It can be easy to slide into a “doom and gloom” mentality when discussing climate change and health. With so many aspects of climate change adversely affecting human health, turning the tide can be daunting.
But at Thursday’s Climate & Health Meeting at the Carter Center in Atlanta, there was cause for hope — and even some celebration. During a series of special keynote addresses, climate health leaders spoke about what’s being done to fight back against climate change. As it turns out, it makes more than good health sense to take the steps to improve climate health — it makes good financial sense, too.
Sir Andy Haines, MD, MBBS, FRCGP, FFPHM, FRCP, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, led the charge. “Many of the solutions to climate change, to preventing climate change, are within reach,” he said. “If we could implement them, they would take us away from this dangerous trajectory that threatens humanity.”
Of course, steps such as reducing fossil fuel use make sense for public health. But they also make good financial sense. Former Vice President Al Gore, the keynote speaker and lead organizer for the meeting, noted that retrofitting existing buildings saves money in the future, but builds jobs now. “That can’t be outsourced,” he said.