DOI: 10.3390/ijerph21010041 ISSN: 1660-4601

Annals of Education: Teaching Climate Change and Global Public Health

William N. Rom
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

The climate crisis is a health emergency: breaking temperature records every successive month, increasing mortality from hurricanes/cyclones resulting in >USD150 billion/year in damages, and mounting global loss of life from floods, droughts, and food insecurity. An entire course on climate change and global public health was envisioned, designed for students in public health, and delivered to Masters level students. The course content included the physical science behind global heating, heat waves, extreme weather disasters, arthropod-related diseases, allergies, air pollution epidemiology, melting ice and sea level rise, climate denialism, renewable energy and economics, social cost of carbon, and public policy. The methods included student engagement in presenting two air pollution epidemiological or experimental papers on fossil fuel air pollution. Second, they authored a mid-term paper on a specific topic in the climate crisis facing their locale, e.g., New York City. Third, they focused on a State, evaluating their climate change laws and their plans to harness renewable wind, solar, storage, nuclear, and geothermal energy. Students elsewhere covered regional entities’ approach to renewable energy. Fourth, the global impact was presented by student teams presenting a country’s nationally determined contribution to the Paris Climate Agreement. Over 200 Master’s students completed the course; the participation and feedback demonstrated markedly improved knowledge and evaluation of the course over time.

More from our Archive