A Medical Emergency Response for Today's Global Climate Change Emergency
We must prepare for the global climate change emergency ... the worst ever environmental and pubic health catastrophe
— of unprecedented proportions, affecting untold numbers of regions and vulnerable populations, unremittingly.
"WE HAVE REACHED A POINT OF PLANETARY EMERGENCY...."
"Global warming IS a time bomb."
Staying above 350 ppm CO2 for long risks "irreversible
— NASA's Dr. James Hansen, 2008/2009 (see Target Atmospheric CO2: Where Should Humanity Aim? [pdf])
"This is an emergency and ... we need emergency action."
— United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, 2009
"The question now is whether we can
avoid catastrophic interference [with the climate system]."
— Dr. John P. Holdren, US Presidential Science Advisor, 2008 [pdf]
Failure to agree on a new UN climate deal ... will bring "a global health catastrophe."
— 18 of the world's professional medical organizations writing in
The Lancet and The British Medical Journal, 15 September 2009
"Climate change is the biggest global health threat
of the 21st century."
—Lancet and University College London Institute for Global Health Commission, 2009 in Managing the Health Effects of Climate Change [pdf]
LEVEL OF THE PLANETARY EMERGENCY
Latest Must-Know Climate Change Emergency News
The current decade is the hottest on record. The first half of 2010 was the hottest on record. June 2010 was the hottest June on record. 2010 was one of the three hottest years on record.
All carbon feedbacks are now kicking in. Carbon feedbacks are, by definition, the most dangerous effect of global warming because they boost global warming further.
Published research puts today's temperature increase commitment as high as 2.4ºC.
Analyses by the Climate Interactive Scoreboard and Climate Action Tracker show that current national "pledges" to cut emissions commit the world to a 4ºC temperature increase by 2100, which is a commitment of 7ºC over the next few hundred years.
There is still no formal acknowledgement of the climate change emergency or that the world is beyond dangerous interference with the climate system (1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) by any nation or any involved international organization. The latest UN conferences have led only to the Copenhagen Accord, which includes various national emissions reduction "pledges" but no binding commitments, and no agreement on any limits other than the "disastrous" (James Hansen, 2008) 1996 EU policy target of 2°C for global temperature increase.
"The potential for runaway greenhouse warming is real and has never been more clear."
— UNEP Year Book, 2009
Global climate change and other ongoing persistent global environmental problems "threaten humanity's very survival.... The need couldn’t be more urgent ... to act now to safeguard our own survival and that of future generations."
— UNEP GEO-4, 2007
"Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. Effects of climate change on health will affect most populations in the next decades and put the lives and wellbeing of billions of people at increased risk."
— Lancet and University College London Institute for Global Health Commission, in Managing the Health Effects of Climate Change [pdf]
"Unless decisive action is taken now, the world will face global public health and environmental catastrophe. We believe that the health and healthcare community can, and must, spearhead a major movement for change."
— The Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom
"If there's no action before 2012, that's too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment."
— Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007
We are on track for over six degrees of global warming, which constitutes a climate change emergency and a threat to the very survival of humanity.
(Figure 1 below)
Figure 1: Today's global greenhouse gas emissions are tracking towards
the IPCC's worst case scenario (A1FI).
TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR SAFEGUARDING HUMANITY
AND LIFE ON EARTH
Doctors and concerned professionals in other leading institutions (for example, human rights and education) have a vital role to play in safeguarding future generations from planetary catastrophe — but only by acting today.
Why healthcare professionals? The medical community is in a special position to respond to this crisis. There is no profession better qualified to understand the huge risks humanity is running, to define "dangerous" climate change, and to prescribe the best remedial measures for diminishing the disaster and preventing total climate catastrophe.
Why human rights professionals? Global climate change is the greatest human rights issue of our time, and potentially all time.
Why educators? The science of global warming is still poorly understood and the reality of climate change is still poorly accepted (in no small part due the global warming denial industry), making it an urgent educational priority.
The declaration of this planetary climate change emergency and summons to a global emergency response would naturally come first from these professions.
Only an international declaration of a state of global climate change emergency can rapidly rectify this situation, by leading to a concerted international emergency response to rescue all future generations.
Nations are still targeting the 1996 EU policy compromise of 2ºC global warming, which according to the latest science is disastrous and invites catastrophe. (More...)
It is CLIMATE CHANGE EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONSE's mission to help concerned professionals (especially doctors) contribute to remedying this situation, and to link with support from other concerned citizens
The world needs policies and planning based on the avoidance of any risk of irreversible, catastrophic climate change tipping points. This site therefore addresses the worst risks as well as the worst predicted impacts. (More...)
Why the urgency? In short, all (inevitable) carbon feedbacks to global warming and carbon emissions are now operant. This is a climate change emergency. With the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere still accelerating, with atmospheric methane "spiking" due to carbon feedback, with GHG emissions tracking the IPCC's worst case scenario, with carbon feedbacks adding to GHG emissions in the Arctic, with methane emitting from the ocean floor into the atmosphere off the coast of Siberia, with reduction in the efficiency of the ocean carbon sink and a huge decline in the oceans' phytoplankton, the risk of passing irreversible, catastrophic tipping points now clearly exists. (More...)
