The US recently released a report on the impact of climate change on the country.  Needless to say, it predicted devastating effects without drastic changes in carbon-based pollution.  The hypocrisy is unbridled, given the denial of the Trump administration with respect to the causation of climate change.  And, though the hypocrisy may be tempered globally, the global goals for carbon production remain unmet, with few expectations for meeting them.

 

With the existential threat of climate change already a reality, we are confronted with the critical question of what we can do as individuals and social pediatricians.  It is arguably the most important global challenge to health and child health we face.   Much has been written, new journals have been spawned, and the political discourse is continuous.  It would be inefficient and impossible to reproduce this state of knowledge, but productive to distill what is known through the lens of Social Pediatrics to develop a strategic approach that contributes to the global response.

 

There are multiple ways to accomplish this, all will require a commitment of time and resources.  Toward this end, we would like to establish a special interest group (SIG) on climate change to work over the next 18 months to collate what is known, help us identify a portfolio of responses and organize globally with collaborating organizations to orchestrate a response. This plan can serve as the framework for our 2020 Annual Meeting that is planned to focus on climate change.

 

We will leave the final plans to the SIG, but this approach will offer opportunities for the development of webinars, policy statement(s), blogs, targeted citation lists, and other approaches.  Linked to collaborating partner organizations, including CHIFA, the SIG could serve to inform colleagues around the world who are struggling with the same questions.   We look forward to your leadership and participation as we address this most critical global issue.

 

Jeffrey Goldhagen