Tuesday , May 21 2024
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Dr Cynthia Mahoney on what the COVID crisis teaches us about the climate health crisis



Dr Cynthia Mahoney, a Bay Area Physician is celebrating Earth Day during the global COVID-19 pandemic by sharing: What the COVID-19 Pandemic Teaches us about how to stop our Climate Change Health Crisis.
With both health crises: an ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of cure:
Both COVID and the climate crisis demand early aggressive action to flatten the curve to minimize human suffering and avoidable deaths.
Whether the curve of maxing out the healthcare system’s ability to care for sick intensive care patients;
or the curve of greenhouse gases from burning fossil-fuels overheating the planetary life support systems our survival relies on.
Science matters: Our collective safety is protected by listening to scientists, who have been warning for years about the risk of a global pandemic in much the same way they’ve been sounding alarm bells about climate. And when science tells us we need to make changes to protect our health and safety– we need to act early on those warnings. “… whether it’s disease prevention or climate change, the gross amount of money spent, and the disruption to the economy, is far less when you invest in prevention than in managed chaos and recovery.”
Not me; Us: Protecting everyone’s health requires intergenerational solidarity:
We all have a responsibility to protect vulnerable groups. For COVID-19 youth are relatively spared, but we all social distance to protect our elders. For the climate crisis, today’s elders are relatively spared, but we must all protect our youth– and all future generations, by transitioning to a zero carbon economy now.
Collective Action for Collective Safety: Individuals trying to wash their hands or individuals changing their lightbulbs are royally insufficient. Collective problems need collective solutions with leaders enacting policies that enable us to protect ourselves against future risk.
Health Crises need System Solutions, we need systemic responses to an emergency: Public officials in various parts of the country haven’t just tried to slow the spread of COVID-19; they’ve suspended evictions, guaranteed paid sick leave and proposed sending cash to Americans. Climate policies can’t just focus on reducing emissions. They must provide relief for those who are most vulnerable, such as coal workers who lose their jobs and low-income communities suffering the worst effects of pollution.
Health Crises worsen pre-existing Health Disparities: We are seeing that people who live where fossil-fuel-caused air pollution is worse are getting sicker from COVID-19, and similarly today’s poor and disadvantaged will bear a disproportionately high share of the disease and suffering from climate change.
Our collective health and safety requires collective solutions and the COVID pandemic shows us lessons we need to apply to the climate health crisis in order to leave a legacy of health for this and future generations. Our Health is worth changing business as usual!
Thank you and happy earth day- stay health and safe.
learn more at www.climatehealthnow.org
@pracgreenhealth

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