How to Save the Lives of Millions: Rx for Sustainability

Caroline A. Walker

ABSTRACT

Climate change is the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century. Scientists anticipate that climate change will bring famines, mass displacement, infectious disease, and freshwater shortages—problems that can be reduced, if not avoided, by limiting future greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Given a professional duty to do no harm, physicians must do what they can to reduce the impacts of climate change. As health advocates and counselors to their patients, physicians can accelerate the move toward sustainability. By promoting behavioural change, such as active transport and eating unprocessed, plant-based diets, physicians can both improve public health and help reduce GHG emissions.

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Walker CA. How to Save the Lives of Millions: Rx for Sustainability. UBCMJ. 2009 1(1):23-24.