Scientific Community Should Fill ‘Gaps Left By Apathetic Leadership And Constrained Government Agencies’ To Protect Public Health, Environment

Thomson Reuters Foundation: When it comes to our health, we have no time to waste
Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute; Georges C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association; and Ken Berlin, president and CEO of the Climate Reality Project

“…[P]olitical change cannot be allowed to slow action on climate change. … The impacts of the climate crisis can be perilous and even fatal. … Changing weather norms are already altering the transmission patterns of infectious diseases, resulting in unexpected outbreaks of malaria, dengue fever, cholera, tick-born encephalitis, and West Nile virus. Floods, which are increasing in regularity and severity, create more breeding grounds for disease-carrying insects. Unpredictable and inconsistent precipitation patterns and higher temperatures are also reducing crop yields, causing more widespread malnourishment and nutrition deficiencies. … The threat of extreme heat to public health should be obvious, but some public officials are slow to even recognize the dangers … Because of this, the scientific and research community bear a particular responsibility to fill the gaps left by apathetic leadership and constrained government agencies and make the best research, science, and solutions accessible to all. … As American researchers, scientists, public health professionals, and climate change advocates, we will continue the critical work of protecting public health and protecting the environment, doing all we can to ensure that science drives decision-making and policy” (2/16).

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