The Lancet has called climate change the biggest global health threat of the 21st century, and the World Health Organization estimates that the direct damage costs to health of the changing climate will be between US$ 2-4 billion/year by 2030. Malnutrition, diarrheal disease, respiratory disease, vector-borne disease, illness secondary to extreme heat, and mental illness will all increase. This is not a problem of the future: the head of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, former head of global health at Harvard, predicts increasing conflict over scarcer food and water in the next 5-10 years. Dr Kim has called for a multidisciplinary team similar to the one that has been so successful in the fight against HIV/AIDS to now address the health effects of climate change. CAPE aims to be an essential part of that team in Canada.
There are many things that we can do that not only decrease greenhouse gases, thereby improving health in the long-run, but which have immediate positive health benefits for Canadians. To that end, CAPE promotes the phase-out of coal-fired power across Canada. Coal combustion is a major source of greenhouse gases, mercury, lead, and sulphur dioxide. CAPE played a pivotal role in Ontario’s decision to shut its coal fleet by 2014 – one of the most important climate change mitigation projects in the world. Currently the organization is working to phase-out coal plants in Alberta and Nova Scotia. CAPE would like to see coal replaced by a full suite of renewable sources and robust energy conservation programs.
CAPE also helps to support individual health care providers and physicians across Canada as they work to improve environmental health and support low-carbon policies in their own communities. Please see our interactive map and contact us for mentorship. We love helping MDs grow in their role as advocates for a healthy climate!
i) Climate Change
Flyers and Posters for MDs
- CAPE Divestment for Health Handout
- CAPE Climate and Health Poster
- CAPE Climate and Health Flyer
- CAPE Climate and Health Factsheet
- CAPE Climate Change Flyer (Seasonal – December 2013) Version 1
- CAPE Climate Change Flyer (Seasonal – December 2013) Version 2
- CAPE Climate Change Poster (Seasonal – December 2013) Version 1
- CAPE Climate Change Poster (Seasonal – December 2013) Version 2
In the News
- Climate change will ‘lead to battles for food’, says head of World Bank. Dr. Jim Yong Kim urges campaigners and scientists to work together to form a coherent plan in the fight against climate change. April 2014.
- Jim Yong Kim, MD: Make 2014 the turning point on climate. January 2014.
- Fossil fuel companies and climate change: the case for divestment. BMJ Editorial, June 2015
- From public to planetary health: a manifesto. The Lancet Editorial, March 2014
- Climate change and human survival. BMJ Editorial, March 2014
- Climate change is a health emergency. BMJ Editorial, April 2014
Peer-Reviewed Medical Literature
- British Medical Journal Spotlight on Climate Change Series
- NEJM 2013 Review Article. McMichael A, “Globalization, Climate Change and Human Health“
- Lancet and University College London Commission on Climate Change Series
Canadian Content in the Peer-Reviewed Literature
- Abelsohn, A, Rachlis V, Vakil C. “Climate Change: Should Family Physicians and Family Medicine Organizations Pay Attention?” Canadian Family Physician, May 2013.
Canadian Editorial Content
- Sibbald, B. “Physicians Roles on the Front Line of Climate Change. “ CMAJ Editorial, Feb 2013
CAPE’s Position on Climate Change and Human Health
- Canadian Medical Association. CMA Policy: Climate Change and Human Health. 2010 CMA.
ii) Oil Sands
Human Health and the Oil Sands
- Multidisciplinary Review Paper: Gosselin P, Hrudey SE, Naeth MA, Plourde A, Therrien R, Van Der Kraak G, Xu Z. The Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel: Environmental and Health Impacts of Canada’s Oil Sands Industry. The Royal Society of Canada The Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada Dec 2010.
- Chen Y et al. Cancer Incidence in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta 1995-2006. Alberta Cancer Board Division of Population Health and Information Surveillance. Feb 2009.
- Armstrong, Bruce. Fort Chipewyan Cancer Study Findings, Independent Peer Reviews.
