On Earth Day, Harvard Chan experts talk climate and health

The impact of climate change on health is far-reaching, according to experts from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. It can lead to higher levels of air pollution, more extreme weather events, the spread of infectious diseases, and greater risk of pandemics, they said in various media appearances on Earth Day, April 22, 2021.

A NowThis Earth documentary featured Aaron Bernstein, interim director of Harvard Chan School’s Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment (Harvard Chan C-CHANGE) and a pediatrician, and Gina McCarthy, former C-CHANGE director, chair of its board of advisers, and currently White House National Climate Adviser in the Biden administration.

Said Bernstein, “We’re playing an ill-fated game of Russian roulette with nature right now. … Climate change matters to the health of everyone in the United States, because every aspect of our health depends upon a stable climate. Even small differences in air pollution can lead to really higher risks of dying from COVID-19. And it’s not just COVID-19—it’s influenza and other respiratory infections.”

Bernstein also spoke about climate and health in an Academic Medicine podcast, and in interviews with AAP news, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the Harvard Gazette.

Renee Salas, a Yerby Fellow at C-CHANGE and an emergency medicine physician, discussed climate and health in an interview on NBC News’ Doc to Doc.

Watch the NowThis Earth documentary: Action Planet: Meeting the Climate Challenge

Listen to the Academic Medicine podcast: Teaching Climate Change and Its Effects on Human Health

Read the AAP News article: Pediatricians’ voices grow louder on climate’s impact on child health, equity

Read the Harvard Gazette article: With COVID spread, ‘racism—not race—is the risk factor’

Watch Salas on NBC News: Doc to Doc: Coronavirus conversation with Dr. Renee Salas