, and N2O) in the atmosphere is the main driver of climate change. However, policy makers and the general public need to better appreciate the links of each of these threats to life.
The foremost threats are chemical pollution, plastic pollution, and loss of biodiversity, as each is largely linked to the fossil fuel industry. The argument is that not only can these threats be averted, but also by reducing our dependence on fossil fuel usage we can simultaneously mitigate and eventually reverse the current climate crisis and improve environmental wellbeing and human health. If we are to embrace these economic transitions which are so urgently required, a deeper understanding of the interlinked mechanisms is needed.

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