Climate Crisis: 233 Medical Journals Call for “Emergency Action”

Something amazing happened on September. 14, 2021. The editors of 233 medical journals around the world all published the same editorial: “Call for emergency action to limit global temperature increases, restore biodiversity, and protect health.” Led by a group of chief editors from world-leading journals such as The Lancet, The BMJ and The New England Journal of Medicine, as well as the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the editorial stated, bluntly: “The greatest threat to global ­public health is the continued failure of world leaders to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees C and to restore nature.”

“As health professionals, we must do all we can to aid the transition to a sustainable, fairer, resilient, and healthier world,” the editorial says. “We, as editors of health journals, call for governments and other leaders to act, marking 2021 as the year that the world finally changes course.”

The editorial lists some of the health impacts that are already apparent as a result of the changes being inflicted by our changing climate, including a 50 per cent increase in heat-related mortality among older adults in the past 20 years and a host of other health problems related to climate change. But it also points out that “thriving ecosystems are essential to human health and the widespread destruction of nature, including habitats and species, is eroding water and food security and increasing the chance of pandemics.”

 

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