Letter: Climate change causes public health emergency

April 21, 2014

Categories: Climate change, Member news, Plains Speaking

The following is written by doctors who are Northern Plains members:

As local health professionals who care about the health of our patients and community, we feel responsible to speak out when public health is in danger. Climate change is the greatest threat to human health and survival.

We are already seeing direct and indirect effects of injuries and deaths from wildfires, flooding and droughts; extreme heat-related illness; allergies and air pollution-related illness; and climate-sensitive infectious diseases.

Given the health implications of climate change for current and future generations, major associations of health professionals, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, and American Public Health Association, recognize the dangers of climate change and have called for actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Solutions to climate change have the co-benefit of reducing chronic medical conditions and their costs.

This is a public health emergency. We must cut our fossil fuel use roughly in half by 2030, by transitioning to clean, safe renewable energy sources and by increased energy efficiency and conservation. We urge all citizens to advocate for local and national policies to reduce the contributing factors to climate change. For more information, visit Climate911.org.

Robert Byron, MD MPH

Lori Byron, MD
Hardin

David Lehnherr, MD
Red Lodge

Kathleen Masis, MD
Billings

Billings Gazette
April 21, 2014

Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/mailbag/climate-change-causes-public-health-emergency/article_1feba385-2c33-57c2-8eab-21f0eae1fe69.html#ixzz2zXh2Fl1e

 

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