Billionaire Tom Steyer is crusading to get Barack Obama to heed his message that climate change should be front and central in national policy discourse. As the Guardian reports below, Mr. Steyer has spent millions pressing for policymakers to support climate action, and he can certainly afford to do so. But while money talks, so do health stats. Medical professionals are considered the nation’s most highly trusted and accessible leaders. When the Surgeon General called climate change a "serious, immediate and global threat to human health", national leaders listened. Last year, in the British medical journal The Lancet, a group of leading doctors and public health experts said that climate change "threatens to undermine the last half century of gains in development and global health." What happened? The report garnered widespread media attention and people paid attention. Now is the time for health professionals to leverage our knowledge on the impacts of climate change on public health, and inspire other national leaders to take action. Lead by example and engage others in climate solutions.
By Suzanne Goldenberg I January 11, 2016
Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer pressed Barack Obama on Monday to go out with a bang and make global warming central to the message of his last State of the Union address.
In a conference call with reporters, Steyer said the speech on Tuesday offered one of the last high-visibility moments for Obama to make his case to the American public for a transformation of the US energy and climate system.
The last year was a banner year for climate change – with the Paris climate agreement, the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, an effective ban on Arctic drilling, and the finalization of rules cutting carbon pollution from power plants, Steyer told the call.
“This is a great opportunity to make that case and make sure that the moves we made are decisive and irrevocable,” Steyer said. “He is obviously not going to get specific climate legislation through by the end of his administration … This is a chance for him to really address Americans and explain to them what he has been doing, why it still needs to be done, and why it is so important.”
Stay connected and get updates from Climate for Health.Subscribe