So, what is planetary health? It refers to a burgeoning field focused on understanding the health impacts of human-caused disruptions of Earth’s natural systems, including climate change and environmental pollution. This also encompasses the immediate and downstream health threats from such disruptions, which have impacts on communities at the local level — Philadelphia is no exception.
The nightmare of the COVID-19 pandemic offers a view of what climate change will impose on our future health system and communities if uncontrolled. As future doctors, on the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day we raise our voices in unison to draw attention to the urgency of the climate crisis.
On Wednesday, September 20, 2017, after an already uncharacteristically volatile hurricane season, Hurricane María made landfall on the island of Borikén (“Puerto Rico” in the indigenous Taíno language).
In an era where climate change has been variously described as ‘the great moral challenge of our generation’ to ‘absolute crap,’ it seems pertinent as future health professionals to have a look at the evidence and ask ourselves how this issue might come to affect the health of our prospective patients.