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Fossil-Fuel Pollution and Climate Change – A New NEJM Group Series

06/15/2022 | New England Journal of Medicine

To call attention to rising global greenhouse gas emissions that harm our health, Dr. Renee Salas, our Yerby Fellow and ClimateMD leader, co-authored an editorial in NEJM announcing a broad effort by the journal to address the health consequences of air pollution and climate change.

Dr. Salas and her co-authors notably write, “The primary barrier to an equitable transition away from coal, oil, and natural gas is a lack of political will, underpinned by the influence of the fossil-fuel industry.”

NEJMs goals are to:

  • Inform clinicians and health system administrators about the consequences of fossil-fuel extraction and use that are increasingly affecting patients and care delivery systems
  • Provide information about effective strategies for reducing the associated risks
  • Clarify the roles of the medical and public health sectors in addressing this crisis and stimulate research to guide the development of equitable adaptation and mitigation policies

NEJM is committing to:

  • Publish at least one article in a NEJM Group journal each month related to fossil-fuel–driven health harms and will subsequently plan ongoing coverage of related content
  • Further engage trainees and educators through their Resident 360 website, which is launching a discussion about incorporating a climate lens into medical training
  • Encourage submissions for this series, especially — but not limited to — high-quality original research

The initiative is launching with articles addressing different aspects of this unprecedented challenge in each of the NEJM journals.

Read the editorial

Toward a Climate-Ready Health Care System: Institutional Motivators and Workforce Engagement

Dr. Caleb Dresser argues that health care systems must reframe incentives and engage their workforce to become climate-resilient.

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Federal investments in climate change and health research are inadequate says Harvard analysis

Critical knowledge gaps hinder an evidence-based response and are perpetuated by scarce federal research funds.

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Hundreds of Hospitals on Atlantic and Gulf Coasts at Risk of Flooding from Hurricanes

Our study is the first to systematically investigate flooding risk to nearly 700 U.S. hospitals on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts from Category 1-4 storms.

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Communicating Statistics on the Health Effects of Climate Change

Health professionals need to communicate the health and equity implications of climate change effectively to protect health and motivate action.

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A Pediatrician’s Guide to Climate Change-Informed Primary Care

A practical approach for connecting climate change with health during pediatric well visits.

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The medical response to climate change

Our Director Dr. Aaron Bernstein lays out five pillars for the medical response to climate change.

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Adding A Climate Lens To Health Policy In The United States

Our Yerby Fellow Dr. Renee Salas and Interim Director Dr. Aaron Bernstein outline specific recommendations for achieving climate action through health policy and decision making.

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'We Don't Have To Live This Way': Doctors Call For Climate Action

A sprawling analysis published by The Lancet focuses on public health data from 2019, and finds that heat waves, air pollution and extreme weather increasingly damage human health.

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Challenges and opportunities to sustainably scale up surgical, obstetric, and anaesthesia care globally

Strategies for the surgical, obstetric, and anaesthesia community to sustainably scale up SOA care to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address health equity and social justice issues.

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'Like a sunburn on your lungs': how does the climate crisis impact health?

Our Co-Director Dr. Aaron Bernstein and Research Fellow Dr. Renee Salas share insight into how the climate crisis threatens public health and complicates healthcare.

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Medications can raise heat stroke risk. Are doctors prepared to respond as the planet warms?

Our Co-Director Dr. Aaron Bernstein discusses the effects of extreme heat on vulnerable populations, particularly those on medication.

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Gina McCarthy Is Fired Up About Climate Change and Public Health

Explores the links between climate change and health, including who is most vulnerable and how healthcare will be impacted by climate change.

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Climate change threatens public health and doctors’ ability to provide care

Dr. Ari Bernstein writes about how climate change compromises healthcare providers' abilities to care for their patients in this op-ed.

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How Climate Change Is Challenging American Health Care

Our Director Gina McCarthy and Research Fellow Renee Salas on the 2018 Lancet’s report on climate and health.

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Alcohol: Balancing Risks and Benefits

Moderate drinking can be healthy—but not for everyone. You must weigh the risks and benefits. –Introduction –What's Moderate Alcohol Intake? What's a Drink? –The Downside of Alcohol –Possible Health Benefits of Alcohol –Genes Play a Role –Shifting Benefits and Risks –The Bottom Line: Balancing Risks and Benefits Introduction Throughout the 10,000 or so years that…

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Dr. Renee Salas

Renee N. Salas MD, MPH, MS

Renee's work focuses on the intersection of the climate crisis, health, and healthcare delivery.

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