Category News

Join Us: National Health + Climate Forum

ecoAmerica’s column in the National Environmental Health Association’s Journal of Environmental Health, “Staying Cool in a Changing Climate: Caring for Health in Extreme Heat” by Nicole Hill, MPH, and Ben Fulgencio-Turner, MPP, CPH is now available in the July/August 2023 issue...

New Article in the Journal of Environmental Health, “The Climate World Is Changing, So Can We”

Over the past century, the world has experienced a dramatic increase in emissions from burning fossil fuels, resulting in changes to the climate across the globe (Lindsey, 2022). We know that the outcome of these changes on human health is far-reaching, with every child around the world at risk from at least one climate change impact such as heat and air pollution (UNICEF, 2021). The 2022 Global Report of the Lancet Countdown (2022) confirms that life-threatening extreme weather events are becoming more frequent. These risks and health impacts are changing attitudes of people in the U.S. A 2022 ecoAmerica survey revealed that nearly 7 in 10 people in the U.S. agree that climate change is a serious problem (Hill, 2022).

Reflections on COP27

It is an understatement to say that attending the United Nations Convention of Parties conference, also known as COP can be an overwhelming and humbling experience. Now in its 27th year, stakeholders gather from every part of the world to…

Let’s Talk Climate: How Kaiser Permanente is Leading and Engaging on Climate Solutions

In this episode of Let's Talk Climate, two leaders from Kaiser Permanente join us to discuss how patients and providers have experienced climate change, and the actions that they are taking: Seema Wadwha, the Executive Director of Environmental Stewardship at Kaiser Permanente and Dr. Colin Cave, the Medical Director of External Affairs, Government Relations and Community Health of Northwest Permanente. We are excited to see these partnerships grow and build momentum.

The United Nations, Climate Change, Environmental Health, and You

The leading authority globally on climate change is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) within the United Nations. Every 5 years, the panel releases an extensive 3-part assessment on climate change that explores the science, the impacts, and the solutions. In February 2022, IPCC released findings from Working Group II as part of its Sixth Assessment Report. The Working Group II report—3,675 pages long itself—focused on climate change impacts on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human communities. So, what do these findings mean for environmental health and you?

Action as an Antidote

The caption on one of my favorite cartoons reads: ”My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.” Published in the New Yorker in 2017, David Sipress aptly describes the endless stream of bad…

Remembering Hurricane Katrina

Last week marked the 17th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the failure of levees in New Orleans, and the flooding of much of the city. I was a college student in New Orleans in 2005 and when I think about Katrina…

New Let’s Talk Climate Episode Now Available: “The Heat is On”

Extreme weather takes many forms: massive hurricanes, overwhelming floods, prolonged and severe droughts- but few are as harmful to as many as extreme heat. We know that high temperatures hurt some more than others: outdoor workers, those in urban heat islands, people without access to air conditioning, or those with medical conditions like asthma and cardiopulmonary disease; recent evidence also suggests heat is linked to bad birth outcomes. 

Take A Moment

At the recent ecoAmerica National Health and Climate Forum, I was invited to present some thoughts about self-care for those of us engaged in the climate fight.  I believe we must continuously invest in ourselves to do our best work now and to maintain this commitment over time.

Climate Changes Mental Health

ecoAmerica’s most recent contribution to the National Environmental Health Association’s Journal of Environmental Health, “Climate Changes Mental Health” is now available in the July 2022 issue.

Eco-Anxiety: A Call to Action to Address the Mental Health Implications of Climate Change

Well, this is not unusual. Researchers from ecoAmerica have found that most Americans are concerned about climate change (75%)  according to their recent “American Climate Perspective Survey 2022, Volume 1” report. Not only does climate change have a profound impact on the environment(s) we call home, but it is a psychological burden for the communities that face its impacts every day.  

Every Person, Everywhere: Climate and Health at the Top of the World

The epigraph from Katharine Hayhoe’s book Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World captivates because it both provides us with a prescription for how to connect with our respective communities around the issue of climate change but also invites us to look inward to consider the parts of ourselves we can draw on to form the foundation of this connection. As I reflect on some of the formative experiences of my own life (and the writing I have used to process these experiences), I am thrilled to realize how each may permit me to relate — in some small way — to how others are affected by the climate crisis. Indeed, as Dr. Hayhoe reminds us — every person, everywhere will feel some part of the ruination climate change precipitates.

