Our Climate & Health banners have been floating all around this state this year, and we're grateful to everyone who has hosted them. Our six banners cover some of the most important topics for Montana's climate and health: climate change basics, extreme heat, wildfires, mental health, maternal health, and the role of health systems. If you would like to host the banners in your lobby, check them out here.
We have 'preventative' solutions to treat climate change — but Congress must unleash the cure (Op-ed)
Health care professionals across Montana are increasingly seeing the negative health effects of climate change. Many have had patients move out of state to escape the lengthening wildfire smoke season. Anxious children wonder why summer expeditions get canceled. Some have even reported having had patients shut down their farm and ranch operations due to extreme drought.
Your stewardship can be ongoing (like frequent conversations with patients about how climate affects their health) or a one-time impact (like attending a climate-related CME course or webinar). Each steward is planning an action in one of three different categories: reducing healthcare's carbon footprint, supporting MT climate health, or amplifying MT healthcare voices for climate. This follows the commonly used framework of mitigation/adaptation/advocacy for climate health.
Being a steward means you're not in this alone! We have quarterly meetings to inspire and encourage each other as we share our successes and ask for advice. If you'd like more examples of possible actions, or if you have an idea and are ready to be a Climate Health Steward, please sign up here! Thanks to Good Works Ventures for the use of their beautiful space in downtown Missoula for our launch event.
We are thankful for all the people who supported our work this year. Our board donates close to 3000 hours to climate and health work but we still need a part-time staffer to keep us going! It is end-of-year-giving time too. If you are able, we would welcome your time or talents.
Board member Rob Byron recently had the pleasure of giving an interview to Montana Public Radio. Listen here and learn more about the Fifth National Climate Assessment.
Our board members Lori and Rob Byron recently came together with Montanan and Mongolian experts for a field course in Climate Change and Public Health through the American Center for Mongolian Studies. The team visited hospitals, clinics, and herders, many of whom are displaced due to climate change. Healthcare professionals in Mongolia are far more aware of the health effects of poor air quality, due in part to the situation Mongolia is facing.
UPDATE: The trial has now concluded! Judge Kathy Seeley ruled wholly in favor of the plaintiffs and set critical legal precedent in her decision. You can read her entire decision, which sets for that every extra ton of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere makes the climate crisis worse and disproportionately harms youth, and that Montana's emissions are nationally and globally significant.
We're standing in support of the youth plaintiffs of Held v. Montana, the first constitutional climate change case in the United States. Dr. Lori Byron closed out the second day of proceedings as an expert witness on the harmful effects of climate change on children's' health. This historic trial goes from June 12th - 20th.
MTHPHC, Audobon, the Pediatric Climate Committee, and the Billings Children's clinic collaborated on this contest, which features showings from entrants aged K - 8. Prizes were provided by First Interstate Bank, Billings Children's Clinic, Wise Wonders Children's Museum, Steep World, the Oasis, R.E.I., Air Trampoline Park, Yellowstone Art Museum, and the MT Audubon Center. The top ten from each age category are on display now at the Montana Audobon Center in Billings. Stop by and take a look! Here's a sneak peak: