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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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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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Episode 226: Renee Salas On Making Climate Change Personal

Our Climate MD leader Dr. Renee Salas shares her expertise around climate change, human health, and environmental racism.

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Texas storm offers glimpse of how climate change threatens public health

Our Yerby Fellow Dr. Renee Salas discusses the health challenges posed by climate change and the complexities of responding to a disaster in the middle of a pandemic.

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Texas storm offers glimpse of how climate change threatens public health

February 23, 2021 – An extreme winter storm followed by freezing temperatures, prolonged power outages, and water shortages has threatened the health of millions of Texans. Renee Salas, a Yerby Fellow at the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment (C-CHANGE) at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, discussed the health challenges…

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Gaurab Basu: Our patients are telling us important stories, if we listen carefully

Anxieties about being able to access care in the US is an experience that none of our patients should face, yet so many do, writes our Health Equity Fellow Dr. Gaurab Basu.

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Listen: This doctor has the prescription for both COVID and climate

Our Climate Equity Fellow Gaurab Basu delves into the need for bold policy measures, rewriting relationships with nature, and teaching medical students about advocacy.

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New pediatrician network puts spotlight on climate change’s effects on children

As the effects of climate change play out worldwide, pediatricians see the evidence in their offices.

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Climate action: The best gift for global health

Our Climate MD leader Dr. Renee Salas writes that the health community mobilized against covid-19 and can mobilize again on climate change.

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Will Biden leverage Medicare to tackle climate change?

With the Biden transition team announcing picks to lead the Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC, our Climate MD leader Dr. Renee Salas joins a small but growing chorus of health experts saying the administration should look to using Medicaid and Medicare to spur climate action.

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Health care is coming to grips with its pollution problem

Our Climate MD leader Dr. Renee Salas says that health care providers need to step up and eventually eliminate their contributions 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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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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