The Lancet and the University College London (UCL) Institute for Global Health have been engaged in a year-long research project on the health and social effects of climate change. The final report was just released.
The overall conclusion? “Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century.” It’s grim, grim stuff. So of course no one will pay attention.
Here’s a short video introducing the project:
Here’s more reading if you want to dig deeper:
- UCL–Lancet Commission: ‘Managing the Health Effects of Climate Change’ (pdf)
- UCL–Lancet Commission: Editorial (pdf)
- UCL–Lancet Commission: Comment (pdf)
- UCL–Lancet Commission: Key messages (pdf)
- UCL–Lancet Commission: Selected quotes (pdf)
- UCL–Lancet Commission: Video
- UCL–Lancet Commission: Audio discussion (mp3)
Here is a summary of the five main challenges:
First, there is a massive gap in information, an astonishing lack of knowledge about how we should respond to the negative health effects of climate change. Second, since the effects of climate change will hit the poor hardest, we have an immense task before us to address the inadequacies of health systems to protect people in countries most at risk. Third, there is a technology challenge. Technologies do have the potential to help us adapt to changes in climate. But these technologies have to be developed out of greater research investments into climate change science, better understanding about how to deliver those technologies in the field, and a more complete appreciation of the social and cultural dimensions into which those technologies might be implanted. A fourth challenge is political: creating the conditions for low-carbon living. And finally there is the question of how we adapt our institutions to make climate change the priority it needs to be.
We are so unprepared for the shitstorm headed our way.