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09/08/2021

Finally, the Healthcare Policy Community Formally Recognizes the Climate Crisis (September 8th)

This past Monday, or nearly 30 years after the Kyoto Protocol and 33 years since NASA's Dr. James Hansen provided related Congressional testimony, NEJM along with other health journals around the world published this editorial, "Call for Emergency Action to Limit Global Temperature Increases, Restore Biodiversity, and Protect Health," at: https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMe2113200?articleTools=true.   

Among others missing from the over 200 health and medical-related journals that signed onto the editorial is Health Affairs and JAMA.     

About the editorial noting health institutions have already divested $42 billion of their assets from fossil fuels, that is far beyond incorrect.  If you read the 2020 Lancet report, that the editorial cites, of 1,157 organizations that committed to divestment between 2008 and 2019, 23 are health institutions (most of these are overseas), having combined assets of $42 billion.  Quoting the 2020 Lancet report, specifically page 30, "However, divestment from health institutions has decreased from $867 million in 2018 to $19 million in 2019."  These amounts, when you consider the size of the US healthcare industry, trivial. 

 

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