Recording now available, “Why Protecting Mothers and Minds Matters in a Changing Climate,” Climate for Health

The May 2022 installment of the Let’s Talk Climate series highlights the critical importance of healthy pregnancies and sound minds as we navigate our environmental challenges.  Dr. Cathy Jordan explains how climate change endangers the mental wellbeing of ourselves and our children, and Climate for Health Fellow Bruce Bekkar provides an update on threats to healthy birth outcomes from heat and air pollution.  They conclude on a hopeful note, highlighting how we can access the healing powers of nature and other ways to protect patients, ourselves and our families from climate change.

Recording now available, “Climate Action is Where You Are,” Climate for Health

On Thursday, April 21, 2022, a panel of climate champions from across the US joined us to share their unique approaches to local action that centers equity. From bringing students together from medical schools around the country and internationally to demand climate-centered curricula, to academics collaborating with national non-profits and grass-roots activists, their stories illustrate the power of engaging where you live.

New Policy Statement Positions NACCHO as a Key Leader in Addressing Local-Level Health Impacts of Climate Change

The current and projected health outcomes of climate change-related events have catapulted climate and health to the forefront of public health worldwide and highlighted the urgent need for resources and educational materials that inspire, empower, and encourage public health leaders and community members to take action. In response to this need, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), has updated and developed resources for local health departments in the United States that promote climate and health, a crucial public health issue and health equity effort.

Must See Health Sessions

The 11th annual American Climate Leadership Summit has just completed, featuring dynamic and inspiring leaders from climate-centered nonprofits, local and national political offices, faith organizations, media, researchers, and student groups. Day 3 was the National Health + Climate Forum, providing updates on both physical and mental impacts, equity, and actions health professionals are taking to better care for patients and motivate policymakers to make needed changes.

Building a More Inclusive Climate Movement: Climate Change and Disabilities

ecoAmerica’s most recent contribution to the National Environmental Health Association’s Journal of Environmental Health, “Climate Change: Everyone, Every Day” is now available in the March 2022 issue. If you follow the polls on climate change, you will discover something interesting: 74% of people in the U.S. are concerned about climate change, with 46% saying they are very concerned. When you ask them if others around them are concerned, however, only 23% say others around them are very concerned. That is one-half the number of people who are actually very concerned about this issue (ecoAmerica, 2020). The gap in actual versus perceived climate concern contributes to inaction on the issue and points to the increasingly urgent need for visible climate leadership and engagement. While 74% of respondents say they are concerned about climate change, 6% report that they hear people they know talking about climate change at least once per week and 13% say it is once a month. That leaves 81% who speak about it a few times a year or less (Leiserowitz et al., 2021). Why, if so concerned about climate change, don’t people talk about it?

Recording Now Available, “Climate Change and Mental Health: Research to Action”

Child resting their head on adult's chest with text at the bottom of the image reading: Climate Change and Mental Health: Research to Action
On Friday, February 18, a panel of leaders came together to bring to light the current state of the science on climate change and mental health. This webinar was co-hosted by the GW Milken Institute School of Public Health, GWSPH Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, GW Climate & Health Institute, ecoAmerica, and Climate for Health. Together, the speakers discussed how this public health threat is being addressed in clinical practice and societal solutions.

New Article in the Journal of Environmental Health, “Climate Change: Everyone, Every Day”

ecoAmerica’s most recent contribution to the National Environmental Health Association’s Journal of Environmental Health, “Climate Change: Everyone, Every Day” is now available in the March 2022 issue. If you follow the polls on climate change, you will discover something interesting: 74% of people in the U.S. are concerned about climate change, with 46% saying they are very concerned. When you ask them if others around them are concerned, however, only 23% say others around them are very concerned. That is one-half the number of people who are actually very concerned about this issue (ecoAmerica, 2020). The gap in actual versus perceived climate concern contributes to inaction on the issue and points to the increasingly urgent need for visible climate leadership and engagement. While 74% of respondents say they are concerned about climate change, 6% report that they hear people they know talking about climate change at least once per week and 13% say it is once a month. That leaves 81% who speak about it a few times a year or less (Leiserowitz et al., 2021). Why, if so concerned about climate change, don’t people talk about it?

My Experience Hosting a Small Town Climate Strike: Breaking the Intergenerational Divide

Protestors holding signs
Ella Niederhelman is a freelance journalist at the Ipswich Local News and a student at Ipswich High School. Niederhelman was certified in October 2021 as a Climate Ambassador with Harvard T.H. Chan C-CHANGE and Climate for Health after attending the inaugural Harvard Chan C-CHANGE youth climate summer this summer. In today's blog, Ella talks about what it means to her to have grown up in a small coastal town surrounded by rich ecosystems and her call to climate action.

