Owen Dan Luo is a medical student in the Class of 2023 at McGill University. He is also a committee member on the Health and Environment Adaptive Response Task force (HEART) of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS).
On inspection, we would observe her febrile state,
As heat waves grow stronger and longer,
With her body covered with painful, red blisters,
As wildfires rage unrestrained over her epidermis.
On palpitation, we’d run our hands along her prominent rib borders,
Cachexic wasting from malignant clumps of plastic waste in her oceans.
With clear signs of respiratory distress,
Trapped underneath a cloak of greenhouse gases – she gasps for air.
Kirsten Patrick is a Deputy Editor at CMAJ, currently at the IEA World Congress of Epidemiology in Anchorage, Alaska
The 20th International Epidemiology Association World Congress being held in Anchorage, Alaska, this week is focusing on global epidemiology in a changing environment, and particularly, delegates are discussing and learning about the epidemiological effects of climate change. While much research being presented in concurrent sessions and posters is the usual mix of national and regional epidemiology (infectious diseases, nutritional diseases, cancer…), and epidemiological methods research (always interesting to a journal editor), the ‘circumpolar perspective’ is the subject of many sessions. What is happening in the world’s frozen regions as a result of climate change?
It may or may not surprise you to hear that people who live in areas that are frozen year-round aren’t high-fiving each other about the mean increase in temperature of 3°C. They aren’t throwing off their traditional fur clothing in celebration. This is because communities are being destroyed by warming in polar regions. ...continue reading