A Call to Action—Not an Obituary

A residents watches as debris is cleared from his boat dock after Hurricane Ida. Cocodrie, Louisiana. September 1, 2021. Image: Mark Felix/Bloomberg/Getty
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A residents watches as debris is cleared from his boat dock after Hurricane Ida. Cocodrie, Louisiana. September 1, 2021. Image: Mark Felix/Bloomberg/Getty

230+ medical journals have united in publishing an unprecedented joint statement warning leaders worldwide that climate change is the “greatest threat” to global public health and requires the same laser focus given to COVID-19.
 
The dire warning, published everywhere from The Lancet to the Chinese Science Bulletin, comes ahead of the COP26 climate summit in November, Axios reports.  

  • The editors warn that heat-related mortality among over-65s has risen more than 50% in the past 20 years, and extreme weather continues to tax public health systems, NPR reports.  

  • Latest example: Hurricane Ida, which led to dozens of deaths across the US, from flash flooding to carbon monoxide poisoning caused by generator use during power outages.

 
Scientists warn that warming needs to stay under 3 degrees—currently the world is on track to exceed that by 2100.

  • Solutions require government-supported overhauls of transport and food systems, cities, financial and health systems, and more.

 
The Quote:
 “The point of this is not to say the sky is falling,” says New England Journal of Medicine editor-in-chief Eric Rubin. “I'd like this to be more of a call to action than an obituary on our planet.”
 
 
Related: 
 
Climate groups call for COP26 summit delay over vaccines, costs – Thomson Reuters Foundation
 
COP26 summit urged to prioritise adaptation as 'climate emergency' surges – Thomson Reuters Foundation
 
Climate disasters will strain our mental health system. It’s time to adapt. – The
Washington Post

We’ve been radically underestimating the true cost of our carbon footprint – Vox

Pregnant people are among the most vulnerable to natural disasters. Climate change is making it worse, experts say. – The Lily

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