by Dr Courtney Howard, Dr Nicole Redvers and Dr Sarah Cook
“I research wildfires and health, so I have been keeping close tabs on the situation, speaking with practitioners and the media, ever since May.”
“On Aug. 2, 2014, six weeks into the wildfire season that would come to be known as the Summer of Smoke, we woke up to haze over Back Bay in Yellowknives Dene territory. It was my daughter Vivi’s first birthday and we’d planned a party in the park.”
“The intersection of environment and health is a powerful sweet spot where our efforts can yield outsized positive impacts on our lives now and into the future.”
“But when the AQHI is at 10+, it’s really best for everyone to try to stay indoors as much as possible with the windows closed, said Dr. Courtney Howard, a Yellowknife-based emergency physician who looks at the health impacts of wildfires. “
Woefully inadequate: Dearth of funding for biomedical health research reflects our environmental racism
“On the heels of COP27 and as delegates debate the biodiversity crisis at COP15 in Montreal, heat domes, atmospheric rivers, flooding and air pollution from forest fires continue to intensify in Canada.”
“Climate change is causing global insecurity across sectors and worsening health outcomes, and a new report from The Lancet cautions putting “health at the mercy of fossil fuels.”
“Dr. Courtney Howard, an emergency room physician in Yellowknife, said it was an important decision that gave residents a space to exercise and socialize after a month of being told to limit outdoor activity and to keep windows closed because the air quality was poor.”
“A federal plan to release treated tailings overlooks large gaps in our understanding of how that could affect human health, some experts and advocates say.”
More needed to prevent deaths from climate-change driven heat waves, fires: report
“After a record summer of heat and a dramatic season for wildfires, many Canadians have been forced to think about the future. Will unbearable heat and fires become a summertime theme in Canada, and if so, what does this mean for our health?”
“A new report into the rising health toll of longer and more intense wildfire seasons warns Canadian governments to take preparations seriously.”
“Experts say smoke from the fires can have widespread and devastating implications for human health”
“Broken temperature records and deaths from heat and wildfires. This past week, the climate emergency got real, and it doesn’t feel very good. The world seems unstable. What do we do first?”
The Globe and Mail explores some key questions as Canadians endure weather that one climatologist described as ‘almost biblical’
The National Observer : Forest fire season in Canada set to get worse — along with the health implications
Ashley Wohlgemuth remembers smoke, haze and chaos during the 2003 forest fires in her hometown of Barriere in British Columbia.
“During the fire here, it was like driving through a war zone. Everything was hazy. And all you could see was army vehicles and fire trucks everywhere,” said the fire chief.
En tant que médecins œuvrant à l’intersection de la santé humaine et de la planète, nous avons été ravies de voir le National Health Service (NHS) du Royaume-Uni s’engager à atteindre la carboneutralité d’ici 2040, avec l’ambition de réduire de 80 % son empreinte environnementale avant 2028-2032.
Discussions and plans of action around climate change are too rarely informed by the devastating health impacts of a rapidly warming planet. But if we truly seek to build a society that is resilient and prepared for public health challenges, we must apply hard-won lessons from one health emergency to our management of the next.
“Environmental racism is when unwanted hazards are imposed on Indigenous and Black communities. Industrial projects have made COVID-19 the latest pollutant—in places where people and the land are already under stress”
“From toxic waste to tailings ponds, Canada’s environmental hazards are often imposed on Indigenous and Black communities. Industrial projects have made COVID-19 the latest pollutant — in places where people and the land are already under stress”
“‘It’s a moment of crisis, but it’s also a moment of opportunity,’ one doctor says”
TORONTO STAR : Indigenous people had some of the highest rates of ER visits during 2014 Yellowknife wildfires: study
“Melaine Simba will never forget the months she spent inside her home on Ka’a’gee Tu First Nation, south of Yellowknife, with her windows tightly shut to prevent wildfire smoke from seeping in. It was the summer of 2014 and she was following public health orders to stay inside during the Northwest Territories’ worst wildfire season on record.”
“Concrete example of the impact of a warming planet on health and health systems, says Yellowknife ER doctor”
THE CONVERSATION : “COVID-19 recovery is an opportunity to tackle worsening climate crisis: New report”
“We are at a moment of overlapping planetary health emergencies: COVID-19 and climate change. Both have their origins at the intersection of humanity and the rest of the natural world, both exacerbate pre-existing health inequities and both have the ability to bring health systems and economies to their knees.”
In the media : “Skies Are Clearer and Global Pollution Is Down Because of COVID-19 — But Can We Sustain It?”
“Climate change expert Dr. Courtney Howard and Nature Climate Change scientists say we can sustain the cleaner environment we’re seeing by going greener right now.
All the social distancing, working from home and Netflix binging we’ve been doing to stay healthy and keep COVID-19 from overloading our hospitals add up to make the world cleaner.”
LE DEVOIR “Dans les dernières semaines, nous avons souligné, célébré et reconnu le travail exceptionnel des travailleurs de la santé de première ligne.”
LA PRESSE “Dans les dernières semaines, nous avons souligné, célébré, et reconnu le travail exceptionnel des travailleurs de la santé de première ligne. D’un océan à l’autre, et à travers le monde, nous avons chanté, allumé nos lumières, frappé sur nos casseroles et dansé de la maison pour souligner les efforts et le courage de nos voisins et amis qui sont partis œuvrer dans nos centres de santé et qui ont maintenu nos services essentiels, jour comme nuit.”
“By Courtney Howard and Kinari Webb
, Opinion Contributor”
In the media : “COVID-19 crisis is a tipping point. Will we invest in planetary health, or oil and gas?”
THE NATIONAL OBSERVER “When I first read about the possibility of a multibillion-dollar bailout of the oil and gas sector by the federal and Alberta governments, I was exhausted.”
“Dr. Courtney Howard, a physician, professor, and the president of the Canadian Association of the Environment, told Scary Mommy that a range of climate change factors are impacting our children, including wildfires and tick-borne diseases. These have both made the news many times over the past several years, including wildfires in California and the scary truths about living with Lyme disease.”