Climate Change and HealthOct 1, 2021
The health policy journal club is an interdisciplinary, inter-professional group convened monthly by the Farley Health Policy Center to discuss timely topics in health policy. A curated selection of high-yield articles provides the basis for discussion. Past topics have included income inequality and health, professionalism in medicine, patients as consumers, and adjusting payment for measures of social risk. This page presents the reading list from the most recent journal club.
Health impacts of climate change
- Lawrence K. Climate migration and the future of health care. Health Affairs. 2020;39(12):2205-2208.
- Parker CL, Wellbery CE, Mueller M. The changing climate: managing health impacts. American Family Physician. 2019;618-626.
Health care contributions to climate change
- Eckelman MJ, Huang K, Lagasse R, Senay E, Dubrow R, Sherman JD. Health care pollution and public health damage in the United States: an update. Health Affairs. 2020;39(12):2071-2079.
- Climate and Health Datagraphic. Health Affairs. 2020;39(12):2048-2049.
Climate change and health policy
- Salas RN, Friend TH, Bernstein A, Jha AK. Adding a climate lens to health policy in the United States. Health Affairs. 2020;39(12):2063-2070.
- Dearing JW, Lapinski M. Multisolving innovations for climate and health: message framing to achieve broad public support. Health Affairs. 2020;39(12):2175-2181.
Climate change impacts health through a wide variety of mechanisms, from longer allergy seasons to poorer air quality to expanding locations of vector-borne diseases to the mental health impacts of weather-related disasters. People of color and the poor tend to be at the greatest risk of health harms from climate change. Framing the need to address climate change around threats to human health may improve the acceptability of messaging across the political spectrum. The healthcare system not only sees the impacts of climate change but also contributes to it. The health care system is responsible for about 8.5% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US; other environmental impacts include pharmaceutical pollution and waste as well as waste from single-use products. Opportunities to apply a climate lens to health policy include bolstering public health infrastructure and resilience planning, decarbonizing the healthcare system, ensuring a climate-ready workforce, and incorporating issues like housing weatherization into addressing health-related social needs.