Enviromedics: The Impact of Climate Change on Human Health Illustrated Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 26 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-1442243187
ISBN-10: 144224318X
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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

Review

There is a growing understanding that climate change is impacting a broad range of health outcomes. Two emergency medicine experts have assembled evidence from several disciplines to demonstrate that politically motivated national and corporate behavior is creating dire consequences for global health. The information is presented in 15 chapters that tackle such diverse topics as vector-borne diseases, extreme weather, mental health, algal blooms, and food and water security. All in all, this is a brief book; its 146-page text is annotated with extensive references. The authors believe human-caused changes to our environment may soon “become irreversible," and their evidence is compelling. Though their backgrounds are in medicine, the authors' climate science is sound, with an appropriate emphasis on biodiversity and environmental justice. The examples are straightforward, and the writing is intended for a popular audience. The authors' prescription for the future requires acceptance of “the science” to unite people in the pursuit of a common future.

Summing Up: Recommended. All readers., CHOICE

Global warming is hazardous to human health. Lemery and Auerbach, emergency-medicine physicians and past presidents of the Wilderness Medical Society, invent the word enviromedics to describe the medical consequences of environmental change, and argue that droughts, floods, hurricanes, forest fires, pollution, and toxic waste jeopardize the future of humankind. “Earth will go on, no matter what we do to it,” they say. “The more pertinent question is, will we?” Flooding causes allergenic mold, and hotter temperatures lead to, among other things, disease-carrying mosquitoes spreading to more locations. Despite detailing a scary list of horrors, the authors beg people not to give up. After all, they say, 42 percent of U.S. adults smoked 50 years ago, and only 17 percent do today. They credit regulations (bans in public places), economics (the increased cost of cigarettes), and awareness of medical science (media campaigns). Could a similar approach work when it comes to global warming? They give the last word to young people, such as Caroline Spears, co-director of Students for a Sustainable Stanford. “I can either give up or be inspired,” she says. “I choose the latter.” In their well-researched, fact-filled treatise, Lemery and Auerbach passionately make the case for how the continuation of the human species depends on people taking better care of the planet by investing in renewable energies, consuming wisely, voting for motivated public officials, and speaking out to give future generations a chance. It’s a sobering and empowering message.
, Booklist, Starred Review

Lemery and Auerbach, of the schools of medicine at the University of Colorado and Stanford University, respectively, adopt a no-nonsense ‘doctor’s approach’ as they survey the effects of climate change on public health. As ‘doctors on the front line,’ the authors regularly observe the medical ramifications ‘of climate change, pollution, and the reduction of biodiversity.’ Their aim here is to spotlight how changing environments affect health, using a ‘fusion science’ they call ‘enviromedics.’ The authors document manifestations of climate change alongside medical case histories that support their bleak conclusion that climate change will worsen preexisting health problems. The patients profiled include Sid, an elderly man with lung disease whose condition is exacerbated on days with an unhealthy air-quality index; Mark, who contracted malaria (one of several tropical diseases creeping into higher latitudes) from mosquitoes in New Jersey; Amanda, whose already severe allergies are bound to worse as pollen counts are predicted to ‘more than double by 2040’; and John, who suffered a reaction to mussels tainted by an algae bloom, itself a result of elevated oceanic carbon dioxide levels. Climate science will continue to evolve, Lemery and Auerbach concede, but ‘if Earth is warming because of global climate change, then human health will suffer.’, Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

With Enviromedics, Lemery and Auerbach join the ranks of dauntless physician and public health colleagues who highlighted the grave risks of tobacco smoke and nuclear war and demonstrated the potential for collective action grounded in the principles of medical science. The book is an excellent primer for those who would like to know more, a gentle prod for those on the cusp, and an accessible treatise for the skeptic. It is a call to action, and, happily, a celebration of several inspiring young people already taking significant action around climate change and health. In the afterword, they share testimonies from 5 young people committed to climate action, highlighting their motivations, their passion, and their optimism, a nice shot in the arm and a great way to end their stirring book., Annals of Regional Science

With Enviromedics, Lemery and Auerbach join the ranks of dauntless physician and public health colleagues who highlighted the grave risks of tobacco smoke and nuclear war and demonstrated the potential for collective action grounded in the principles of medical science. The book is an excellent primer for those who would like to know more, a gentle prod for those on the cusp, and an accessible treatise for the skeptic. It is a call to action, and, happily, a celebration of several inspiring young people already taking significant action around climate change and health. In the afterword, they share testimonies from 5 young people committed to climate action, highlighting their motivations, their passion, and their optimism, a nice shot in the arm and a great way to end their stirring book., Annals of Emergency Medicine

