Doctors appeal on Earth Day to heal the unhealthy planet

DOCTORS concerned about the environment have appealed to the government to urgently address climate change and pollution as public health problems.

rish Doctors for the Environment (IDE) presented a letter to the coalition at a demonstration outside Leinster House to mark Earth Day.

They wrote that as physicians they had a professional responsibility not only to treat disease but also to promote health.

“This responsibility means that we must play our role in society by educating the public and its leaders about the health implications of political decisions,” they said.

They said Covid was a “message from an unhealthy planet” and said the government had a choice now that the pandemic was easing, either going back to normal business or making changes for the better.

“People want to emerge from the pandemic knowing that we are building a healthier, fairer world,” they wrote.

“The things that people want, like a health system that works justly, like healthy air, soil and water, like a secure energy supply from renewable resources, poverty eradication, urban renewal, livable cities that promote social connection – that’s the Key ingredients for a secure and sustainable future.”

An annual global event since 1970, Earth Day aims to highlight the need to protect the environment.

In recent years, climate change has become a central theme of events and has been at the heart of the campaign by school students who joined the Dáil demonstration.

One of their demands was free, green and widespread public transport.

“With rising CO2 emissions and oil prices, stopping public transport from becoming free and expanding is unthinkable,” said fifth-year student Ewan Fitzgerald.

“Again and again we have heard from the government that we should use fewer household appliances or reduce our water consumption while they offer us no real solution and leave big polluting companies who profit from environmental destruction untouched.”

The meeting coincided with the release of the latest EU climate report, which showed that last year was another year of extreme weather events, with record-breaking heat, intense wildfires and devastating floods, while CO2 emissions continued to rise.

Across the country, community and environmental groups are hosting a variety of local walks, talks, bikes and cleanups today and this weekend to mark Earth Day. Doctors appeal on Earth Day to heal the unhealthy planet

Fry Electronics Team

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