The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the foundational United Nations body responsible for assessing the science related to climate change. Founded in 1988, the IPCC is now in its sixth assessment cycle, with a synthesis report from the three working groups that will roll out in 2021, and be finalized in the first half of 2022. The three working groups are: 1. The physical science basis, 2. Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, and 3. Mitigation of climate change. The IPCC authors and editors list (for section 1, 2, and 3) is extensive and highly international. The Chair’s vision paper for the sixth assessment is also available, and lays out both the report methodology and discusses the strategic positioning of this work and its timing.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has created a web database of resources intended for “planners, policy makers, and those working at the policy/practice interface” related to climate change and health. The collection is just over 100 different free online publications with an easy-to-navigate filter spanning categories like "health impacts of climate change,” “early warning systems,” and “building resilience of health systems.”
The Rockefeller Foundation’s program at Oxford Martin School had a productive 2018 and continues to produce a range of high quality, downloadable pdf reports. The breadth of the related sciences of planetary health make it difficult to present a coherent editorial narrative, but these reports connect policy/economics and health with issues like global warming, air pollution, sanitation, and infectious diseases. Most recently Climate Change, Flooding, and Mental Health and Evidencing Links between Biodiversity and Health: A Rapid Review with a Water Quality Case Study
Practice Greenhealth, the go-to source for sustainability initiatives, has launched a new web site in advance of next month’s CleanMed conference. Practice Greenhealth features a ton of quality webinars, resource kits, calculators, connections to training/consultation, and multiple levels of membership. If you’re not already signed up and using it, visit the site to get connected and launch your own project in a hospital or health system.
See Rolling Stone’s article this week by environmentalist, 350.org co-founder and anti-carbon godfather Bill McKibben highlighting the possible trajectory for our species (and, to be fair, lots of other species). The piece is part of the promotion of McKibben’s newest book: Falter.
“We're at a bleak moment in human history -- and we'll either confront that bleakness or watch the civilization our forebears built slip away.”
…was released the day after Thanksgiving, November 23, 2018. It is an annual report that outlines climate effects and impacts across a range of sectors. It includes a section on health (section 6), though all climate issues identified in the report (and especially Economy, Water, and Agriculture) are interconnected and arguably only meaningful from the impact on human health and well being.
Friend of the PHN! blog Juanita Constible, Senior Advocate, Climate and Health, Climate and Clean energy program at NRDC, published a blog post recently on adaptation, how it connects to mitigation efforts, and introduces us to adaptation co-benefits. Especially in light of the most recent IPCC report, these blended, urgent approaches are encouraging and essential.
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has adopted and published a brief position paper declaring that “climate change presents the single largest threat to global development with the potential to undermine the past 50 years of public health gains.” The paper, which can be read and downloaded here, outlines both mitigation and adaptation strategies for nursing as a profession and individuals.
Disaster-related mortality and morbidity are already difficult to assess and inconsistently measured across the world. In the United States, effects on vulnerable populations are often underreported or under-assessed. (The recent articles challenging the official Hurricane Maria reports of deaths in Puerto Rico are alarming in many dimensions.) We’ve added a new guide to the resource page today, the BMJ Best Practice Guide to Mental Health Response to Disasters and Other Critical Incidents.