public health

This National Public Health Week, a Look at Prevention and the US Food System

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

As National Public Health Week winds down, I’m left thinking about what it really means to prevent disease and promote good health. And whether our food system, and the public policies in place to guide it, are set up to do that. (Spoiler alert: They’re not.) Read more >

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Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate

Bruce D. Snyder, MD FAAN, , UCS

Like many others, I have grown ever more concerned about the implications of uncontrolled climate change for public health. Those of us in health care have a special understanding of the suffering and loss that will occur because of our society’s failure to act urgently and decisively to curb the global dependence on fossil fuels. Read more >

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Oil and Gas: What We Know is Concerning, but What We Don’t is Worse

Samantha Rubright, MPH, CPH, , UCS

The U.S. continues to promote and extract domestic oil and gas, even when the market is flooded with this product. Why? Because the collective “we” demands it. Read more >

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A Better Way for Our Food System

Dr. Liz Carlisle and Dr. M. Jahi Chappell, , UCS

When it comes to problems stemming from the current industrial food system, we need to get beyond cleaning up the mess. At some point, we have to ask: if our food system causes nitrate pollution, climate change, obesity, diabetes, and biodiversity loss—while undermining the very soil quality it depends upon for its own long-term viability—isn’t it time to find a better way? Read more >

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There Would Be No Smoke If There Were No Fires

Sarah Henderson, PhD
, , UCS

Right now Indonesian farmers are burning hundreds of thousands of hectares of the oldest rainforests on earth to clear land for plantation crops. The resulting smoke has covered Southeast Asia in a thick haze, affecting the health of hundreds of millions of people. This happens every year, which is incredibly frustrating because the Indonesian government made slash-and-burn agriculture largely illegal in 2001, following the severe regional haze it generated 1997-1998. On paper those laws were strengthened in 2009 and again 2014, but in actuality the 2015-2016 season is likely to be the worst on record.

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