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In observance of the Presidents Day holiday, the Telegraph and Daily Gazette newspapers will not be published February 17. Breaking news and information will be updated on

Are we an endangered species?

Dixon native presents health risks of climate change ignorance in book to be released Saturday

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Cindy Martinez has helped many patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease during her long home health nursing career. 

The Dixon native wondered why there were so many cases of breathing problems. Her curiosity led to an interest in the fight to prevent adverse results of climate change, and she will contribute information about its health hazards in “Climate Abandoned: We’re on the Endangered Species List.”

Martinez, 60, is one of 22 contributors to the book, which will be available on on Monday – Earth Day. 

Her chapter deals with climate crisis and health in a way that most people can understand; it lacks of jargon and defines most scientific terms.

“We all have something different to say,” Martinez said. “Climate change and health is so interrelated because of the problems that it can cause.”

The book comes as a result of a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change finding that Earth has until 2030 to find extremely effective ways to deal with climate change. Shared concepts include the greenhouse effect, declining biodiversity, ideology versus science, corporations, national security, health and even zombie myths.

Tips are provided after every chapter to help readers deal with climate change.

“It’s a major issue of our time right now, and it has been for a long time,” Martinez said. “People are taking more notice right now.”

Martinez is a 1973 graduate of Dixon High School and studied journalism at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. After a few stints at weekly newspapers around McHenry County, she found nursing to be a career that paid more bills, and later studied at the University of Texas—San Antonio.

She’s been in Kansas City, Missouri, since 1994.

“We’re bringing more pollutants into the air, and not keeping the air as clean as we can. When people breathe that in, it’s affecting their lungs. On top of having an underlying issue, it makes it that much worse.”

Martinez also has written three other books under the pen name Kay C. Burns: mystery and suspense novels “Mommy’s Missing” (2014) and “River Stalk” (2016), as well as “The Great Planet Con: Environmental Truthiness in the Age of Trump,” (2018).

About the book

Go to for more information on “Climate Abandoned: We’re on the Endangered Species List."

The book will be available on Monday.

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