Perspectives on Climate Change, COVID-19, and Public Health from Utah

By Josh Craft

Path to Positive Utah and board member of our partner Utah Clean Energy Dr. Jeff Robison, the director of the Global, Rural, and Underserved Child Health Program at the University of Utah School of Medicine and a pediatric emergency medicine, penned a piece that lays out the commonalities between the public health impacts of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.  In “The Tale of Two Crises: COVID-19 and Climate Change,” published in the Salt Lake City-based Deseret News,  Dr. Robison shares his perspective as an emergency care physician on the impacts of climate change and the pandemic, especially among children and our most vulnerable communities. “When it comes to protecting the public from a rapidly changing climate, we are woefully behind where science and expert consensus tell us we need to be. Let us learn from this unique moment in time to plan and make the necessary changes to combat the threats of climate change.”

But Dr. Robison ends on a hopeful note, as he notes we have also seen that our response to the pandemic shows that we can take the action we need to protect our communities from the risks of climate change. “We are capable of leading the way through a major public health challenge. If we can confront climate change in the same way, we have the opportunity to lead our nation in making the transformative changes that will protect our communities, enliven the economy and lead to a more resilient society,” he writes.

You can Dr. Robison’s full piece on the Deseret News website at : https://www.deseret.com/opinion/2020/7/31/21327713/guest-opinion-two-crises-covid-19-pandemic-climate-change-economy-science-public-health-environment.

 

Path to Positive Utah is comprised of a diverse group of trusted community leaders from local government, public health, higher education, faith, non-profit and business.  Path to Positive Leaders seek to understand, prepare for, and raise awareness about the risks and solutions of climate change. Path to Positive Communities is one of Climate for Health‘s sister programs at ecoAmerica.

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