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Publisher: Journals Gateway
Daedalus (2020) 149 (4): 108–117.
Published: 01 October 2020
AbstractView article PDF
While climate change poses existential risks to human health and welfare, the public health research community has been slow to embrace the topic. This isn't so much about a lack of interest as it is about the lack of dedicated funding to support research. An interesting contrast can be drawn with the field of air pollution and health, which has been an active and well-supported research area for almost fifty years. My own career journey started squarely in the latter setting in the 1980s, but transitioned to a major focus on climate and health starting around 2000. The journey has been punctuated with opportunities and obstacles, most of which still exist. In the meantime, a large body of evidence has grown on the health impacts of climate change, adding more urgency to the imperative for action. Institutionalization of climate and health within the federal regulatory and funding apparatus is now needed if we are to make the transition to zero carbon in ways that maximize health and equity benefits.