Introduction to Human Health, Ecosystems, and Poverty Reduction
Our understanding of the human health impacts of global environmental change resembles ancient maps of the world in which large swaths of the globe were blank with only the words “terra incognita” scrolled across their surfaces and the occasional arrow warning “this way lurk monsters.” This is a nascent field, and there remains more mystery than clarity. Our goal in the following chapters cannot be to provide a comprehensive summary of all the health consequences of global environmental change: most of these consequences have yet to be discovered. We will introduce the reader to what is currently known about the consequences of different classes of environmental change. We hope that the reader will be left with a sense of the scope and magnitude of impacts that are well described, as well as an appreciation for how much remains to be studied.