The University of California Global Health Institute (UCGHI) publishes a full slate of content-rich news stories on planetary health, with a good focus on vulnerable populations and the health impacts of climate change. Their latest story, Climate change puts heat on public health, outlines the environmental injustice associated with heat, projected changes in heat stress as the world becomes increasingly urban (60% of people will live in cities by 2030), wildfires, and newly enabled heat vectors of infectious diseases like West Nile Virus in California.
EcoHealth Alliance was featured in a late June article in The Telegraph on their work to help catalog the genomic information of the 1.67 million viruses carried by animals and birds, of which it's estimated that between 600,000 and 800,000 have the potential to transition to humans. As climate changes stress animal habitats, food sources, or bring human and animals closer in novel ways, this risk increases. Read the article or see the Global Virome Project website.
Health Care Without Harm, longtime leader in helping us understand the connections between climate change and health, is helping rally pledges from health care organizations to We Are Still In, in advance of the upcoming Global Climate Action Summit. If you lead or work within a health care organization, consider adding your voice and commitment to the Paris Agreement, joining with the 19 systems who've already signed, representing nearly $170 billion revenue enterprise across 39 states.
What Design Can Do (WDCD) is a "platform for the advancement of design as a tool for social change." Last year, they hosted a year-long design competition to identify and support innovative solutions to combat the impacts of climate change. A huge range of projects were submitted and profiled, including some of our favorites: Vertical University, Twenty, and Just Add Sea and Sun. If you've got your own design idea that needs development, incubation, and launch assistance... WDCD is starting the second round of the Climate Challenge in September 2018.
Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change, by Nathaniel Rich (with incredible photography and video by George Steinmetz) is comprehensive, moving, smart. It's an important piece of journalism that tells the in-depth story of what and how scientists and elected leaders (as well as fossil fuel companies) knew about climate change, what changes they considered, and why it did not occur.
Global news reports tell a troubling and, at this point, predictable story: it's hot, records are being set around the globe, and the effects on human life and health are serious. Wired UK has a nice article on the effects of extreme heat on the body, including discussion on how public health officials in England have created plans to prepare for heatwaves.
A new study published World Bank outlines the expected health (broadly, inclusive of standard of living measures) impacts of expected near-term mild to moderate climate change on South Asia. The book, South Asia's Hotspots : Impacts of Temperature and Precipitation Changes on Living Standards (by Mani, Bandyopadhyay, Chonabayashi, Markandya, Mosier), "hopes to create a sound analytical basis for investing in targeted policies and actions to build climate resilience throughout the region," and was the basis for a great New York Times visualization last week.
In what they term "planetary health alliance 2.0," the PHA has released an evolved "concept note" that outlines the changes and progress in the field of planetary health, and the aims of the organization as it seeks funding. Now over 100 universities, non-governmental organizations, research institutes, governmental entities, PHA's broad mission covers education. research, and practice activities as well as a range of policy advocacy and public communication activities. Keep up to date with PHA news and activities.
The Out of Eden project (with its own fascinating story), has published a blog post about a group of 5th and 6th graders who took a trip to the PHA offices at Chan. Their four steps -- walking with health in mind; uncovering the big idea of planetary health; zooming in, reporting out; and exploring what we can do, are an inspirational model worth sharing and evolving.