HARRISBURG, Pa. — More than 4,300 doctors, nurses and medical students have signed on to a letter warning that climate change is a clear and present danger to public health, and calling on elected leaders for action.
Medical professionals in all fifty states urge patients to demand leaders at all levels of government prioritize curbing climate change to protect public health.
Dr. Steph Lee, a pediatrician in Reading, pointed out climate change already is having serious impacts on the health of vulnerable populations including seniors, people with disabilities and children.
“One of the main things that we see is a lot of asthma and allergies, especially in kids,” Lee explained. “We see a lot of asthma attacks because of air pollution.”
The doctors and nurses also have released a social media toolkit to help people contact elected officials and urge them to protect public health by cutting carbon emissions.
Lee noted a healthier future is possible, but it will take public pressure on those who set the policies to make that happen, and that’s what the campaign asks the public to do.
“Hold them accountable,” Lee urged. “And say, ‘What are you doing to help with the climate crisis? What are you doing to help invest in new clean-energy solutions?'”
She added investing in clean energy is not only vital to protecting from the health impacts of climate change but can help rebuild an economy shattered by the COVID pandemic.
Minority communities are disproportionately affected by the health impacts of pollution that causes climate change.
Lee emphasized this year’s election is an opportunity to demand action to protect the health of the planet and all those at greatest risk.
“Voting for climate-action priorities is a vote to protect children’s health, elderly health, everybody’s health,” Lee stressed.
Sixteen national and state medical organizations representing more than 600,000 members are supporting the nonpartisan letter calling for action on climate change.