- Timoney KP and Lee P. A Study of Water and Sediment Quality as Related to Public Health Issues, Fort Chipewyan, Alberta: on behalf of the Nunee Health Board Society, Fort Chipewyan, Alberta.
RELEVANT CMA POLICY
- Resolutions from CMA General Council 2012: #51, 53, and 54
- Canadian Medical Association. CMA Policy: Climate Change and Human Health. 2010 CMA.
- Canadian Medical Association. CMA Policy: Determining the Impact of Chemical Contamination on Human Health. 2011 CMA.
- CMA Policy: Joint CAN/CMA Position statement on Environmentally Responsible Activity in the Health-Care Sector (update 2008). 2009 CMA.
PEER REVIEWS OF PREVIOUS OIL SANDS MONITORING SYSTEM (RAMP)
- Dillon P et al. Evaluation of Four Reports on Contamination of the Athabasca River System by Oil Sands Operations. Prepared by Water Monitoring Data Review Committee for the Government of Alberta. March 7, http://www.ec.gc.ca/pollution/default.asp?lang=En&n=E9ABC93B-1
- Dowdeswell L et al. A Foundation for the Future: Building an Environmental Monitoring System for the Oil Sands. A Report Submitted to the (Federal) Ministry of the environment. December 2010 http://www.ec.gc.ca/pollution/E9ABC93B-A2F4-4D4B-A06D-BF5E0315C7A8/1359_Oilsands_Advisory_Panel_report_09.pdf
- Main C et al. 2010 Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program (RAMP) Scientific Review. Integrated Water Management Program, Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures. January 6, 2011. http://www.ramp-alberta.org/UserFiles/File/RAMP%202010%20Scientific%20Peer%20Review%20Report.pdf
Current Monitoring Program: Joint Canada-Alberta Oil Sands Monitoring Program (JOSM)
- Government of Canada and Government of Alberta. Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring. © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of the Environment, 2012. http://environment.alberta.ca/03902.html
- Official Information Portal for JOSM: http://www.jointoilsandsmonitoring.ca/pages/home.aspx?lang=en
- Editorial on JOSM: Globe and Mail editorial July 19, 2012 http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/editorials/oil-sands-monitoring-must-be-credible/article4428720/
PEER-REVIEWED STUDIES (NOT EXHAUSTIVE)
- Bayne EM, Van Wigenburg SL, Boutin S, Hobson KA. Modeling and field-testing of Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus) responses to boreal forest dissection by energy sector development at multiple spatial scales. Landscape Ecology (2005) 20:203-216.
- Charpentier AD, Bergerson JA, MacLean HL. Understanding the Canadian oil sands industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. Environ. Res. Lett. 2009, 4, 014005 (11p). http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/4/1/014005/pdf/erl9_1_014005.pdf
- Colavecchia MV, Hodson PV, Parrott JL. CYP1A Induction and Blue Sac Disease in Early Life Stages of White Suckers (Catostamus cmmersoni) Exposed to Oil Sands. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A: Current Issues, 69:10,967-994.
- Dyer SJ, O’Neil JP, Wasel SM, Boutin S. Avoidance of Industrial Development by Woodland Caribou. The Journal of Wildlife Management. 2001, Vol 65 (3), pp. 531-542.
- Giesy JP, Anderson JC, Wiseman SB. Alberta oil sands development. PNAS, Vol 107(3)951-952. http://www.pnas.org/content/107/3/951.full
- Hall R, Wolfe BB, Wiklund JA, Edwards TWD, Farwell AJ, Dixon DG. Has Alberta Oil Sands Development Altered Delivery of Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds to the Peace-Athabasca Delta? PLOS ONE Sept 2012 Vol 7; Issue 9: e46089. http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0046089
- He Y, Patterson S, Wang N, Hecker M, Martin JW, El-Din MG, Giesy JP, Wiseman SB. Toxicity of untreated and ozonetreated oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) to early life stages of the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas). Water Res Sept 13, 2012.
- Jordaan SM, Land and Water Impacts of Oil Sands Production in Alberta. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2012, 46, 3611-3617.
- Jordaan SM, Keith DW, Stelfox B. Quantifying land use of oil sands production: a life cycle perspective. Environ. Res. Lett. 2009 (4) 024004 (15pp). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22364164
- Kelly EN, Short JW, Schindler D, Hodson PV, Ma M, Kwan AK, Fortin BL. Oil sands development contributes polycyclic aromatic compounds to the Athabasca River and its tributaries. PNAS 2009;106(52):22346-22351. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/12/04/0912050106.full.pdf+html
- Kelly EN, Schindler DW, Hodson PV, Short JW, Radmanovich R, Nielsen CC. Oil sands development contributes elements toxic at low concentrations to the Athabasca River and its tributaries. PNAS 2010;107(37):16178-16183. http://www.pnas.org/content/107/37/16178.full.pdf+html
- Kurek J, Kirk JL, Muir DCG, Wang X, Evans MS, Smol JP. Legacy of a half century of Athabasca oil sands development recorded by lake ecosystems. PNAS Jan 2013, vol110: 5, 1761-1766. http://www.pnas.org/content/110/5/1761.full.pdf+html
- Machtans CS. Songbird response to seismic lines in the western boreal forest: a manipulative experiment. Can. J. Zool. 2006 84: 1421-1430.
- Nielsen SE, Bayne EM, Schieck J, Herbers J, Boutin S. A new method to estimate species and biodiversity intactness using empirically derived reference conditions. Biological Conservation. 137 (2007) 403-414.
- Rooney CR, Bayley SE, and Schindler DW. Oil sands mining and reclamation cause massive loss of peatland and stored carbon. PNAS, 2012, 109:13,4933-37. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3323950/pdf/pnas.201117693.pdf
- Swart NC, Weaver AJ. Commentary: The Alberta oil sands and climate. Nature Climate Change. 2012, Vol 2, 134-136.
- Timoney KP and Lee p. Does the Alberta Tar Sands Industry Pollute? The Scientific Evidence. The Open Conservation Biology Journal, 2009, 3,65-81. http://cahr.uvic.ca/nearbc/documents/2009/Alberta-Tar-Sands-Industry-Pollute.pdf
- Timoney KP and Lee P. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Increase in Athabasca River Delta Sediment: Temporal Trends and Environmental Correlates. Environmental Science and Technology 2011 dx.doi.org/10.1021/es104375d
- Wiklund JA, Hall RI, Wolfe BB, Edwards TWD, Farwell AJ, Dixon DG. Has Alberta oil sands development increased far-field delivery of airborne contaminants to the Peace-Athabasca Delta? Science of the Total Environment. 433(2012) 379-382. http://ceaa.gc.ca/050/documents_staticpost/59540/82534/Oil_Sands_Development_-_Wiklund.pdf
iii) Renewable Energy
- Jacobson, Mark Z and Delucchi, Mark A. A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030. Scientific American, November 2009.
- Anderson K, Weis T, Thibault B, Khan F, Nanni B and Farber N. A Costly Diagnosis: Subsidizing coal power with Albertans’ health. The Pembina Foundation, The Asthma Society of Canada, The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, The Lung Association – Alberta & Northwest Territories and The Pembina Institute. March 2013.
- Gohlke JM, Thomas R, Woodward A, Campbell-Lendrum D, Pruss-Ustun A, Hales S and Portier CJ. Estimating the global public health implications of electricity and coal consumption. Environmental Health Perspectives June 2011, vol 9(6), pp. 821-6.
- Baker, Christopher. A Review of Diesel Exhaust Toxicity and Public Health: Looking Down the Road in North America. The Centre for Studies in Primary Care, Queen’s University Department of Family Medicine. March 2014.