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'Doctors For Extinction Rebellion' Rally At WHO Headquarters In Geneva

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mahmoud Abudeif, May 31, 2021.

  1. Mahmoud Abudeif

    Mahmoud Abudeif Golden Member

    Mar 5, 2019
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    Medical professionals from the Doctors For Extinction Rebellion campaign carried out a silent march from Geneva's Place des Nations to the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters Saturday, in defiance of climate change's risk to public health.


    The Extinction Rebellion movement has amassed a doctors' collective, who believe climate change is one of the most dangerous factors to health, to engage in "civil disobedience" for the purpose of bringing about changes in environmental practice and policies.

    "At the core of Extinction Rebellion’s philosophy is nonviolent civil disobedience. We promote civil disobedience and rebellion because we think it is necessary — we are asking people to find their courage and to collectively do what is necessary to bring about change," the movement's mission statement reads.

    Dressed in white scrubs, the demonstrators demanded the health risks of environmental degradation be acknowledged by public authorities and action be taken to combat climate change and biodiversity loss. As part of their job as doctors and health practitioners, the group felt an obligation to speak up for the danger to their patients and the entire global population at risk.

    Climate change is responsible for an excessive increase in temperatures that can contribute deadly cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, has lead to three times more natural disasters in the last 60 years, which boast some 60,000 casualties per event, and can affect the transmission patterns of diseases and infections, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO).

    WHO's Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus and Maria Neira, WHO's Environment, Climate Change and Health Director greeted the group.

    "We, the health professionals demand that the health authorities in each country publicly declare that climate change is putting people at risk of death," Professor Valerie D’Acremont, an infectious diseases specialist and one of the collective's founders declared, as she handed Tedros a letter signed by 1000+ supportive health professionals with a large hourglass, the Extinction Rebellion's logo.

    "We demand that the health authorities act now to preserve life," she added.

    D’Acremont asked that health risks associated with climate change be addressed in the G7 Summit in the UK in June of this year, in which Canada, Japan, Germany, France and Italy, UK, and the US, are set to discuss recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and working together to create a more sustainable future.

    She also called on leaders to enforce the Paris Agreement, a binding treaty signed by 196 parties at 2015's 21st Conference of the Parties (COP), to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions in line with the agreement and create the proposed plans to deal with future impacts of rising temperatures.

    Richard Horton, the editor of the medical journal The Lancet, agreed with the Doctors For Extinction Rebellion's claims in a video aired at the demonstration.

    "The Lancet's countdown on health and climate change has documented a sharp increase in heat related mortality, higher risks of infectious disease transmission, and rising food and water insecurity," he said.

    Horton said climate change is "not just a threat to health, but to all life itself."

    He compared it to the coronavirus pandemic, explaining that countries who took quick preliminary action to protect their citizens were more successful in combating the virus and that the same must be done with climate change.

    “The climate emergency is a much more far-reaching public health emergency of international concern than COVID-19," in which "the costs of inaction can can be counted in the preventable deaths of millions," Horton said.

    Tedros responded to the campaign's claims regarding coronavirus and climate change by confirming that "the risks posed by climate change could dwarf that of any single disease."

    “The pandemic will end, but there is no vaccine for climate change," Tedros announced. "We have to act now, in solidarity, to prevent and prepare before it's too late."


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