Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held the first of two webcasts in its Local Climate and Energy Program series. Outlined below, the webcast focused on "Communicating the Connection between Climate Change and Heat Health". The presentation underscored the reasons why climate and health are inextricably linked, and that primary care doctors can be powerful messengers for climate change awareness because they are trusted and work at an interpersonal level with patients. Additionally, the webcast reported on twenty years of research which indicates that hearing about climate change from friends and family is the most effective influencer for action. It is important to remember: simple messages, repeated often and from a variety of sources and messengers is key, as is knowing your audience and their priorities. ecoAmerica's research outlines the need for clear communication on climate change in order to effectively reach any audience. Patients, friends and family are no exception.
The second webcast in the series, to take place later in the summer, will focus on how public health and environmental agency officials and staff can collaborate on long-term strategies to reduce the heat island effect. To receive announcements about future webcasts, sign up for EPA's State and Local Climate and Energy Newsletter.
Note: This webcast already occurred on July 22, 2015
As temperatures rise due to climate change, the heat island effect (which causes built-up areas to be hotter than surrounding areas) is exacerbated, leading to increases in heat-related illnesses, deaths, and other health problems. This webcast will explore how public health and environmental professionals can effectively communicate and use the connections among climate change, the heat island effect, and public health to raise awareness among the public and to promote progress on these issues. Learn about:
- EPA’s new framework for local governments on communication and outreach related to climate, energy, and sustainability projects
- George Mason University’s research about the public’s understanding of the connection between climate change and personal health, as well as recommendations for effective messaging
- The American Public Health Association’s (APHA) strategies, tools, and resources for effective communication
- Minnesota’s experience communicating these connections through their Climate and Health program
The above presentation materials and a recording of this webcast will be posted in a few weeks here.
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