In 2016 we began working to gather medical/health professionals in speaking out about the health impacts of climate change. The members of these groups share a deep concern about climate change and its effect on their patients, families, and communities. Working with these groups, we have designed and run media campaigns that reached hundreds of thousands of people. We have supported volunteers in delivering hundreds of presentations to the public, legislators and business leaders, drafted more than 50 op-eds for group members, and much more. To learn more about why this strategy is so important, check out this editorial in the journal Explore.
As has been true throughout US history, when it comes to adopting smart policy, states lead and the Federal government follows. For that reason, our work has been mainly focused on helping to create and support state based groups of health professionals. Theses groups are working to educate the public and lawmakers regarding the fact that climate change is poised to become the dominant social determinant of health driving all other social determinants of health – and to advocate for smart policy and programs that will drive carbon pollution down.
One focus of the work is education and communication through statewide forums, and dozens of presentations to health and medical organizations, including medical schools and Grand Rounds. The second focus has been engagement supporting high impact state policy with particular focus on reducing carbon pollution from transportation, buildings and electric power generation – the leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions in most states. Volunteer health professionals have met with senior state legislators and administrators including Governors, spoken at public rallies attended by thousands of people, and the like. The state teams have also delivered sign-on letters to state governments signed by thousands of health professionals.
Click on the logos below to learn more about some of the groups we work with: