Recording Now Available: “Welcoming 2022 with Climate Optimism”

The first Let’s Talk Climate episode of the year gave us lots of hope and inspiration through the topic, “Welcoming 2022 with Climate Optimism” with our guests Dr. Cecilia Sorensen, Director of the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education at Columbia University and Dr. Jay Lemery, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine & co-Director of the Climate & Health Program at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Recording Now Available, “From Global to Local: What Does Planetary Health Mean for Me?”

In the last Let’s Talk Climate episode of 2021, The Planetary Health Alliance co-hosted a great discussion with Climate for Health about global initiatives and local actions that advance climate solutions for planetary health. Just in the fourth quarter of 2021, we saw the launch of the São Paulo Declaration on Planetary Health, The Lancet Countdown 2021 report, and COP26. All of these initiatives are framed at a global scale and highlight the urgent need for climate and planetary health solutions that eliminate carbon emissions, restore natural systems, and center justice and equity. So what does this mean for our neighborhoods and communities, and how can we use these frameworks for bold action in 2022? Watch the full episode to find out.

Watch Now, “Climate Action for Women’s Health & Better Birth Outcomes”

Our most recent Let’s Talk Climate episode features lead authors of a recent special article in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics to hear more about the impacts of climate change on human reproduction and the urgent need for action to improve health. Join lead authors Santosh Pandipati, MD, Director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at O’Connor Hospital and Tracey Woodruff, PhD, MPH, Director, Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment at University of California San Francisco to learn more about the strong call for bold climate action from the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO).

Mental Health and Our Changing Climate

The American Psychological Association and ecoAmerica are pleased to offer Mental Health and Our Changing Climate: Impacts, Inequities, Responses. It shares the latest and best knowledge on the many ways that climate change impacts mental health individually and community-wide, how structural inequities cause certain populations to be impacted first and worst, and the spectrum of solutions available to build resilience, strengthen care, and inspire engagement for transformative progress. It is intended to further inform and empower health and medical professionals, community and elected leaders, and the public to understand and act on solutions to climate change that will support mental health and well-being.

Recording Available Now, “Advocating for Children’s Health: Tools from the 2021 Lancet Countdown”

The 2021 Lancet Countdown U.S. Brief was released on October 21, 2021. In our most recent Let’s Talk Climate episode, we were joined by three pediatricians – Dr. Lisa Patel, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Stanford School of Medicine; Dr. Aaron Bernstein, Interim Director of The Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment (C-CHANGE) at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and Dr. Rebecca Philipsborn, Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, Emory University – who were on the writing team to discuss key findings, and using this recent dataset to advocate for children’s health in a changing climate. This fun, inspiring, and motivational conversation covered youth advocacy on climate, medical training, and engaging your colleagues on climate, health, and equity.

Children’s Environmental Health Day Proclamations: A Tool for Climate Action

Children’s Environmental Health Day is an annual celebration of children’s environmental health successes and a day to raise the visibility of issues and challenges in the field. It’s also a day to drive collective action to address the big challenges facing our little ones. In a special episode of Let’s Talk Climate, Climate for Health Director, Rebecca Rehr, sat down with Hannah Grose, Program Assistant at the Children’s Environmental Health Network to talk about Children’s Environmental Health Day Proclamations as tools for Climate Action.

Back to School: Nursing Leadership on Climate Solutions in the Classroom

Nurses are the most trusted leaders on climate solutions. As the 2021 school year starts, we have an incredible opportunity to support youth leadership on climate action, and incorporate climate education and health equity into curricula. Tune into this episode of Let’s Talk Climate, co-hosted with the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE) with special guest host, Dr. Katie Huffling, Executive Director of ANHE, as she is joined by Linda Mendonça, an ANHE Environmental Health Nurse Fellow 2019-2020 and President of the National Association of School Nurses and Andrea Lapuz, member of the ANHE Student Nurse Committee and active member of the National Student Nurses’ Association. 

HHS Establishes the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity

On Monday, August 30, the Department of Health and Human Services announced the creation of the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE). This is the first national office to address climate change and health equity as its core mission, and was created in response to President Joe Biden’s Executive Order Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. ecoAmerica’s Executive Director, Meighen Speiser, said of the announcement, “The HHS establishment of the Office of Climate Change and Health Equity is a historic and exciting moment. We know Americans are personally concerned about climate change, and trust health leaders for information. We applaud the Biden Administration’s approach to lead climate solutions with health equity, and will be keeping an eye on the office’s activities and accomplishments to accelerate climate action.” And Climate for Health Leadership Circle Members reacted to this announcement with enthusiasm for the elevation of climate change as a top priority for HHS, and for the framing of equity as the core of climate solutions.

New Resource from Trust for America’s Health, “Climate Change & Health: Assessing State Preparedness”

This week, Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) released the first two pieces in its new series of case studies that examine efforts by states or localities to conceptualize and implement climate-adaptation policies and programs that center equity. TFAH aims to help make health equity a foundational principle of policymaking at all levels, including in climate policies. The series is meant to spotlight and spread awareness of useful models for peer practitioners to tailor and emulate in their own locations, as well as inspire additional ideas. It’s organized around two primary dimensions of equity: (1) procedural equity, which relates to the inclusiveness and accessibility of the process employed to conceptualize, design, and administer programs; and (2) distributional equity, which relates to the level of fairness in allocating program benefits and burdens.

New Let’s Talk Climate episode, “Climate Change & Health Equity: Addressing Local Air Pollution”

This special episode of Let’s Talk Climate digs into research from the Environmental Defense Fund that explores the local impacts of air pollution, and the resultant health disparities. Dr. Elena Craft, Senior Director of Climate and Health, outlines findings, and provides examples for climate action that improves air quality & increases health equity.

Recording Available: “Live from NEHA’s AEC: Together a Safer and Healthier Tomorrow”

In the spirit of the National Environmental Health Association’s (NEHA) Annual Educational Conference theme, “Together a Safer and Healthier Tomorrow,” we co-hosted our most recent Let’s Talk Climate episode with NEHA with the same topic. Our guests, Natasha DeJarnett, PhD, MPH, & Steven Konkel, PhD, MCP joined us to discuss the environmental health role in climate action and solutions, diversifying the environmental health workforce, and advice for students entering the environmental health field. 

National Children’s Health and Climate Leadership Forum 2020: Summary of Conference Proceedings Key Actions

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and ecoAmerica hosted the virtual National Children’s Health and Climate Leadership Forum in October 2020 to: 1. Share information, ideas, opportunities and best practices in addressing children’s health and wellbeing amidst increasing impacts of climate change; 2. Increase awareness and inspire action on climate change and children’s health; and 3. Build leadership, capacity, and collaboration to address just and equitable solutions that prioritize children’s health and youth engagement. “There’s a lot of work to be done, but it’s also a tremendous opportunity and responsibility. Thank you for taking this on… We all have an important role to play in protecting children.” — V. “Fan” Tait, MD, FAAP

Recording Now Available, “Disabilities & Disasters: A Path to More Inclusive Climate Solutions”

In a recent article, Krystal Vasquez, PhD Candidate at the California Institute of Technology, wrote about her experience studying air pollution from wildfires and her experience as a disabled researcher. She wrote, “while the fires themselves don’t discriminate, there are systems in place that do.” Krystal joined Climate for Health Director, Rebecca Rehr, and Adriane Griffen, Senior Director of Public Health and Leadership at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), to discuss disability rights as an important tenet of environmental justice, climate solutions, and disaster planning. You can watch their full conversation now.

Recording Available for, “Mothers Know Best: Practical Advice for Climate Action”

Listen to your mother! The age-old saying can be true for advice on balancing work and home life, getting over a cold, on losing a loved one, and increasingly on how to act on climate. Last month, we were joined by three phenomenal moms in the climate movement for a Let’s Talk Climate episode that provided a range of ideas for getting involved in climate action, talking to your kids about climate change, electing climate champions, and building equity into climate solutions.

The Biden-Harris Administration’s First 100 Days: How Did they Fare on Climate, Health, and Equity?

