Climate change is a public health crisis. And like any health crisis that takes place in an unjust society (case in point: COVID), it has unequal impacts — disproportionately harming low-income communities of color. 

Gaurab Basu, a primary care physician and co-director of the Center for Health Equity Education & Advocacy, witnessed this firsthand. He came to realize that protecting his patients meant more than just treating their asthma or diabetes. He had to zoom out. After being moved by the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, Basu began advocating for better policies and better education for medical professionals to treat climate change like the public health menace it is. As he says, “In order for us to take care of each other, we have to take care of our planet.” 

This year’s Grist 50 features five short documentaries on innovators like Basu: emerging leaders — we call them Fixers — who are tackling climate and justice from every imaginable angle. Check out this video to learn more about Basu and his work. 

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Discover more Grist 50 honorees working toward a more sustainable, equitable world:

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