Climate Change: The Biggest Health Problem In The World

MONTRÉAL, Quebec—Warming of the subarctic permafrost. Asthma exacerbated by wildfires. Changes in the diet of the Dene people.
What she witnessed as a Yellowknife, Northwest Territories emergency physician motivated Courtney Howard to do more than treat people affected by climate change. After helping lead the Canadian Medical Association’s divestment from fossil fuels, she became International Policy Coordinator for the 2018 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change.
Following her August 3 address at the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations conference, the fast-talking, funny and persuasive Howard described the health impact of climate change, why medical education needs to adapt to a changing climate and how individuals can take action.


  • “I live in a place that is so obviously melting, that I haven't met a climate change denier since I moved north.”
  • “[Physicians] are the natural content experts in terms of framing in the most productive way the most important issue of our time—in the last remaining time window for productive action.”

Brian W. Simpson, Global Health NOW

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