The public health crisis that is climate change

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The Lancet, the leading global health journal, just came out with a searing report on how climate change affects public health. “Climate change is happening, and it’s a health issue today for millions worldwide,” said Anthony Costello, a co-chairman of the commission that produced the report. Based on research done at 26 universities and intergovernmental organizations around the world, the Lancet report…
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Implementing Adaptation for Resilient Mediterranean-climate Regions

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One of the side events at COP 22 today presented best practices and case studies for implementing adaptation in Mediterranean-climate regions, with a focus on: consumer behavior; stakeholder and citizen participation; health; and climate policy. The speakers identified ways that sub-national governments can increase adaptation efforts. Surprisingly, few of the case studies involved countries along…
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Climate Change influences extreme weather events, but by how much?

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  We know that our climate system is changing as global temperatures rise. It is also now possible, in many cases, for science to credibly speak to the influence of climate change on the likelihood and/or the extent/severity of a certain type of event. However, according to a pre-publication version of a new National Academies…
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Is Climate Change a Threat to National Security?

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COP21 began Monday with a moment of silence for victims of the November 13 terror attacks in Paris, and the tragedy served as a touchstone for world leaders urging unity and action. Nearly every speaker at the daylong Leaders Event expressed condolences for the Paris attacks, and some, including the Prince of Wales who opened…
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Climate change is still “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century”

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Two recent reports add to the growing call for linking climate change laws with public health. From the U.K., the Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change followed up on its 2009 announcement that global warming “is the 21st century’s greatest threat to human health” by issuing a new report last week that also labels…
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Cities tackle climate change adaptation

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Including subnational governments like cities in the UNFCCC discussions has been on the front burner since COP19 in Warsaw.  While only sovereign countries may enter treaties, State Parties recognize that achieving Article 2’s goal of climate stabilization will take effort from other governmental jurisdictions, as well as civil society and private businesses. And so this article about…
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“Well, I’m not a scientist either, but . . .”

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In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama picked up climate change deniers’ well-used “I’m not a scientist, but” phrase, and turned it on its head. “I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist,…
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NPR on Climate Change and Health

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Although the UNFCCC negotiators express concerns about climate change’s impact on human health, there is little in the treaty’s governance structure to induce specific action on the issue.  A 2014 round up on NPR this week singled out the contribution of Tony McMichael, an Australian doctor and epidemiologist who said of dealing with climate change…
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Mapping resilience

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As delegates begin arriving in Lima for the start of COP20/CMP10 on Monday, a new report from the Royal Society underscores the need for more urgency in climate change mitigation negotiations.  The Royal Society, which was founded in 1660 and serves as the United Kingdom’s independent scientific academy, released today Resilience to Extreme Weather, which…
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Making the link between extreme weather and climate change

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NEWSFLASH: Record breaking heat on October 25, 2014.  Read more below. This just in from down under:  current Australian heat waves are “almost certainly” a direct consequence of anthropogenic greenhouse gases.  According to the NYT, five groups of researchers used distinct methods to analyze the high temps that baked Australia in 2013 and 2014, and…
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