Book Brief: Changing Planet, Changing Health: How the climate crisis threatens our health and what we can do about it

Paul R. Epstein and Dan Ferber
University of California Press (June 2012)
ISBN 9780520272637
368 pages

Changing Planet, Changing Health gives a detailed chronology and analysis of the status of climate change and its damaging effects on the health community. Drawing upon their experiences in the field and testimonies from other experts and researchers, Paul R. Epstein and Dan Ferber provide a thorough account of environmental health dangers, from the widening spread of disease vectors to the effects of increased incidence of natural disasters.

With a combination of case studies, personal accounts, and technical explanations, the authors explain how the climate crisis exacerbates problems of food crisis, sanitation, access to clean water, and other major components of the right to health. They present a convincing argument that these problems are not just limited to developing countries, but are also endangering the quality of life and methods of disease control for wealthier nations. The authors connect ecological disasters to their health-threatening effects, and in doing so offer another perspective on why climate change matters. The authors provide relevant hypothetical trajectories of climate crises, such as increased wildfires, widespread drought, and expansion of disease.

Epstein and Ferber also detail myriad individual actions and policy solutions that can be implemented to combat the climate crisis. They frame these solutions in terms of incentivizing the global economy to act, and urge a shift in the political paradigm to recognize the urgency of these issues.