Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves (Paperback)

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Human health depends on the health of the planet. Earth’s natural systems—the air, the water, the biodiversity, the climate—are our life support systems. Yet climate change, biodiversity loss, scarcity of land and freshwater, pollution and other threats are degrading these systems. The emerging field of planetary health aims to understand how these changes threaten our health and how to protect ourselves and the rest of the biosphere.

Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves provides a readable introduction to this new paradigm. With an interdisciplinary approach, the book addresses a wide range of health impacts felt in the Anthropocene, including food and nutrition, infectious disease, non-communicable disease, dislocation and conflict, and mental health. It also presents strategies to combat environmental changes and its ill-effects, such as controlling toxic exposures, investing in clean energy, improving urban design, and more. Chapters are authored by widely recognized experts.

The result is a comprehensive and optimistic overview of a growing field that is being adopted by researchers and universities around the world. Students of public health will gain a solid grounding in the new challenges their profession must confront, while those in the environmental sciences, agriculture, the design professions, and other fields will become familiar with the human consequences of planetary changes. Understanding how our changing environment affects our health is increasingly critical to a variety of disciplines and professions. Planetary Health is the definitive guide to this vital field.

About the Author

Samuel Myers, MD, MPH is a Principal Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and founding Director of the Planetary Health Alliance. Dr. Myers served as a Commissioner on the Lancet-Rockefeller Foundation Commission on Planetary Health. He was the inaugural recipient of the Arrell Global Food Innovation Award in 2018 for research quantifying the impacts of environmental change on human nutrition. He has also been awarded the Prince Albert II of Monaco—Institut Pasteur Award for research at the interface of global environmental change and human health.

Howard Frumkin, MD, DrPH is emeritus professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington School of Public Health, where he was Dean from 2010-2016. He was previously head of Our Planet, Our Health at the Wellcome Trust and director of the National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  His other books include Environmental Health: From Global to Local (3rd edition, 2016) and Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-being, and Sustainability (2011).

Praise For…

“A practical and useful handbook for planetary health education....The format of the book is engaging, with readable text complemented by an interesting mix of figures, tables, and photographs... The author roster is impressive… [it] provides a comprehensive and illuminating overview of planetary health...[and] is an important book [and] an excellent primer... I like it, and hope it is widely read. It certainly is a timely text for burgeoning university courses in planetary health. Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves should be on the reading list of all health professionals because they have an important part to play as we strive for planetary health."
— The Lancet

"A comprehensive review...Planetary Health is highly interdisciplinary, predicated as it is on the basis that human health and the health of the planet are inextricably linked. I would recommend biodiversity and conservation scientists to read this book because it shows how our understanding of the complexities and interaction of the natural world have direct relevance to managing many existing and emerging human diseases….The editors have done an excellent job in drawing together some deep and critical thinkers about planetary health, and so this will be a useful introductory textbook in undergraduate classes in ecology or environmental sciences as well as the health sciences. I would also like to see Planetary Health used as a primer for those from industry or policy involved in the challenges of how we protect our planet to ensure that it meets the health aspirations of future generations.”
— Biodiversity and Conservation

"Planners and students can benefit from the authors’ and editors’ authoritative and wide-ranging overview (as well as their sincere optimism)."
— Planning Magazine

Named one of the "25 Best Books of All Time for Health Promotion Professionals."
— American Journal of Health Promotion

"A thought-provoking and rich 500-page overview of the emerging field of planetary health... Frumkin and Myers and their contributors build their case so methodically, with loads of persuasive data, that by the end of the book, it seems difficult to imagine a better framework for understanding Earth’s contemporary human-environmental dynamics. This book is a must-read for anyone passionate about creating better outcomes for more people, far into the future."
— The Dirt

"In contrast with most previous books on environment and health which predominately focus on problems, a refreshing aspect of Planetary Health is the considerable portion of the book that is dedicated toward solutions....Epidemiologists and other health scientists will appreciate Planetary Health’s comprehensive review of the environment-health literature and its incorporation of frameworks from biological, environmental and health sciences to improve causal inference between complex natural systems and human health. But perhaps the book’s most timely contribution is its roadmap for action to manage and protect our natural environments and improve health."
— International Journal of Epidemiology

“The book’s value [is] in providing information critical to understanding current problems and pathways to a healthier future. Knowledge gained by its readers should result in at least some movement toward appreciating the need to make changes and influence individual actions. It may lead to additional exploration of methods to change societal perspectives about the need to quickly effectuate actions critical to protecting the health of the planet and the people who all depend on it. Certainly, that outcome would mark an important contribution.”
— Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences

"A must read for anyone interested in a roadmap to saving both ourselves and the planet."
— Georges C. Benjamin, MD, Executive Director, American Public Health Association

"If I could place a copy of this book in every home, every school, and on the desk of every public official, I would. Hope, wonder, awe, and respect are written into every page. So is a call to care."
— Terry Tempest Williams, author of "The Hour of Land" and Writer in Residence, Harvard Divinity School

"With digestible science and a wealth of historic and political context, this book… leaves us with a sense of hope given the solutions in hand and the proven resilience of the human spirit."
— Gina McCarthy, President and CEO, Natural Resources Defense Council and former US EPA Administrator under Barack Obama

"The Covid microbe reminds us that biology can't be spun or compromised with; climate change teaches us the same lesson about physics and chemistry. This volume underlines those insights, and helps us see how we can reimagine our relationship with the planet."
— Bill McKibben, author of "Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?"

Product Details
ISBN: 9781610919661
ISBN-10: 1610919661
Publisher: Island Press
Publication Date: August 13th, 2020
Pages: 536
Language: English

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