For the special Let’s Talk Climate episode, “The Biden-Harris Administration’s First 100 Days: How Did they Fare on Climate, Health, and Equity?” Climate for Health Director, Rebecca Rehr, was joined by Jessica Wolff, U.S. director of  climate and health at Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth, and Kineta Sealey, Policy Counsel at the Black Women’s Health Imperative. 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In 2021, NAMI will continue with the theme “You Are Not Alone” for Mental Health Awareness Month. This has become an incredibly important and resonant message for us in the past year. That’s a message we also use in climate communications. You are not alone. Majorities of Americans, 74%, are concerned about climate change, with 45% being very concerned. But when you ask those same people whether others around them are concerned, few think others around them are concerned. In fact, it’s about half in that “very concerned” category. What this means is that people feel alone in their concern about climate, which limits their willingness to act. We can be part of climate solutions by talking to others about climate solutions and building the connections between climate, health, and equity.

Accelerating Health Leadership on Climate Solutions: New Polling Results Indicate Americans’ Changing Attitudes

Isaac Newton’s third law of motion is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Recalling our physics lessons might give us some insight into Pew’s January 2018 polling results, which found a seven point increase in just the last year in Americans saying that protecting the environment should be a top policy priority.  This is a steep increase, especially compared to only an 11-point increase in the seven years before that, combined.  Attempts to undermine government agencies protecting the environment and roll back health-protective regulations – also in just the last year – may help explain Americans’ renewed enthusiasm for environmental protections. 

46% of Americans now say climate change should be a top policy priority, the highest since Pew started asking this question* in 2007. 

46% of Americans now say climate change should be a top policy priority, the highest since Pew started asking this question* in 2007.  We might be able explain this eight point jump over the past year through our increasing understanding of – or reaction to – climate impacts from devastation from hurricanes Harvey and Maria and wildfires in California.

While the Pew results reveal a deep partisan divide in prioritizing environment and climate change policies, they also provide insight in thinking about key leadership on solutions.  Their 2016 report, The Politics of Climate, found that “some 84% of U.S. adults express confidence in medical scientists to act in the public’s best interests.”  These are higher numbers than trust in scientists in general.  Key findings from ecoAmerica’s 2017 American Climate Metrics Survey bolster this idea: … Americans place the highest levels of trust in scientists (70%) and health professionals (62%).  

Newton’s second law of motion applies here: Force equals mass multiplied by acceleration. Health leaders can play a pivotal role in increasing the force of climate action and advocacy by inspiring the Americans who trust them to #ActOnClimate.  We can increase the number of people getting involved and the pace at which we are taking action.

 Health leaders can play a pivotal role in increasing the force of climate action and advocacy by inspiring the Americans who trust them to #ActOnClimate.  We can increase the number of people getting involved and the pace at which we are taking action.

Leaders in the health community face a momentous opportunity to champion climate solutions as a priority for public health, which is why ecoAmerica and Climate for Health are hosting a National Climate and Health Leadership Forum** later this spring.  We will bring together organizational and thought leaders from national health and medical associations, public health organizations, and academic institutions to collaborate on the best paths forward toward greater climate mitigation and advocacy at this critically important time for advancing public support and political will. 

Finally, we consider Newton’s first law of motion: an object at rest will remain at rest unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force.  America is a big contributor to the effects of climate change and therefore, American voters must be active in helping to solve the issue that has affected the entire planet. At ecoAmerica and Climate for Health, we are leaders in helping to connect all Americans for the common good of the planet. This begins with starting the discussion on climate and making recommendations for climate solutions.  Our partners are also spearheading initiatives to get involved at every level.  Learn the ways climate is impacting our health from the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, the American Psychological Association, the National Environmental Health Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics; join the American College of Sports Medicine’s ActivEarth Campaign; and participate in the American Public Health Association’s National Public Health Week coming up in the first week of April.   

Climate for Health and ecoAmerica can help you start the discussion on climate and implement recommendations for climate solutions in the year 2018.  Let’s get moving; the time is now.     

*From 2007 – 2015, Pew used the language “global warming” in this question, and transitioned to “climate change” in 2015 – 2018

**The Leadership Forum is by invitation only.  If you would like to recommend a leader to attend, please contact ecoAmerica’s Events Manager Ashley Lane at



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