Human Ecology researchers are calling on their colleagues around the world to focus on how aging global populations will intersect with climate change and pressure for environmental sustainability. In an article published in the Journal of Aging and Health (April 2011), professor of human development Karl Pillemer and four Cornell colleagues argued that environmental threats disproportionately affect the health of the aging.
“These risks are likely to increase as the effects of climate change are felt,” the authors wrote. “The older population is at greater risk for adverse health effects from extreme temperatures, susceptibility to disease, stresses on the food and water supply, and reduced ability to mobilize quickly.”
Co-authors of the new article include Nancy Wells, associate professor of design and environmental analysis; Rhoda Meador, associate director of extension and outreach for Human Ecology and associate director of the Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center; Jennifer Parise, graduate student in human development; and Linda Wagenet, former senior extension associate in development sociology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.