Local Action: My Reason for Climate & Health Optimism in 2022

Last year was difficult for many reasons, and with multiple COVID-19 variants, wildfires, extreme winter storms, record-breaking heat waves, and the third-most active Atlantic hurricane season on record, many of us are understandably more concerned than ever about what the future holds for our climate and the health of our most vulnerable communities. With all of these cumulative impacts weighing on our mental health, it’s so necessary that we find hope together so we can move forward and continue this fight. Luckily, there are advocates across this country giving us just that.

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.

Climate Action for Better Health: My Top 3 Resolutions for 2022

As a Global Health nurse interested in improving health worldwide, I am guided in part by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and recognize that advancing all 17 of them contributes to the single goal of Good Health and Well-being (SDG 3) for all. Because SDG 13, Climate Action, is particularly linked to SDG 3, I was excited to register for the Climate for Health Ambassador Training offered at an upcoming nursing conference that I’d planned to attend. As advertised, the ambassador training prepared me with knowledge and tools for better climate advocacy. Since completing the training, my awareness of the impact of planetary health to human health has grown exponentially and confirmed my resolve to take action for climate change solutions. These are my top 3 climate action resolutions for 2022.

Climate and health: reflections and resolutions

At the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, the U.S. recommitted to necessary and ambitious climate goals. Political trade winds may threaten climate-smart policies, but in this season of reflection, renewal, and resolutions, we find reasons for hope. Health leaders can continue seizing the greatest opportunity of the century by working to: build workforce capacity, build community resilience, and reverse the drivers of climate change.  We also must continue fighting for strong climate policies that improve our health.

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.

Raise the Flag for Clean Air in Montana

Five children standing in front of a green triangular air quality flag

“What causes dirty air?” asks the guest lecturer in a rural Montana classroom. “Fires” replied one student. “Cars” says another, quietly. “Fossil fuels” states another, confidently. Members of Montana Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate are going into schools and…

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).

Tribal Resiliency is Leading the Way for Climate Change Adaptation… Again

As a response to these climate-related threats, the Climate Ready Tribes Initiative (CRT), funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was developed at the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) with the overall goal of building Tribal capacity related to climate health. This work includes increasing Tribal capacity to recognize and respond to climate threats, by providing support to take action, and working with Tribes to develop climate change responses that are localized and effective for their unique environment. Other activities to support this work includes hosting a Climate and Health Learning Community to share resources and connect individuals and organizations through information sharing. NIHB and Climate for Health are partnering throughout November for National Native American Heritage Month to amplify Tribal leadership on climate solutions.

To Remain or Retreat? A Consideration of Climate Migration in Hawai’i

Looking up at lush, green trees. Tall, skinny trunks with long, broad leaves.
While climate change is a global issue, each place experiences its impacts differently and is worthy of inquiry. People are bonded to place through a dynamic bond (since places and people are constantly evolving). Climate change poses a major threat to this connection. Residents of Hawaiʻi are deeply connected to their place and are therefore also highly attuned to the risks posed to their environment and community. Their intricate understanding of the environment translates to an almost innate recognition of the changes that the land is undergoing.

Mental Health and Our Changing Climate

Cover Image for Mental Health and Our Changing Climate, Photo of a woman with black hair in a gray sweatshirt holding a young girl who looks sad. Logos for the American Psychological Association, Climate for Health, and ecoAmerica across the bottom.
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.

Saving our Wetlands: A Climate Solution to Improve Community Health

Children and adults with orange buckets cleaning up a wetland with urban setting, tall buildings, in the background. Picture taken by Andrew Meyer with ReWild Mission Bay
How many times a day do you think about wetlands? Probably not too much. But you might after reading this piece. Wetlands are vibrant ecosystems that not only host and support some of the richest interactions between animal life and the planet, but also store one of the less well known keys to solving the climate change crises and health challenges we face as a society. In other words, we need wetlands for our health and future! Nature and health are inextricably linked. Accessible green and blue spaces including coastal wetlands have been vanishing due to poor coastal and urban planning over the years. We have a unique opportunity to help save these important areas for our kids and grandkids by highlighting and advocating for the important health benefits they serve. We can all advocate for local climate solutions that improve health.

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

Four speakers during the Let's Talk Climate episode
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.

