Our Bodies, Our Climate: Public Health and the Climate Crisis

Brooklyn Public Library, February 12, 2020


Learn about the risks and how communities can prepare. Climate change threatens our health on multiple fronts, whether through extreme heat and weather events or because the geographic range of disease-carrying pests leads to greater exposure to illnesses such as Zika virus and Lyme disease. Any of these can trigger mental health difficulties. Knowing the risks can help communities plan and to mitigate some effects.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s online resources can help. See cdc.gov/climateandhealth/pubs/CDC-HealthHarmCards-508.pdf for case studies of community responses to the health effects of the climate crisis.

The agency offers additional resources for public health and community groups at:

cdc.gov/climateandhealth/pubs/CDC_PlanningWorksheet-508.pdf, and

Understand the high health costs of climate change. The Natural Resources Defense Council has studied the health effects and costs of ten climate-influenced events affecting 11 states in 2012, including wildfires, ozone air pollution, ad extreme heat. nrdc.org/resources/bitter-pill-high-health-costs-climate-change

Take Action

Join a climate organization
Whatever we can do together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and global warming will help reduce the impact of warming on our health. As author Naomi Klein writes, “The climate crisis isn’t something we’re going to solve as individuals. It’s something we’ll solve as a movement.”

Fight the spread of new fossil fuel infrastructure in New York State. Sign up for “Call Cuomo Mondays” by texting “CuomoMondays” to 69866. You’ll get a reminder every Monday to join hundreds of other New Yorkers who call the governor demanding an end to new fossil fuel projects. Each week focuses on a different project.

Be part of a town hall on a Green New Deal on Thursday, February 20, 7-9 pm at the PS 130 Upper School Auditorium at 713 Caton Avenue. Assembly member Robert Carroll and council member Brad Lander, local climate activists and youth leaders will talk about a Green New Deal for New York and assembly member Carroll’s three new bills to bring publicly-owned energy to New York.

Get ready for Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22. The 50th anniversary of Earth Day will be a huge day of protests, rallies, and climate action across the country. Mark your calendar. Try to take the day off if you can, but if not, there will be events all week.

Come back for more Climate Wednesdays. We’ll be back at the library on March 18 with “We Will Be Moving Shortly: Away from Fossil-Fueled Transportation,” on April 15 with “Green Collar Jobs: Making a Living, Forging a Better World,” and on May 20 with “Natural Allies: Working with Nature to Fight Climate Change.”

350Brooklyn works to counter climate change and achieve climate justice through local action. We promote sustainable energy, oppose the fossil fuel industry, and educate and activate our community. 350Brooklyn is a local affiliate of 350.org, a global grassroots organization. 350brooklyn.org, facebook.com/350brooklyn