Rebranding Climate Change as a Public Health Issue (what it has always been)

Rebranding Climate Change as a Public Health Issue |

Go Gary Cohen!

medical professionals … serve as the hubs of education for raising community awareness about the health consequences of climate change.  That’s why Healthcare Without Harm, for example, is trying to transform the healthcare industry into a greener sector — encouraging hospitals to adopt more environmentally friendly energy resources and waste management practices — and informing medical professionals about the close connection between climate change and medicine. “Healing is their core mission,” Cohen says. “It’s the one sector of the economy that has an ethical framework that underpins it.”

Ok, I’m going to quote myself (how narcissistic!) ( What health care is here for: White House Champion of Change Gary Cohen | Ted Eytan, MD)

Health care should be leading society in understanding what health is and how to achieve it. It’s not a key sector, it’s THE sector that leads the others. I think that’s what Gary meant when he said, “What is health care here for?”

Like so many other threats, If climate change didn’t impact health, if the average world temperature could rise by 5 degrees centigrade and humans were able to achieve all of the same life goals they could at the lower temperature, then we wouldn’t be (I wouldn’t be) having this conversation.

I don’t think it’s rebranding, it’s talking about a health issue, and connecting it to people who have been trusted to support and promote the health of humans. Who wants to work inside health systems to heal people, and then walk outside at the end of the day and watch all of that work be destroyed by an unhealthy environment we are helping to create?

I don’t, and I realize we don’t have to … that’s why my photos from Google Glass across America (Photos Friday: GlassMakesFriends across the USA | Ted Eytan, MD) oversampled for images of solutions that our profession can support:

Because health allows us to experience things that are just too beautiful.

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Ted Eytan, MD