A Call For Health Leaders To Speak Out on Climate Change
In 2014, the climate movement lost a true pioneer. Public health researcher Tony McMichael, who was the first to make the link between global health and climate, passed away in September at the age of 71.
As this NPR article explains, many of the 300+ scientific papers McMichael published over course of his career were focused on how erratic and extreme weather can lead to health problems. One of his last papers, published in May of 2014, called on health professionals to speak out on climate change.
Since McMichael first brought the connection between health and climate to light in 1993, we’ve seen mounting evidence that many of the impacts he predicted are starting to happen. Awareness of this issue is growing – last month, CDC held their first-ever Grand Rounds focused on climate change and health. But we still have a long way to go. A recent study found that only 1/3 of Americans think people are currently being harmed by climate change.
ecoAmerica’s newest MomentUs program, Climate for Health, empowers health leaders to respond to McMichael’s plea. We offer tools and resources to help health professionals address the health challenges of climate change, raise awareness within the health sector and among the general public, and foster support for climate solutions.
Join us on the Path to Positive.
Joanne Silberner, contributor to NPR
When I asked climate change expert Tony McMichael back in March how he thought the world would deal with climate change, he said, “It’s likely to be an extraordinary century and we’re going to have to have our wits about us to get through it.”
But the legions of scientists he inspired will have to go on without him. McMichael died in September in his native Australia from complications of pneumonia, leaving behind the fledgling field he founded — determining the health effects of climate change.
As we look back on the people we lost in 2014, McMichael stands out as a pioneer and prophet.
Image credit: James Giggacher/Courtesy of Australian National University