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About the Program

"Breaking our Fossil Fuel Addiction: Possibly the Largest Health Opportunity of the Century"

The intent of the lecture series is to address current issues facing public health practitioners and health policy makers in the global health arena. Dr. Jonathan Patz will present on how the global climate crisis may be an opportunity to improve public health:

There is no longer any doubt that the global climate crisis is here and now; from unprecedented heatwaves and droughts, to severe storms and sea level rise, the evidence is mounting.  It is also clear that the climate crisis equates to a global health emergency. Climate-sensitive health outcomes and diseases are well-documented: heat mortality, vector-borne and water-borne diseases, food insecurity, mental health challenges, and more.  

Ironically, the actions required to confront the climate crisis represents possibly the largest public health opportunity of our times. Health benefits from improved air quality far outweigh the cost of clean energy investments. Upward trends in chronic diseases are now occurring throughout the world. Herein lies even more golden opportunities for public health through: first, adopting more alternative modes of transportation, especially those that promote “active transport” by foot or by bicycle, in combination with effective public transportation; and second, by reducing meat in the diet.  In essence, there is no better time to focus on health as central in the climate negotiations; and in so doing, may we move faster and further with effective actions on climate change and the subsequent health benefits that will arise from a low-carbon society.


Keynote Presentation: Jonathan Patz, MD, MPH
Discussion: E. Amy Janke, PhD, Moderator
Questions and Answers