Al Gore swoops in to save CDC’s climate and health conference

Beth Mole
Thanks to a push from former Vice President Al Gore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s conference on the health effects of climate change is back on for next month in Atlanta.

The conference was abruptly canceled by the agency following the election of Donald Trump. Though the CDC has given no explanation for the cancellation, co-organizer Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, called it a “strategic retreat," the intention of which was to avoid upsetting the new administration and allow it to have input on the conference. The CDC said the conference may be rescheduled later in the year.
But Gore and others weren’t having that, apparently. In an interview with the Washington Post, Benjamin said, “He called me and we talked about it and we said, ‘There’s still a void and still a need.’ We said, ‘Let’s make this thing happen'… It was a no-brainer.”
In a press release, Gore elaborated, writing:
They tried to cancel this conference but it is going forward anyway. Today we face a challenging political climate, but climate shouldn’t be a political issue. Health professionals urgently need the very best science in order to protect the public, and climate science has increasingly critical implications for their day-to-day work. With more and more hot days, which exacerbate the proliferation of the Zika virus and other public health threats, we cannot afford to waste any time.
Researchers and other organizers echoed the sentiment. The conference will now be supported by nongovernmental groups, including the Turner Foundation, The Climate Reality Project, and the Harvard Global Health Institute.
It will be held in the same place and at the same time as the CDC’s conference—February 16, 2017 at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. However, it will be consolidated into one day instead of three. Still, organizers stressed that "the event will preserve the focus of the CDC conference and will be a substantive working session for participants, providing a crucial platform for members of public health professions, the climate community and officials tasked with responding to local health problems, to come together around solutions."
It’s unclear if CDC researchers and staff will be able to attend, according to the Washington Post.
Al Gore swoops in to save CDC’s climate and health conference Reviewed by Bizpodia on 03:32 Rating: 5

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