5 Ways that Healthcare is Helping to Counter Climate Change

By path2positive

In his National Geographic interview of Australian author Tim Flannery below, Simon Worrall highlights the many positive actions that have been taken, and are helping, to counter climate change. Flannery's new book points out how these initiatives are driving down consumption and ratcheting up results. But you don't need to look internationally to hear stories about climate leadership or successful action. Take US healthcare, for example. There is momentum building on climate solutions in the healthcare sector that medical professionals should applaud.

1. Hospitals across the country are beginning to make changes to their food selections, in terms of what they order, where they order from, and by reducing food waste, in an effort to create a more sustainable food system.

2. Acknowledging that healthcare facilities spend a tremendous amount on products every year (to the tune of $200 billion annually), some of these institutions are now working to institute Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP). EPP aims to buy products with reduced environmental and human health impacts, creating more sustainable healthcare.

3. An increasing number of hospitals are exploring the use of renewable energy as a means of reducing their environmental footprint, while simultaneously divesting from fossil fuels.

4. Healthcare facilities are "going green" in an attempt to make their internal environments more sustainable for the world and their patients.

5. Healthcare professionals are engaging on climate solutions. We're learning how to communicate on climate, reach across sector aisles, and raise discussions about what we can be doing within our practices to contribute to clean energy and sustainability choices.

And Now for Some Good News About Climate Change

National Geographic

By Simon Worrall I October 21, 2015

There are now only 39 days to go until the world’s nations convene in Paris for the United Nations Climate Summit. Six years ago, talks in Copenhagen ended in chaos. Is there any reason to suppose Paris will deliver anything more than well-padded expense accounts for delegates and hot air on the issues?

In his new book, Atmosphere of Hope: Searching For Solutions To The Climate Change Crisis, best-selling Australian author Tim Flannery counsels cautious optimism by showing how the millions of small actions taken by individuals are driving down oil consumption and points out how new “Third Way” carbon-capture technologies promise to reduce emissions and create massive economic opportunities.

Speaking from a café in Melbourne, he explains how the plastic housing on his cell phone is reducing climate change; why geo-engineering is a disastrous idea; and how he is inspired by the desire to leave a better world for his three children.

A major climate change summit is about to take place in Paris. Is there any reason to assume that this won’t be another missed opportunity?

We can already proclaim it a success at least as far as the unconditional pledges that have been made in the run up to the summit. They are now sufficient to get us off the worst-case scenario trajectory of the last decade, when emissions were at the worst extent imaginable.

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