Climate Impacts Children’s Mental Health: Tools for Support

It is not news that each year millions of people around the world experience mental health illness. In coping with a global pandemic, and more frequent extreme weather events, our need to care for our children and their well-being is of greatest importance. The question remains, are we doing enough to act boldly and quickly on equitable climate solutions that will ensure the future we want for our children? And, what are we doing now to support children’s mental health in the face of existing changes to our climate?

Pediatric Health Societies Support Youth Leadership on Bold Climate Action

Over the past 8 months, the International Society for Social Pediatrics and Child Health (ISSOP), has presented a series of symposia on mitigating the impact of the climate crisis on children and youth.  The multidisciplinary speakers from around the world, including youth, provided a clear and consistent message—there is little hope for a solution without a radical transformation of society, which must begin today.  Youth delivered a poignant message, a plea that continues to resonate.  The role they suggested that professional child health organizations can play is to provide them a platform to support their efforts, and access to the decision-makers who can make the changes necessary to mitigate the crisis.  They didn’t ask us to craft the message, but to help them deliver it.

Climate Solutions Benefit Children in Environmental Justice Communities

Almost ten years ago, I met Ms. Loretta Slater who had just lost her only daughter, Whitney, to breast cancer at the age of 21, after battling the disease for two years. Ms. Loretta often shares the story of how her daughter was raised in one of the countless environmental justice communities. She often talks about the conditions of the area in which Whitney was raised, and she believes that this contributed to her daughter’s illness and passing. Whitney was raised in Darlington, SC, where she lived across the street from an oil mill, and less than a quarter mile away from a sawmill. Whitney’s story is just one of many in which we see how the pollutants and toxins contributing to climate impacts also adversely affect the health of children living in environmental justice communities.

A climate advocacy tool you’re not yet using – but should be!

Climate change isn’t coming for our children- It’s here. With the newly released UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report, issuing a 'code red for humanity,' and recent headlining wildfires, floods, and other climate-change-related tragedies, the need to act on climate has never been more urgent. As Deputy Director of the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN), I love that I can find common ground with almost everyone about the importance of protecting children’s health. Children’s wellbeing is a compelling and unifying value that drives collective action, especially climate action and climate justice advocacy.

Recording Now Available: How Doctors are Treating Patients by Treating Climate Change

Doctors know how to fight disease to keep their patients safe. From infectious disease to preventing strokes, they are constantly trying to stay ahead of the next big health risk. But what happens when the climate starts making patients sick? How can modern medicine even approach a problem as big as climate change and what it could mean for our patients? In this episode of Let’s Talk Climate, we discuss just that.

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.

Want Doctors to Practice Planetary Health? Teach Advocacy Better. Here’s How…

Climate change offers healthcare providers “the greatest opportunity to redefine the social and environmental determinants of health” in the 21st century. Medical schools and graduate medical education programs can empower physicians to take this on by ensuring their curricula include robust, structured and practical advocacy training. There is no time like the present.

New initiative at University of Colorado connects climate, work, and health

For researchers at the Center for Health, Work and Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health, the connection between climate, work, and health is hitting especially close to home. With climate challenges at home and abroad in mind, CHWE researchers are embarking on a new venture to directly address the intersection between climate, work, and human health by launching the Climate, Work and Health Initiative (CWHI). CWHI’s research focuses on the intersection of the workplace environment and consequences of climate change including heat, air pollution, altered precipitation patterns and water resources, and wildfires. The work of CHWE and CWHI at the University of Colorado is finding that this local-global balance is not just the right thing to do – it’s opening doors for richer partnerships, better science, and climate solutions that are replicable in localities across the world.

New storytelling guide for health care professionals taking climate action

As health care professionals, we have a unique understanding of how the health of people,  communities, and the planet are interconnected – and the stories that prove it. Through our work, we see the impacts of climate change and environmental injustice — not merely in numbers, graphs and statistics, but in the faces and stories of the patients we care for. Health Care Without Harm recently published a visual storytelling guide designed to help us effectively use strategic storytelling and maximize the impact of our messages as we advocate for climate action. Read more to learn about this new resource.

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 Impacts of Extreme Weather Events on Child Mental Health

As the mother of two, and a faculty member at the Mercer University School of Medicine, personal experience with air pollution, allergies and health led Dr. Jennifer Barkin to launch a new, but related, line of investigation.  She broadened her research program, originally focused on postpartum maternal functioning and mood, to include a line of inquiry centered on the effects of climate change on maternal and child mental health.  Her lab recently conducted an examination of the effects of Extreme Weather Events (EWEs) on child mental health and behavior.  Read more to see what they found.

