Local efforts to simultaneously address the impact of a changing climate and improve public health require broad and meaningful community engagement. That was one of the consistent themes at an October gathering in Minneapolis of leaders from 11 communities throughout the United States.
Climate change is already causing profound harms to human health. Health professionals can make a critical difference by reframing and responding to climate change as the health emergency it is. If health professionals are to live by our tenet – “do no harm” – we must act.
Covenant Pathways is a Native-led organization located on the Navajo reservation whose mission is to teach soil restoration techniques to Native farmers. Restoring soils to good health—through forest restoration and planting trees, managing grazing lands so they accumulate soil carbon, and using “regenerative” farming techniques to rebuild croplands—is one of the world’s most promising climate solutions.
A recent study finds that informing people about the ways air pollution harms brain health effectively increases demand for clean energy across the political spectrum.
The energy transition that is underway in communities across the country is also an opportunity to improve community health and well-being in the short term.
A shift away from burning fossil fuels to clean renewable energy sources can immediately benefit communities that have been long overburdened by pollution.