Smoke billows from stacks as a Chinese woman wears as mask while walking in a neighborhood next to a coal-fired power plant on 26 November 2015 in Shanxi, China. Photo: Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

By Brady Dennis
26 January 2017

(The Washington Post) – It turns out there will be a conference in Atlanta next month about climate change and its effects on public health. It just won’t have the federal government behind it.

The reason? Former vice president Al Gore.

“He called me and we talked about it and we said, ‘There’s still a void and still a need.’ We said, ‘Let’s make this thing happen,’ ” said Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. “It was a no-brainer.”

News of a revived conference comes days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention abruptly canceled its long-planned Climate and Health Summit in the lead-up to the change in White House administrations. Benjamin called the move a “strategic retreat” given the climate skepticism of the incoming administration. […]

The CDC’s move last week exasperated some environmental and public health advocates, who see the issue as an increasingly urgent one and argue that the agency should have gone forward with the summit unless told otherwise by the Trump administration.

“The meeting was important and should have been held,” one scheduled attendee told The Post. “Politics is politics, but protecting the health of our citizens is one of our government’s most important obligations.” [more]

CDC’s canceled climate change conference is back on — thanks to Al Gore



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