A Disturbing Report from The Lancet

The Lancet is a long-running, well-known, and highly regarded medical journal, or rather collection of journals, that has been around since 1823.  The About page for the journals states that it “retains at its core the belief that medicine must serve society, that knowledge must transform society, that the best science must lead to better lives.”

Among its publications and outreach efforts is one called the Lancet Countdown, which it describes as “an international collaboration established to provide an independent, global monitoring system dedicated to tracking the emerging health profile of the changing climate.”  The Countdown’s 2020 Report published just this month (December 2) presents “the findings and consensus of the 35 leading academic institutions and UN agencies that make up The Lancet Countdown, and draws on the expertise of climate scientists, geographers, engineers, experts in energy, food, and transport, economists, social, and political scientists, data scientists, public health professionals, and doctors.”

The News on Climate from the Lancet is Not Good

From the Report:  “The changing climate has already produced considerable shifts in the underlying social and environmental determinants of health at the global level. Indicators in… climate change impacts, exposures, and vulnerabilities are worsening. Concerning, and often accelerating, trends were seen for each of the human symptoms of climate change monitored, with the 2020 indicators presenting the most worrying outlook reported since The Lancet Countdown was first established.”

Addressing Climate Change Will Require a Holistic Approach – Environmental, Social and Economic

Again, from the report:  “It is clear that human and environmental systems are inextricably linked, and that any response to climate change must harness, rather than damage, these connections.  Indeed, a response commensurate to the size of the challenge, which prioritizes strengthening healthcare systems, invests in local communities, and ensures clean air, safe drinking water, and nourishing food, will provide the foundations for future generations to not only survive, but to thrive.”

A Tough Challenge, but with Huge Economic Benefits Potential

Continuing:  “Evidence suggests that being more ambitious than current climate policies by limiting warming to 1.5oC by 2100 would generate a net global benefit of US$264–610 trillion. The economic case of expanding ambition is further strengthened when the benefits of a healthier workforce and reduced healthcare costs are considered.

Our Observation After Reading the 2020 Report

Each of us needs to do something meaningful to contribute to creating or encouraging new policies and deeper commitments.  This is why I am committed to working with The Center for Community Energy.  CCE exists precisely to promote new policies and deeper commitments.  For us, decarbonization is the goal.  But we can only get there by changing how we think and how we act – as individuals, as businesses, and as governing officials.

Please join CCE and help us drive change, and achieve real and meaningful results.