Achieving the momentum for action on climate change
What can medical students do?
- By: Anya Gopfert
As medical students, and future physicians, we are passionate about protecting and promoting the health of our patients. Climate change is having—and will continue to have—increasingly serious and unprecedented effects on the health of populations around the world. The responsibility of a physician includes protecting patients from harm, and climate change is one of the most dangerously ignored determinants of the health of humans.
While seeking contributors to this article, it struck me how relatively silent the medical student community has been on the subject of climate change and its effects on health. That is not to disregard the incredible work being done by individuals and within organisations such as Healthy Planet UK. But the buzz and momentum to achieve major political change simply doesn’t seem to exist.
The recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability paints such a