Healthcare take note: every greenhouse gas emission matters
From severe weather such as the destructive wildfires in California to air pollution nationwide, there’s a growing body of knowledge linking climate change to human health.
On this episode of A Health Podyssey, host Alan Weil interviews Dr. Kristie Ebi, a professor in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington, to discuss this complex relationship.
Ebi served as the theme advisor for the December edition of Health Affairs, which is fully dedicated to exploring that link between climate and health. She published two papers in the issue. One notes that the people most harmed by climate change are those who have so far contributed the least to greenhouse gas emissions. The second connects how detection and attribution studies could quantify how climate change is affecting health.
They note that while emissions have fallen during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not enough to make a long-term impact. With the healthcare industry responsible for about 4.5% of the worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, hospitals and health systems can take the moment to re-evaluate their relationship to climate change.
Listen to hear why Dr. Ebi believes individuals shouldn’t feel hopeless in the face of climate change.