The Intersection of Climate Change and Political Accountability: Chronic Kidney Disease and the Impeachment of Ken Paxton

Ben H.

Hatched by Ben H.

Sep 09, 2023

4 min read


The Intersection of Climate Change and Political Accountability: Chronic Kidney Disease and the Impeachment of Ken Paxton


Climate change and political accountability may seem like unrelated topics, but recent events have highlighted their interconnectedness. This article explores the alarming rise of Chronic Kidney Disease of Non-traditional origin (CKDnt) due to climate change and the impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, shedding light on the common points between these seemingly disparate issues.

Climate Change and Chronic Kidney Disease:

As the world grapples with the consequences of climate change, one of the lesser-known but increasingly prevalent diseases is CKDnt. First observed among El Salvador's sugarcane workers, this disease primarily affects outdoor laborers who endure grueling hours in high heat conditions. With rising global temperatures, CKDnt cases are on the rise, making it arguably the world's first occupational disease caused by climate change. Similar to a coal miner's black lung, CKDnt can be prevented with the implementation of workplace safety standards.

Epidemiologist Jason Glaser emphasizes the widespread nature of CKDnt, stating that wherever heavy work coincides with high heat and poor labor protections, the disease becomes evident. This link between climate change and occupational health risks underscores the urgent need for action to protect workers worldwide. The United States Occupational Safety and Health Association has been tasked with establishing federal heat safety standards, but their implementation may take several years.

Climate Change and Acute Kidney Injuries:

Extreme weather events resulting from climate change also pose a risk to kidney health. Doctor Farhad Modarai, the chief clinical officer for population health at Strive Health, explains that outdoor laborers face increased risks due to excessive heat waves and air pollution, leading to dehydration, fatigue, and kidney damage. Sweating excessively in high temperatures increases the likelihood of urinary tract infections and kidney stones, which can cause cumulative kidney damage.

Furthermore, the wildfire smoke that engulfed parts of the United States earlier this summer exacerbates the problem. The microscopic particles carried by the smoke can reach the bloodstream and ultimately affect the kidneys, leading to long-term damage. It is crucial to recognize the impact of climate change on acute kidney injuries and take proactive measures to mitigate these risks.

Political Accountability and the Impeachment of Ken Paxton:

In a separate but equally significant development, the impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sheds light on the importance of political accountability. Paxton, a Republican facing multiple allegations of misconduct, was impeached by the Texas House of Representatives, suspending him from office pending a trial in the Senate.

The impeachment documents outlined various charges against Paxton, including conspiracy, dereliction of duty, misapplication of public resources, unfitness for office, bribery, obstruction of justice, false statements, and conspiracy. This historic move highlights the significance of holding public officials accountable for their actions and ensuring that the rule of law prevails.

The Connection:

Although seemingly unrelated, the rise of CKDnt due to climate change and the impeachment of Ken Paxton share a common theme - the need for accountability. Both issues underscore the importance of recognizing the consequences of actions and implementing measures to prevent harm.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Prioritize workplace safety: Governments and employers should prioritize the safety of outdoor laborers by implementing heat safety standards and ensuring adequate labor protections. This includes providing adequate rest breaks, access to shade, and hydration facilities.
  • 2. Raise awareness: It is crucial to raise awareness about the impact of climate change on kidney health and the need for preventive measures. Public education campaigns can help inform individuals about the risks and encourage proactive action.
  • 3. Support political accountability: Citizens must actively engage in holding public officials accountable for their actions. By participating in elections, staying informed about the conduct of elected representatives, and supporting transparency and ethics in government, individuals can contribute to a more accountable political system.


The intersection of climate change and political accountability may not be immediately apparent, but the rise of CKDnt and the impeachment of Ken Paxton highlight the common need for action and accountability. By prioritizing workplace safety, raising awareness about climate change's impact on kidney health, and supporting political accountability, individuals and governments can work towards a more sustainable and responsible future. As climate change continues to shape our world, it is essential to address its consequences and ensure a just and equitable society for all.

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