How to Fight Desertification and Reverse Climate Change

12/18/2015 12:00 AM

“Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert,” begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And it's happening to about two-thirds of the world’s grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes — and his work so far shows — that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert. More

Earth: The Operators' Manual

10/9/2015 12:00 AM

Program 1 in the Earth: The Operators' Manual mini-series, hosted by award-winning geoscientist, Richard Alley. Explains the essential science of climate change, and the promise of renewable energy to provide for humans' need for energy. Introduces unusual suspects in the discussion of global warming, the US Pentagon and wind farmers in West Texas. More

George Luber: Why Climate Change Has CDC Scientists Worried

6/12/2015 12:00 AM

As the effects of climate change increase, so, too, will its effects on human health. “Heat waves [in America],” Dr. George Luber notes, “kill more people every year than all other extreme weather combined, more than flooding, more than hurricanes, more than tornadoes.”

Luber, who has researched subjects including heat stress in urban environments and harmful algal blooms, climate change will “increase the potential for the transmission of disease” as well as directly affect human health through an increase in severe weather events, including heat waves.

Luber is an epidemiologist and the chief of the Climate and Health Program in the Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects at the National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has also served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer and staff epidemiologist at CDC.

Additionally, Luber is a co-chair of the Climate Change and Human Health Interagency Workgroup at the US Global Research Program and a member of the American Anthropological Association’s Presidential Task Force on Climate Change. He is also a convening lead author and member of the Federal Advisory Committee for the US National Climate Assessment and a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Fifth Assessment Report.


Community Health Impacts of Factory Farms

3/8/2015 12:00 AM

Steve Wing received his Ph.D. in epidemiology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he is currently an associate professor. Recent work has focused on environmental injustice and health effects of ionizing radiation, industrial animal production, sewage sludge, and landfills. He has collaborated on health and exposure studies with communities and workers impacted by threats to environmental and occupational health. More

The Influence of Global Environmental Change on Infectious Disease Dynamics

12/17/2014 12:00 AM

Understanding how environmental factors directly and indirectly influence the emergence and spread of infectious diseases has assumed global importance for life on this planet. While the causal links between environmental change and disease emergence are complex, progress in understanding these links, as well as how their impacts may vary across space and time, will require collaborative transdisciplinary and transnational research. Such research may inform improvements in global readiness and capacity for surveillance, detection, and response to emerging microbial threats to plant, animal, and human health.

The Forum on Microbial Threats hosted a public workshop on September 24 and 25, 2013, to explore the scientific and policy dimensions of the impacts of global environmental change on infectious disease dynamics. Participants examined and discussed the observed and likely influences of environmental factors, acting both individually and synergistically on infectious disease dynamics. A range of approaches to improve global readiness and capacity for surveillance, detection, and response to emerging microbial threats to plant, animal, and human health in the face of ongoing global environmental change was also discussed.

Read more here.

Petcoke: Toxic Waste in the Windy City

11/13/2014 12:00 AM

Last fall, black dust began to blow through residential neighborhoods on the southeast side of Chicago. Only it wasn't really dust; it was a fine black residue that clung to everything it touched, including noses and throats. Residents eventually learned that it was an oil byproduct called petroleum coke — petcoke for short — and it was being stored in massive uncovered piles at facilities owned by the Koch brothers. VICE News's Danny Gold traveled to Chicago to see what happens when clouds of toxic oil dust blow through the Windy City.


Climate Webinar: Climate Change & Public Health

10/27/2014 12:00 AM

Climate change threatens human health and well-being in numerous ways, from increased extreme weather events, wildfires, and decreased air quality, to insect-transmitted diseases, food and water contamination, and mental health threats. Despite these challenges, responding to climate change also provides opportunities to improve human health and well-being, as many of the strategies used to address climate change offer a variety of other benefits that protect people while combating climate change. This webinar will provide information about:

-Climate change impacts on health in the United States
-Potential strategies for climate change adaptation in the public health sector
-Possible opportunities to benefit health while addressing climate change


Insider's Look at Restaurant Inspections

10/10/2014 12:00 AM

Get a behind-the-scenes look at a food inspector's main concerns in a restaurant! More

Food System Thinking

8/15/2014 12:00 AM

The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future has been applying big-picture thinking to the food system since 1996, and has been educating the public, policymakers and advocates on key food system issues. The Center has focused on issues such as the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture and the resulting increase in antibiotic-resistant organisms, the public health risks of arsenic in some agricultural antibiotics, and the "food desert" phenomenon whereby some communities cannot easily access healthy foods. The Center funds research on these and other food system issues, and also tries to translate its research findings into policy. It often partners with impacted communities to both conduct the research and disseminate the findings. More

US Agriculture Policies: Influence on Public Health and Nutrition

7/20/2014 12:00 AM

Podcast is part of the Food Production, Public Health and the Environment series originally published by the John Hopkins University:

U.S. Agricultural Policies and the Farm Bill: Where is Health? (Michael Heller, Roni Neff)

Investigates how US Farm Bills influence public health and nutrition, food systems, farmers, climate change, food security and food prices.

Slides, graphs, charts and tables can be found at:

Podcasts were released under a creative commons license (attribution, non-commercial, share alike):