Report calls for grassroots advocacy to raise awareness of the connection between climate and health
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Health experts say more botton-up grassroots activism is needed to make it clear that global warming poses a public health risk that’s at least equal to the impact of tobacco.
The international group of researchers published their report last week in the journal PLoS Medicine. The authors included public health experts from institutions in Sweden, Germany and South Africa.
From their report:
“It is becoming increasingly clear that maintaining a sustainable and healthy climate is something that can only be achieved by means of a concerted global effort, including large-scale and small-scale actions, in which the public health community must play an active part … As yet there seems to be a lack of coherence in terms of clear public health messages about climate aimed at populations in general.”
The authors said that there are some things that can help: “Encouraging people to walk and cycle rather than using motorised transport, and to eat healthier, locally produced foodstuffs, are clear examples that can bring both individual health benefits and reduced climate impact.”
However, moving from the individual to the corporate and societal levels needs further actions.
“In general, individuals cannot regulate their lives in terms of carbon footprint, for example, in a way that is completely independent of the societies in which they live.”
The authors argued that at the global level the need for consensus actions on climate that only governments can make is equally important.
“Public health voices must be heard on health-related issues in those circles, including lending support and influence for legislation, regulatory action, or other reform designed to address climate and environmental concerns.
“We hope that the continuing [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] process will nevertheless lead to an improving global prognosis—to which the public health community must contribute by effectively promoting health and climate co-benefits.”
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming, Health Tagged: | climate, climate change, Environment, global warming, public health, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change