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04/03/2017

What Was Discussed at February's "Climate and Health" Meeting: A Conversation with Dr. Jonathan Patz (March 31st)

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In mid-January the CDC abruptly canceled a three-day "Climate and Health Summit" the Center had been planning for months.  The meeting was intended to discuss public health risks caused by the climate crisis and steps being taken to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases or its adverse consequences on human health.   (It was speculated the meeting was canceled because the CDC did not want to run afoul of the incoming president who has repeatedly called climate change a “hoax” perpetrated by the Chinese.)   The American Public Health Association (APHA) and others however went ahead and held a one-day meeting on February 16 titled,"Climate and Health" at the Carter Center in Atlanta.  The meeting was keynoted by former Vice President Al Gore.   Dr. Jonathan Patz, the Director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was one of the meeting's organizers and participants.    

During this 24 minute conversation Dr. Patz discusses how the meeting came about and what was accomplished, e.g., he summarizes the afternoon's panels that discussed what's being done to reduce green house gas emissions.  He also discussed how to better involve the professional medical community  and how to effectively communicate the reality of the climate crisis. 

Dr. Jonathan Patz is the Director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He is a professor and the John P. Holton Chair in Health and the Environment with appointments in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Population Health Sciences.  For 15 years, Dr. Patz served as a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (or IPCC)—the organization that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al PatzGore.  He also co-­chaired the health expert panel of the U.S. National Assessment on Climate Change, a report mandated by the Congress.  Dr. Patz has written over 90 peer-reviewed articles, a textbook addressing the health  the health effects of global environmental change and co-edited the five volume Encyclopedia of Environmental Health (2011).  He has been invited to brief both houses of Congress and has served on several scientific committees of the National Academy of Sciences.  Dr. Patz served as Founding President of the International Association for Ecology and Health.  He is double board-­certified, earning medical boards in both Occupational/Environmental Medicine and Family Medicine.  He received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University (1987) and his Master of Public Health degree (1992) from Johns Hopkins University.

A webcast of the February 16 meeting is at: https://www.climaterealityproject.org/health.  Listeners are particularly encouraged to listen to Vice President Gore's 30 minute keynote address.  

For more information concerning the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health go to: https://medsocietiesforclimatehealth.org/.

Since I mention during the discussion the Obama administration's 2016 "The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the US: A Scientific Assessment," a review of the paper is, again, at: http://altarum.org/health-policy-blog/nature-bats-last-a-warming-earth-will-exact-adverse-health-effects-but-our-responsibilities-are.   

 

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