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New Field Of ‘Planetary Health’ Demands Attention, Action

The Lancet: Offline: Planetary health — the great acceleration
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet

“…[T]he present climate predicament facing our planet and its peoples was an emergency, and an insufficiently recognized one at that. Now we have an American president who is recommending dramatic cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Something has gone badly wrong in our public discourse about the threat of climate change. The idea of planetary health — the health of human civilizations and the ecosystems on which they depend — was an opportunity to establish the gravity of the danger facing humanity. … Planetary health is a new field. Half of [The Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on Planetary Health], together with a broader group of health, environmental, and earth scientists and policymakers, had gathered [last week] in New York to discuss the urgency of its development. … One book was clutched tightly by several participants in New York — Tony McMichael’s posthumously published Climate Change and the Health of Nations. … It is the first book-length manifesto for planetary health. And it comes at a critical moment. Economic nationalism has usurped environmentalism. Cooperation between nations is under threat. Multilateralism is being eroded. … He tells the story for the first time of ‘the historical interplay between climate change, human health, disease, and survival.’ It is a magnificent treatise. It demands our attention. And action” (3/11).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.