Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Health and climate change report

Apparently a group called the "2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change" have released a report. I am sitting in a presentation by the authors (Neil Adger, Nick Watts and Anthony Costello). They say the report is available free from the Lancet website, but I am having difficulty finding the actual report, which may be titled "Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health" (23 June 2015
S0140-6736(15)60854-6). A Google Scholar search did not find it.
"The 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change maps out the impacts of climate change, and the necessary policy responses, to ensure the highest attainable standards of health for populations worldwide. This Commission is multidisciplinary and international, with strong collaboration between academic centres in Europe and China. The central finding from the Commission is that tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century."
 The quality of the sound on the video link from the UK is also low so I can't quite hear what the speakers are saying. It is unfortunate that the authors put so much effort into writing a report but did not expend the required effort on distributing the results.

As far as I can tell the content of the  report is the same sort of well meaning but counter-productive material which as been produced by climate scientists, but from a health perspective. The problem is when scientists and specialists try to explain climate change to the general public. By providing simplified explanations they open themselves up to attacks from those with a vested interest in delaying action on climate change and still can't make it simple enough for the general public to understand. At best the public and decision makers will be confused, at worst they will think the scientists are trying to trick them.

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