Nations, scientific organizations and NGOs have still made no statement that the world is beyond dangerous interference with the climate system (UNFCCC) and have still made no declaration of a global climate crisis or planetary state of emergency.
Both industrialized and industrializing nations continue to block the way to an agreement that would prevent catastrophic global climate change, claiming there is no definition of dangerous climate change, and not acknowledging the emergency. CLIMATE CHANGE EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONSE is working to enable the addition of essential human rights and medical input to rescue respect for the Climate Change Convention and the future of humanity.
Medical debate about global warming has so far emphasised planning and response. It is therefore timely that we draw a parallel to medical involvement in the nuclear weapons disarmament movement in the 1980s....
Doctors now have a similar particular responsibility in the fight to achieve urgent international reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. Firstly, we can point to the futility of expending our energy, enterprise and long-term investment in advancing health care in the absence of action to preserve a livable planet....
We can [also] inform the debate with reliable data on the mental and physical health consequences of global warming, and use our professional voice and leadership to instill it with urgency.
— Dr. Richard F. Kefford, Professor of Medicine
University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
CLIMATE CHANGE EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONSE assists in building a global voice of concerned professionals, particularly healthcare professionals, to ensure a healthy and habitable planet for future generations — of all species. The emergency medical responses suggested in this website are based on
- the most current scientific research,
- the leading expert opinions on the risks to humanity,
- an agreement that humanity is far beyond dangerous interference with the climate system, and
- a common understanding that humans are facing a dire and unprecedented planetary climate change emergency.
What's the first step? Click on the Climate Change Emergency button below for immediate action steps, or on a link below or to the left to learn about the risks and to see how doctors and other professionals can take action on global climate change.
- No New Treaty
- Stalled UN climate negotiations mean no new treaty is on the way, heightening the climate emergency.
- Climate Change Emergency Letter
- This climate change emergency letter to presidents of medical associations everywhere urges them to take immediate action to influence climate change policy.
- Mission of Climate Change Emergency Medical Response
- The mission of Climate Change Emergency Medical Response is to provide a one-stop resource on the planetary climate change emergency and remedial action.
- Just as doctors seek evidence when making a diagnosis, this page links to evidence of the climate change emergency for health professionals who want to learn about their role in mitigation.
- State of the Climate
- State of the Climate is a research summary on methane emissions and other carbon feedbacks, especially in the Arctic, which threaten life on Earth.
- Defining Dangerous Climate Change
- Defining dangerous climate change impacts and risks in terms of threats to human population health and survival is something the health care profession is qualified to do.
- Climate Change Dangers of Concern for Health and Human Rights Professionals
- Climate change dangers of concern for health care professionals include lack of policy on the risk of public health catastrophe.
- Emergency Action
- EMERGENCY ACTION is a one-stop webpage for doctors and other health care professionals who want to respond to the climate change emergency.
- Why Climate Change is an Emergency
- Here is abundant evidence showing why climate change is an emergency and an increasing threat to the very survival of humanity.
- Undeclared Global Climate Change Emergency
- Why the global climate emergency is not recognized
- Ignored Climate Science
- Often ignored climate science includes essential aspects of global climate science to explain why today's global warming is twice what we think it is.
- Food Security and Climate Change
- The biggest health risk of global climate change will be its impact on food security, yet climate models don't include all the adverse effects of climate change on agriculture.
- Why the 2 Degree Target is Too High
- Although the 2 degree target for global warming is now almost a universally accepted policy position for global climate change mitigation, it is disastrously high!
- Climate Change Emergency Declaration
- We call on our healthcare, other professional associations, religious and our governments to make a climate change emergency declaration on behalf of present and future vulnerable populations.
- Climate Change Emergency Declaration Endorsement
- Join Climate Change Emergency Medical Response and offer a Climate Change Emergency Declaration endorsement.
- Climate Change Solutions
- This page lists global warming and climate change solutions for health professionals to promote.
- Follow-up is a list of ways that doctors and other healthcare workers can disseminate and teach what they have learned about the global climate change emergency.
- The Medical Response to Climate Change is Growing
- The medical response to climate change is growing. Medical associations, medical journals and medical researchers are starting to focus on the impacts of climate change on human and population health.
- The UNFCCC (Climate Change Convention) and Health
- These excerpts from the UNFCCC (the United Nations climate change convention) highlight the intersections between climate change, health and policy.
- Climate Change Emergency Links
- Climate change emergency links to educational and action websites on the greatest threat ever.
- Climate Change Emergency References
- This climate change emergency references page lists the citations of research studies on the current state of the climate and why it is heading to climate catastrophe.
- Climate Change Emergency Updates
- Check out these climate change emergency updates on a regular basis, to see what's new in the science of global climate change.
- Site Map
- This is a site map of Climate Change Emergency Medical Response.org.