Why Climate Change Is a Public Health Emergency

Why Climate Change Is a Public Health Emergency

League of Women Voters of Dane County Launches Public Issues Forum-Climate Crisis Series   

Climate change is now considered a public health emergency for Madison and Dane County residents by some health professionals. Increasingly common severe weather events brought about by climate change affect everyone’s mental and physical well-being. Heat stress is especially common when days are hot and nighttime temperatures barely drop. Now multiple factors such as high humidity, bad air, contaminated water, crop or property destruction from flood, fire or pests are more frequently part of the mix making climate change a medical issue. At higher risk are vulnerable populations including adults and young children, low-income households, individuals with limited language proficiency, and those with disabilities or ongoing medical conditions such as cardiovascular or respiratory disease.

Experts in community health and the environment will come together at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 4, 2019, at the American Family Insurance DreamBank in a program to explore the scope of the problem and solutions as well as participate in an open audience discussion of the challenges and opportunities facing us.

The program entitled Why Climate Change is a Public Health Emergency is part of the League of Women Voters of Dane County’s 2019-2020 Public Issues Forum—Climate Crisis Series. The series aims to raise awareness and private/public action to reduce carbon emissions and build resilient communities through non-partisan leadership.

Featured speakers Dr. Claire Gervais, Dr. Ralph Petersen, and Andrea Kaminski will clarify key issues and discuss existing and proposed solutions, with an eye on diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Dr. Claire Gervais is a family practice physician and clinical associate professor with the University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine and Community Health in Madison. Gervais is part of the newly formed Wisconsin Health Professionals for Climate Action, a group of health professionals working with public health officials in Wisconsin to raise awareness of the public health emergency we are now facing due to our warming atmosphere. 

Ralph Petersen, Ph.D., is part of the UW-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center and former NASA and NOAA scientist.  Petersen will provide a brief introduction to the basics of climate change and the underlying scientific principles creating the crisis we face today.

Andrea Kaminski is former executive director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and current League Legislative Coordinator and state board member. Kaminski will present a primer on League positions with respect to climate change.

The program is free and open to the public.

Location: American Family Insurance DreamBank in the Spark! Building, 821 East Washington Avenue, Madison, First Floor, adjacent to the Sylvee Theater.

Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Program begins 6:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

DreamBank Spark map.png

Easy access parking: South Livingston Ramp, 111 South Livingston Street. The Livingston St. entrance to the ramp will be closed Wednesday evening. Use the entrance on the Main St. side of the garage. If you park in the ramp, look for the entrance to Spark! on the Main St. side of the building.

Street parking can be found on E. Main St. to the south and E. Mifflin St. to the north, as well as the North-South side streets. As tempting as it may be, do not park in the Festival Foods lot! Carpooling and using public transportation are encouraged.

Bus Route: suggestions—Madison Metro Routes 4, 5 and 6 (please check in advance for possible route changes that may be place after August 25, 2019).