Grief and Hope in a Changing Climate

In October of 2017, I had a panic attack as ash and smoke rained down on California’s Bay Area. Days before, winds at the rate of a car speeding down the freeway, picked up and catapulted embers from brush fires into Sonoma County. For many Californians and their families, panic turned to grief,  part of a pattern that continues year after year across the world, as the intensity, frequency, and damage of extreme climate events increases. Millennials and Gen Z-ers are channeling these feelings into the fight of their lives: an urgent, radical, and necessary shift in how we approach the climate crisis and how we relate to our ecological world.  In this vein, part of my work at the Well Being Trust (WBT), an impact philanthropy that focuses on advancing the nation’s mental, social, and spiritual health, is to amplify messages and policies at the intersection of climate change, social justice, and mental health.

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.

New Podcast from the National Recreation and Park Association: Addressing Issues at the Intersection of Climate and Health

In celebration of April being Earth Month, and with Earth Day coming up on Thursday, we’re excited to be discussing a program focused on creating leaders for climate solutions. The program, Climate for Health, was founded by ecoAmerica, and NRPA has partnered with them to bring the initiative to park and recreation professionals.

Join Us: National Health + Climate Forum at ACLS 2021

Coming out of a year of multiple crises and a decisive election, 2021 is our moment to forge a path forward to a stable climate starting with ambitious American leadership on solutions. The American Climate Leadership Summit (ACLS 2021), celebrating its 10th year,will bring game-changing future-shaping…

It’s About People

As we enter a new presidency, a new era, and a new decade, we are still so divided on so many issues. In a time when we actually have science and technology to effectively research and understand the way that…

New Year, New Attitude Towards Climate

As I look forward to a new year, I cannot forget all that has arisen this past year. From wildfires to COVID-19 to the presidential election, 2020 was far from boring. Instead, it opened my eyes to the unexpected and…

Climate Action for Children’s Health

As a Pediatrician, I am well-versed in providing guidance to families to keep their kids healthy.  Cut back on sugary drinks.  At least 1 hour of physical activity per day.  Limit screen time.  Brush your teeth.  The more time I…

Climate for Health Ambassadors Training at NACCHO 360

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) partnered with ecoAmerica to host a Climate for Health Ambassadors training on July 6, 2020. This training occurred as a pre-conference workshop during NACCHO’s Annual Conference (NACCHO 360). As climate change continues to…

Then and Now: Dismantling Systemic Racism for Equity

Although the recent swell of a global pandemic and exposure of the deep-rooted heinous incidents of police brutality have incited protests, triggered a wave of statements, goodwill, and diversity and inclusion efforts across corporate and institutional sectors, it is important…

Energy Justice: A Public Health Issue

On a recent Let’s Talk Climate episode, I sat down with Surili Patel from the American Public Health Association (APHA) to discuss one of their newest priorities, energy justice. As Surili reminded us, “If it’s harming people, it’s our problem.…

Engaging the Health Sector in Climate Action

On this special episode of ecoAmerica’s Let’s Talk Climate series, I had a conversation with Gloria Barrera, RN, and Jerome Paulson, MD, about engaging their peers, community, and policymakers on climate action. This 20-minute episode is jam packed with advice…

NEW Research on Climate Change & Birth Outcomes

Last September, JAMA Network Open (JNO), the online, open-access version of one of the country’s most highly regarded medical journals, put out a “call for papers” about the health impacts of climate change.  They noted a particular interest in research…

Environmental Racism, Climate Justice, and Health

On June 11, I had the honor and privilege to engage in an energizing and powerful conversation about “Environmental Racism, Climate Justice, and Health” with Vernice Miller-Travis, Senior Vice President at the Metropolitan Group and environmental justice advocate. We started…

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

The last few months have posed a unique challenge for all of us: stay away from each other in order to stay healthy. Physical distancing is the best method we have to combat the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. For many of…

Climate Leadership Amidst COVID-19

We’re all trying to orient ourselves to a new world. We are amidst a fast-moving pandemic and economic contraction, and immediately concerned about our families and communities, and our future. As our perspectives are narrowed by the urgency of COVID-19,…

How the National Environmental Health Association Is Walking the Talk on Climate and Health

Q: Share some recent ways that NEHA has been walking the talk on climate and health? A: The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) was honored to join the International Federation of Environmental Health in celebrating World Environmental Health Day(WEHD) in…

