Climate, Health and Equity Brief
Fires Burn, Oceans Bake And People Push Back
September 13, 2019
Hot Topic: Urgency and action. This week, for the second time in its history, Time magazine turned every page of its coverage to one single issue: climate change. The first time the magazine took this step—30 years ago, in 1989—no one was paying attention. This time we have no choice, as fires rage around the globe, storms bring devastation to entire nations and dangerous ocean heatwaves threaten devastation to marine life and the livelihoods that depend upon it.
As the stories below demonstrate, the need for urgent action shows increasing signs of breaking through. Major corporations are pushing back against the Administration’s efforts to slash environmental regulations. Employees are standing up and walking out to demand that their companies take action. All the major Democratic presidential candidates have released comprehensive climate plans. And polling shows that there is virtually no difference between Republicans 18-38 and Democrats on the need for climate action.
Next week, youth around the world will strike to demand a course correction on climate from their leaders, and we look forward to joining them in the fight.
—Matt & Traci, GMMB
Record heat waves that plagued France this summer have left 1,500 people dead, according to the nation’s health minister. (Newsweek)
There are 100,000 forest fires burning in the Amazon and throughout Brazil, releasing stored carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere and blanketing the country in toxic air pollutants, new satellite images from the European Space Agency show. (Gizmodo)
Raging fires have burned more than 2.3 million acres of forest in Indonesia, causing thousands to evacuate and blanketing nearby Malaysia and Singapore in smoke. (CNN)
Exposure to two pollutants commonly detected in the air in cities around the world has been linked to an increased risk of dementia, Australian researchers have found. (7 News Australia)
A recent study showed that mental health-related calls to 911 increased nearly 40% in Baltimore in the summer of 2018, when the heat index spiked above 103. (NPR)
Following Hurricane Dorian, 17 percent of Bahamians are now homeless, and 1300 people remain missing. (CNN)
Climate change-induced drought, crop disease, and extreme weather events are threatening agricultural livelihoods and driving a spike in climate refugees migrating from Central America. (The Conversation)
Politics & Economy
A huge marine ‘hot spot’ off the coast of Uruguay has caused a massive die-off of clams, and a similar heatwave in the Pacific Ocean threatens calamity for marine life and the livelihoods of fishermen from Alaska to California. (The San Francisco Chronicle)
Republicans age 18-38 share the same level of concern about climate change as Democrats, a new poll suggests, causing concern for many in the party about young Republican loyalties in the 2020 election. (Grist)
The Trump Administration has opened an antitrust investigation into Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, and Honda after they struck a deal with the state of California to reduce emissions. (The New York Times)
This week’s edition of Time magazine, 2050: The Fight for Earth, is dedicated entirely to the urgent climate change solutions that are necessary to save our planet, and features pieces from Graça Machel, Angelina Jolie, and Jane Goodall, among others.
More than 900 Amazon employees have pledged to walk out over the company’s lack of action on climate change. (Wired)
- September 12: Forests, Food & Land Day: Meeting the 30×30 Challenge
- September 23: UN Climate Summit 2019
- September 23-29: Climate Week NYC
- November 2: APHA Annual Meeting and Expo: “Creating the Healthiest Nation: For science. For action. For health.”
- November 11-22: Santiago Climate Change Conference (COP25)
Getting ready for 2020? Check out this interactive guide to see where the presidential candidates stand on climate change.
“How is it possible that the most intellectual creature ever to walk the earth is destroying its only home?”
Have feedback on this issue? Email us.