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06/19/2019

Dr. Renee Salas Discusses Global Warming's Health Effects On Children (June 18th)

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This past June 4th the 9th Circuit Court heard oral arguments concerning Juliana v. the US, a case filed in 2015 by 21 children seeking a jury verdict on whether the US government, by failing to address the climate crisis, is protecting the plaintiff’s rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  In its defense the US is arguing these children, now young adults, have “no fundamental constitutional right” to a “climate system capable of sustaining human life.”  In a May 30th essay published in The New England Journal of Medicine Dr. Salas and two colleagues agreed with the plaintiffs concluding , “As the Juliana plaintiffs argue - and we agree - climate change is the greatest public health emergency in our time and is particularly harmful to fetuses, infants, children and adolescent.” (Listeners may be aware this is my 7th climate crisis related interview since October.)

During this 26 minute interview Dr. Salas discusses her related research work, the amicus brief she and her colleagues forwarded in support of Juliana plaintiffs and other related litigation filed world wide.  Moreover, Dr. Salas explains the numerous adverse health effects children are suffering via the climate crisis including various birth defects, heart, lung and neurodevelopment illnesses, vector-borne diseases, harms from high heat and wildfire exposure, cognitive, behavioral and mental health effects, contaminated water, and numerous others.  She discusses what parents need to know or can do to protect their children and the extent the health care industry needs to (better) address its own contribution to greenhouse gas emissions/pollution or global warming. 

Dr. Renee Salas is Affiliated Faculty and a Burke Fellow at the Harvard Global Health Institute.   Her research addresses how climate change is impacting the healthcare system and developing evidence-based adaptation.She is also a practicing physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and on faculty at Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Salas served as the lead author on the 2018 Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change U.S. Salas - HeadshotBrief and will again in 2019.   She lectures on climate and health nationally and internationally, has published in numerous scholarly journals and is the founder and past Chair of the Climate Change and Health Interest Group at the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine.  Dr. Salas received her Doctor of Medicine from the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine with a Master of Science in Clinical Research from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.  She also holds a Master of Public Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health with a concentration in environmental health.

Renee Salas, Wendy Jacobs and Frederica Perera's New England Journal of Medicine essay, "The Case of Juliana v US - Children and the Health Burdens of Climate Change," is at: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1905504 

The video of the 9th Circuit Juliana v the US oral argument is at: https://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/view_video.php?pk_vid=0000015741&fbclid=IwAR3K3vnHCO4M2KlcMZ1NSQ4ua1ZZhpdyA-hONwyj6N7uS0u1X5ojmuVVkCc

The amicus brief filed in support of the Juliana plaintiffs by 13 medical societies and over 65 medical professionals is at: http://clinics.law.harvard.edu/environment/files/2019/03/Juliana-Public-Health-Experts-Brief-with-Paper-Copy-Certificate.pdf

Again, my related essay, "Can the Climate Crisis Continue to Go Begging?" is at: https://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2019/06/can-the-climate-crisis-continue-to-go-begging.html.

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