Climate Change & Public Health Event

On April 29, 2019, the Baltimore County Progressive Democrats Club was honored to host a talk by Jonathan Patz, Nobel Laureate and international expert on the health impacts of climate change. Dr. Patz, a Baltimore native, is director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for 15 years, and he co-chaired the health expert panel of the U.S. National Assessment on Climate Change, a report mandated by the U.S. Congress.

The event generated much excitement and was attended by around 120 people, including several Maryland state delegates and Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Baltimore County Director of Health and Human Services. Dr. Patz’s talk was very informative and interesting. We learned that while food crops will fare worse, and CO2 reduces protein content in the crops, ragweed, poison ivy, and disease-carrying mosquitos will thrive in the warmer, wetter climate. An increase in heavy rainfalls will cause a corresponding increase in combined sewage overflows carrying bacteria into the water.

The good news is that the social changes needed to avert a climate crisis will also lead to better health and economic outcomes overall, and actually save money.

To learn more, you can watch Dr. Patz’s TedX talk on YouTube, which is a shorter version of the talk he gave for the club.