American Climate Leadership Summit 2020 Rescheduled

In the interest of our individual and collective health and wellbeing, ecoAmerica is rescheduling the American Climate Leadership Summit to August 26-27, 2020. Given current guidance on COVID-19, and the input from ACLS 2020 partners and speakers, we believe this…

National Children’s Health and Climate Leadership Forum

The National Children’s Health and Climate Leadership Forum will bring together more than 100 leaders from organizations dedicated to children’s well-being to increase awareness, inspire action, and build capacity and collaboration to address climate change and children’s health. Hosted online…

APHA’s Climate Change and Health Needs Assessment

Climate change presents increasingly serious, complex challenges to the public’s health. In response to these challenges, the American Public Health Association’s Center for Climate, Health and Equity inspires action on climate and health, advances equitable climate policies, and galvanizes the public health field…

Turning Research into Action: Lessons from the American Climate Leadership Summit 2019

Climate change is a health emergency and requires collaboration across sectors; from healthcare professionals to research scientists, from urban planners to nonprofit organizations, from seasoned experts to students and young people. Because environmental health professionals work directly with communities and…

Asthma, Allergies, and Climate Change

I live in Washington, DC and every morning when I walk outside, there is a thin layer of pollen that has accumulated…everywhere! I have a little tingle in my throat and my eyes are itchy. I am not alone in my…

Climate change and health are inherently local: rural or urban, climate change impacts us all

Images, photos, and news coverage of climate change impacts tend to zoom in on the urban consequences- flooding in the streets after a large rain event, destruction of buildings and gas stations during a hurricane, cars buried under mountains of…

Turning Climate Panic Into Progress: Your Talking Points

If Americans are hearing anything about climate change, it is likely the bad news. Our planet and its oceans are warming faster than predicted, causing billion-dollar weather disasters, a myriad of health impacts, climate refugees and more, with little time…

NEHA’s Declaration on 100% Clean Energy by 2030

As part of the National Environmental Health Association’s partnership with Climate for Health, we are addressing climate change through clean energy solutions. NEHA’s Board of Directors approved a declaration on 100% clean energy by 2030. Carbon pollution is warming our…

Climate Priorities for the New U.S. Congress

Last month’s election results sent a clear message: Americans consider climate change a top priority, and they want elected office holders to act. As the 116th Congress prepares to be sworn into office next month, many Americans are rightly questioning…

Climate Change is Making Headlines: How to Talk About it

Starting meaningful conversations about climate change with our friends, neighbors, colleagues, and policymakers has been a challenge in the past. How do you bring up the topic? How do you have a productive discussion? Recent headlines about reports from the…


October is traditionally celebrated as children’s health month. This is a time to bring attention to health issues unique to children as they grow, and work to improve the environments they’re growing in, to make them safer and healthier. It takes…

Voting and Climate Change: Talking Points

The midterm elections are just around the corner, and many Americans are beginning to have political discussions with their friends and families, colleagues, and communities. Amongst a myriad of voting concerns is climate change. And, even though it might not be…

Three Takeaways on Nuclear Power Survey

Within the climate community, one of the greatest areas of debate is the role of nuclear energy in the mix of climate solutions. Nuclear power already accounts for nearly 20% of America’s power supply, and there are growing voices of…

July is Climate Change & Children’s Health Month

ecoAmerica and Climate for Health are joining the Children’s Environmental Health Network to put #ChildrenAtTheCenter. In January, CEHN launched a monthly education-to-action series as part of the Children’s Environmental Health Movement.  The origin of the CEH Movement, which also includes…

Now Available: June Talking Points

Download Talking Points The discourse around a warming world often gets hung up on politics, but what Americans really care about — and want to hear about— are the challenges and opportunities that climate change has for their families and…

Climate changes tribal and indigenous health

Climate change is today’s greatest public health challenge. While all of us will experience the health impacts of climate change, some groups, including tribal communities, are particularly vulnerable. Climate justice requires ensuring fair treatment of all people — regardless of race, gender…

Now Available: April Talking Points

A clean energy future is within our grasp. We can have locally-made energy from the wind and the sun that ensures our air is clean and our water is healthy. Communities across America are learning that smart investments in clean energy protect…

Now Available: February Talking Points

Health professionals have always been on the front lines of caring for their patients and advocating for solutions to America’s most pressing public health concerns. Today, as climate change delivers record-breaking storms, droughts, and increased pollution, health leaders are stepping…