7 x 10
Full color throughout, 100 illustrations
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.
"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."
"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)."
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."
"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?"
List of Tables and Boxes
Preface: A Note of Covid-19
Part I. Foundations
1. An Introduction to Planetary Health \ Samuel Myers, Howard Frumkin
2. Assembling Planetary Health: Histories of the Future \ Warwick Anderson, James Dunk
3. Population, Consumption, Equity and Rights \ Robert Engelman, John Bongaarts, Kristen P. Patterson
4. A Changing Planet \ Chris Field, David Tilman, Ruth DeFries, David Montgomery, Peter Gleick, Howard Frumkin, Philip Landrigan
Part II. The Health of Populations
5. Food and Nutrition on a Rapidly Changing Planet \ Samuel Myers
6. Planetary Health and Infectious Disease \ Richard S. Ostfeld, Felicia Keesing
7. Global Environmental Change and Non-Communicable Disease Risks \ Howard Frumkin, Andy Haines
8. Environmental Change, Migration, Conflict and Health \ Lauren Herzer Risi, Caroline Kihato, Rebecca Lorenzen, Howard Frumkin
9. Mental Health on a Changing Planet \ Susan Clayton
10. Climate Change and Human Health \ Howard Frumkin
11. Happiness on a Healthier Planet \ John F. Helliwell, Jon Hall
Part III: Pivoting From Threat to Opportunity
12. Energy and Planetary Health \ Ajay Pillarisetti, Kirk R. Smith
13. Urban Places and Planetary Health \ Ana V. Diez Roux, Adriana C. Lein, Iryna Dronova, Daniel A. Rodríguez, Rosie Mae Henson, Olga Sarmiento
14. Controlling Toxic Exposures \ Philip J. Landrigan, Terrence J. Collins, John Peterson Myers
15. A New Economics for Planetary Health \ Will Evison, Sam Bickersteth
16. The Business of Planetary Health: From Economic Theory to Policy and Practice \ Will Evison, Sam Bickersteth
Part IV. Saving Ourselves, Saving Our Planet
17. Planetary Health Ethics \ Alexander Foster, Jennifer Cole, Ivica Petrikova, Andrew Farlow, Howard Frumkin
18. A Bright Future for Planetary Health \ Samuel Myers, Howard Frumkin
Afterword: Coronavirus and Planetary Health
About the Editors
In spite of lingering global public health problems, human wellbeing has never been better. In the past 65 years through scientific advancement, for example, the proportion of the world’s people living in extreme poverty has dropped from 63% to 10% in spite of a tripling of the global population. That same technological advancement that has pulled much of humanity out of extreme poverty and provided other dramatic human benefits, has also increased man’s the human ecological footprint and exploded consumption of natural resources.
The impacts on the planet’s natural systems have been extraordinary measured by the composition of the atmosphere, loss of biodiversity, acidification of the oceans and loss of tropical forests as well as rapidly changing environmental conditions led by climate change. Planetary Heath recognizes that the well being of humanity and degradation of the rest of the biosphere cannot remain disconnected much longer. Rapidly changing environmental conditions alter our exposures to infectious diseases, such as COVID 19, and natural hazards including heat waves, droughts, floods, fires, and tropical storms. Our species has been slow to systematically address the devastating impact we have had on the planet that also threatens continued human wellbeing in spite of 40 years of international attempts by the United Nations and other international bodies. COVID 19 is forcing all sectors of society to rethink how they operate and remain resilient in a post COVID future.
Join Island Press and Security and Sustainability Forum in an insightful discussion about the potential for A New Deal for Planetary Health. Building on the new Island Press Publication, Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves, the webinar, led by the book editors Howard Frumkin and Samuel Myers, will explore reframing planetary health thinking to reimagine food, energy, placemaking, chemistry, and the economy in ways that can leads to a convergence of human wellbeing and the protection of natural systems.
The Conference will take place on four days: December 5-6 and 12-13. Each day of the Conference will be presented in two parts:
Part 1: Plenary Session and Panels
Part 1 of the 2020 Bioneers Conference feature topic experts, discussing and presenting on world-changing solutions, combined with performances, arts interludes, films and other content. The format of the Main Conference will be as follows:
Part 2: Fully Interactive/Participatory Sessions (additional registration required)
Directly after Part 1, Part 2 of the 2020 Bioneers Conference will begin, and it’s all about connection. Participants will be able to sign up for one of a variety of 90 minute participatory sessions and workshops, hosted and moderated to support the community to connect directly with each other and learn together around timely and relevant topics of interest. Additional advance registration is required in order to manage the number of attendees in each session to allow for actual interaction and conversation to take place. If you’re interested, sign up for your session of choice ASAP.
To see the complete schedule of speakers and sessions, visit our 2020 Bioneers Conference Daily Schedule.
On December 6, at 12:30 PM a panel discussion at the conference will take place on: Public Health/Planetary Health/One Health
The current pandemic has starkly revealed what the most thoughtful experts from a wide range of fields, from public health to environmental justice to ecology, have been telling us for decades: human health is completely interconnected with the health of ecosystems and with social equity. If we continue the intense degradation of wildlife habitats, the perennial emergence of virulent zoonotic diseases is all but inevitable. If we don’t rethink our current food system, we’ll continue to confront problems ranging from deforestation to obesity. If we don’t decarbonize our economy, we’ll confront ever-worsening health and environmental degradation. If we don’t address gross social and environmental injustices and structural racism, pollution-induced illnesses and epidemics will be impossible to contain. How do we rise to the challenge and radically restructure our entire approach to health? With: William B. Karesh, Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Health and Policy at EcoHealth Alliance, President of the World Animal Health Organization (OIE) Working Group on Wildlife Diseases and chair of the IUCN Wildlife Health Specialist Group; Howard Frumkin, Professor Emeritus, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington School of Public Health, co-editor of the new groundbreaking collection Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves; others TBA
These cases invite students to reflect on the pressing realities of people living in vulnerability, the complex connections between people and planet, and how the anthropogenic acts of one generation can reverberate through the next.
Download the case studies here or read them below.
Download the accompanying teaching guide for the case studies here or read it below.
Visit the Planetary Health Alliance case studies site here.
Download an annotated table of contents here or read it below.
Download the figures from the book for your course's PowerPoint presentation here or read them below.
From the Planetary Health Alliance website:
Planetary health education has been rapidly expanding, with new courses, lecture series, degree programs, faculty positions, and cross-university initiatives emerging across the globe. The Planetary Health Alliance is dedicated to supporting these efforts, convening students and educators around the world to share and develop resources and to forge new collaborations.
As you learn about planetary health and incorporate it into your coursework, here are some resources to help you get started. Follow the links below for multimedia resources, sample syllabi, and the cross-cutting principles of planetary health education.
Planetary health is currently being taught at all levels of education across the globe, from primary/secondary classrooms to undergraduate and graduate programs at universities. Whatever your student body and discipline, we encourage you to think about ways to incorporate planetary health into your own educational offerings. To get started, explore resources created by partners around the world in the link below and join a planetary health education working group specific to your level of focus. Browse points-of-contact by education level here.