The real crisis of climate change is one of public perception, and far too few of us realize the catastrophe that we're headed into. Lemery and Auerbach bring forth the human element from climate change – they bring us to the bedside and force us to rethink our risk assessment. For that reason alone, Enviromedics is one of the most important books of the year. -- James Balog, Director, Extreme Ice Survey and Earth Vision Institute

It isn’t remotely possible to remove your body, and its health, from the environment you live in, air you breathe, food you eat. Enviromedics persuasively explains what we have done to our planet, and how we are already paying a price for climate change with our health. Heed Lemery and Auerbach’s message, before it’s too late. -- Laurie Garrett, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer; author of I Heard the Sirens Scream

In anticipating the consequences of climate change, there has been insufficient discussion of the discrete medical consequences and the arising health care challenges. This thoughtful book provides a framework upon which to categorize, anticipate, and understand such critical medical issues. Lemery and Auerbach’s work is pioneering and will be the standard in this field. -- Abraham Verghese, MD, MACP, Professor of Medicine, Stanford University; recipient of the National Humanities Medal; author of Cutting for Stone

With this book, Lemery and Auerbach do what physicians do best: assess the patient's presenting symptoms, consider and apply the evidence at hand, and prescribe a path forward. They demonstrate the unique value that a medical perspective brings to the greatest health threat of the 21st century climate change. -- Nick Watts, Executive Director, Lancet Commission: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change

Climate change is a medical issue. That’s the starting point for Jay Lemery and Paul Auerbach in their compelling new book. They write about what doctors will face as more and more patients walk through their doors feeling dizzy and vomiting from heat stress, with burns from fighting wildfires, or with a mosquito-borne disease that never used to be found in these parts. It’s already happening and can only get worse, much worse. Their message is vital to the health of this and future generations. -- Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University; author of Earthmasters

About the Author

Jay Lemery, MD, is Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Chief of the Section of Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, and an affiliate faculty member of the Colorado School of Public Health. He is a past-president of the Wilderness Medical Society and has provided medical direction to health care providers operating at both poles, most recently serving as the EMS medical director for the U.S. Antarctic Program. Dr. Lemery has expertise in austere and remote medical care, as well as the effects of climate change on human health. He serves as a consultant for the Climate and Health Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and sits on the National Academy of Medicine’s (IOM) Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine. He serves as Associate Director for the University of Colorado’s Consortium on Climate Change & Health. He is co-Editor of Global Climate Change and Human Heath: From Science to Practice (2015), and an advisor to the organization Climate for Health (ecoAmerica), the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, and the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health. He also holds academic appointments at the Harvard School of Public Health (FXB Center), where he is a contributing editor for its Journal, Health and Human Rights, and was Guest Editor for the June 2014 edition on ‘Climate Justice.’ Twitter: @JayLemery.

Paul Auerbach, MD, is the Redlich Family Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and Adjunct Professor of Military/Emergency Medicine at the F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He is a founder and past president of the Wilderness Medical Society and elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Auerbach is editor of the definitive textbook Wilderness Medicine and author of Field Guide to Wilderness Medicine and Medicine for the Outdoors. He was the founding co-editor of the journal Wilderness & Environmental Medicine and is one of the world’s leading experts in wilderness medicine and emergency medicine. Dr. Auerbach served as a first responder to the earthquakes in Haiti (2010) and Nepal (2015) and was instrumental in creation of the Nepal Ambulance Service. Former Chief of the Divisions of Emergency Medicine at Vanderbilt and Stanford Universities, he has also been a faculty member at Temple University and the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Auerbach was one of the first proponents of physicians becoming active participants in the discussions on issues related to the environment and global climate change through his activities with the Environmental Council of the Wilderness Medical Society and a commentary published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2008 titled “Physicians and the Environment” and creation of the Environmental Council of the Wilderness Medical Society. He has been honored by the Divers Alert Network as the DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year and with a NOGI Award for Science from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences, and recognized by the 98th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) for his work in Haiti. He continues to seek opportunities to assist others and make the world a better place.


For updates on the authors and on book related activities check out enviromedics.org.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.06 pounds
  • Hardcover : 232 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 144224318X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1442243187
  • Product Dimensions : 6.24 x 0.91 x 9.29 inches
  • Publisher : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; Illustrated Edition (October 20, 2017)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 26 ratings