Georgetown researcher on climate change: Reduce contribution, care for victims, advocate

Apr 17, 2012

Physicians and nurses have a role if not "a moral and professional responsibility to act" to help to reduce climate change and help those impacted, say the authors of "Climate Change & Health: Is There a Role for the Health Care Sector?," published by the Catholic Health Association of the United States. Its authors, including Laura Anderko, PhD, RN, the Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Chair in Values Based Health Care at the School of Nursing & Health Studies at Georgetown University Medical Center, explore the crossroads of climate change, the environment and health, and issue a call for action to coincide with Earth Day, April 22.

Anderko and co-authors Stephanie Chalupka, EdD, RN, PhD, PHCNS-BC, FAAOHN of Worcester State University and Brenda M. Afzal, RN, MS, say providers should consider ways of reducing their contribution to the problem, care for those who are victims and advocate for public policies and private actions that will bring solutions.

Throughout the essay, the authors cite multiple scientific reports supporting climate change and the strong potential for harm to human health.

"Children, pregnant women, older adults and the poor are typically more susceptible to illness associated with heat and extreme weather events, as well as waterborne, vector-borne and food-borne illness," the authors, all nurse researchers, write.

One potentially disastrous example the authors give is the ability of mosquitoes, as vectors of malaria, to thrive in warmth. "With as little as a two degree change in temperature, an additional one billion people will be living in the malaria transmission zone," the authors write.

Other health impacts of climate change include poor birth outcomes (air pollution and heat); malnutrition; water quality, scarcity and disease; respiratory diseases; premature death; and psychological impacts particularly following a natural disaster.

Anderko and her colleagues say climate change will cause profound challenges for humanity in the coming decades. "Health care providers and health care facilities will be on the front line in dealing with the impacts of climate change."

"As trusted conveyors of health information for patients, community members, and policy makers, and have a role and some might say a moral and professional responsibility to act."

Anderko and her colleagues say health care providers can help address the problem of climate change and its impacts on the health and welfare of people worldwide, especially the vulnerable by:

  • Reducing the contribution to the problem by decreasing energy usage, reducing emissions and waste and rethinking food service such as serving less meat and buying locally to reduce long-distance food distribution;
  • Caring for those who are victims of climate events, being vigilant to the effects of extreme temperatures especially for the very old and young, focusing on respiratory and other health problems that are accelerated by climate change; and
  • Advocating for policies and practices that will help to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
The authors conclude, " provides an opportunity to act with courage and creativity as individuals, as people of faith, as a nation."

Explore further: Dead floppy drive: Kenya recycles global e-waste

More information: A PDF of "Climate Change and Health: Is There a Role for the Health Care Sector?" is available: www.chausa.org/climatechangerelease/

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Shootist
1 / 5 (2) Apr 18, 2012
Georgetown researcher on climate change: Reduce contribution, care for victims, advocate


Researchers at the georgetown medical??? center, talking about 'climate change'? Silly on the face of it.

Who might be a victim of 'climate change'? In fact, since climate changes all the time, wouldn't everyone be a victim?

When the climate changes (again) anyone adversely affected can just bloody well move somewhere else.

Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (2) Apr 18, 2012
Perhaps Mars.

"When the climate changes (again) anyone adversely affected can just bloody well move somewhere else." - ShooTard

Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (3) Apr 18, 2012
Isn't it interesting how Global Warming denialists are just as quick to deny moral responsibility?

Doing so is a deep aspect of Conservative Liedeology.

"Physicians and nurses have a role if not "a moral and professional responsibility to act" to help to reduce climate change and help those impacted, say the authors of "Climate Change & Health: Is There a Role for the Health Care Sector?," published by the Catholic Health Association of the United States." - article
gregor1
1 / 5 (2) Apr 18, 2012
This isn't science. It's a Catholic report to back up something said by the Pope. Much of so called "climate science" has more to do with religion than science so I guess that's ok. Who are we to question religious dogma after all. Like the Pope we all know that "97 of climate scientists" believe AGW and that they are infallible.

Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (2) Apr 18, 2012
It is truly sad that even the pope is smarter than denialists like Gregor.

"It's a Catholic report to back up something said by the Pope. " - Gregor

Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (2) Apr 18, 2012
Here is the global temperature trend for the last 15 years. 0.2'C

http://www.woodfo...11/trend

Poor Grigor.. The universe just refuses to conform to his denialist faith.