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Consensus from the international scientific community is that climate change is an undeniable phenomenon and that human activity is responsible for most of the observed temperature increases since the middle of the 20th century. In the last decade, the world has experienced stronger, more frequent hurricanes, erratic weather patterns, and a rapid migration of tropical illnesses into temperate climates. Climate change impacts all aspects of our lives. Heat-related illness, homelessness and death from natural disasters, malnutrition from prolonged droughts, respiratory and cardiovascular decline from air pollution, and water pollution will affect communities around the globe. The poor, the young, the elderly, the indigenous and immigrant communities are the most vulnerable. Because the consequences are so severe, climate change is considered by many to be the most serious challenge facing our world today.
Addressing climate change is a public health imperative. As future physicians, our primary role in this is two-fold. First, and foremost, we must lead by example and reduce our rather large climate footprint. Hospitals and clinics are two of the more energy- and resource-intensive enterprises in our society and, simply put, we can do better – much better. Secondly, we must encourage action by educating people and politicans about the undeniable health consequences of climate change. Educating people about their personal impact on the environment is as important as pushing for policies that reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
The links below will take you to more information about specific campaigns run by SPSR and PSR and current state and national legislation regarding climate change. You can learn more about the issues by exploring the resources we’ve gathered and get ideas for ways to get involved or activities to do with your chapter at your school by following the links below.
More Information on Climate Change »