The climate crisis poses a critical and pressing danger to human health. This challenge does not evaporate in the face of political opposition to scientific fact. It doesn’t slow down because of a president – and neither can we.
That’s why we’re pleased to announce that we’ll be holding a Climate & Health Meeting in partnership with the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the Harvard Global Health Institute, through the generosity of the Turner Foundation and other organizations. The meeting will be held February 16 at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
Left unchecked, our changing climate will not only exacerbate existing health threats, from respiratory problems to heat stress, it will give rise to new ones, exemplified by the recent spread of the Zika virus into new areas. The Climate & Health Meeting will address these concerns, bringing together diverse stakeholders who are facing climate-related public health issues on a daily basis.
“Today we face a challenging political climate, but climate shouldn’t be a political issue. Health professionals need the very best science in order to protect the public, and climate science has critical implications for their day-to-day work,” Climate Reality Founder and Chairman Al Gore said of the meeting’s importance.
The Climate & Health Meeting is being held following the abrupt cancelation of a major climate change-public health conference planned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin told The Washington Post that the CDC’s event was called off preemptively in an attempt to avoid any entanglements with the then-incoming Trump Administration, which has nominated several climate deniers to key cabinet positions relating to the environment and already has ordered science-based government agencies to cease the release of important public information and put a freeze on Environmental Protection Agency grants and contracts that could, according to the Post, “affect everything from state-led climate research to localized efforts to improve air and water quality to environmental justice projects aimed at helping poor communities.”
The CDC event also was planned for February in Atlanta. While there’s not enough time to replicate the full event, the new meeting will be a substantive working session.
More information, including speakers and session topics, about the Climate & Health Meeting will be released as details are finalized. To receive details as they are made available, sign up here.