DR. AC: Human health = Planetary Health

Dr. AC: First off, a warning: This is a no-mince-words website. I’m a no-nonsense woman, who says it like it is. I’m far from perfect, but I’m trying, and I’m really hoping you will too. So to get you started, here’s a brief synopsis of my recent reading and thinking:

If you want cleaner air in our cities and less climate change, DRIVE A LOT LESS. Or not at all.

If you want less fat around your middle, DRIVE A LOT LESS! Or not at all.

It’s all one and the same. Get out that BICYCLE, or maybe even your FEET and LEGS. And if you must own a car, get a small electric one, or join a car-share. With your new healthy lifestyle, you won’t be needing cars much anyway.

If you want to effectually reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, obesity, diabetes, blood clots, cancer, etc. etc., STOP commuting two hours a day in stop-and-go traffic, spewing out emissions as you sip your double-double and munch down crappy croissants, all while breathing the exhaust of the car (or worse, the truck) in front of you. That’s just barmy, my friend. Take PUBLIC TRANSIT. WALK that first and last kilometer. Imagine, in no time at all you’ll find you have hiked an extra 10 Km each week! Even better, BIKE to work. The exercise you get has positive effects on your health that far outweigh the effects of car fumes, or the risk of an early and tragic massacre by motorized vehicle. Statistically, at least, chances are high that you will live much longer.

If you want to severely curtail greenhouse gas production and air/water pollution, STOP EATING all that meat and cheese! Our industrial farming system is wreaking havoc with the planet.

If you want to reduce your risk of innumerable diseases, STOP EATING all that meat and cheese! Start a love affair with beans and legumes. Pile that plate high with vegetables. Add nuts and seeds to your salad. Learn to grill zucchini. It’s amazing!

Want to have another mega-impact on your GHG emissions? DON’T FLY unless you absolutely must. Take up sailing, like Greta, or even wind surfing. Try out the TRAIN. Slow down the pace of your life. Have STAYCATIONS. Go hiking or biking close to home. PLAY with your kids in the park. Your blood pressure just might come down. You might avoid a fatal blood clot hitting your lungs. You will of course SAVE MONEY too, which you can use to plant trees, or hire a personal trainer.

The whole argument is a bit circular. What’s good for PLANETARY health is what’s also good for YOUR health. The overlaps are spectacular. The CHANGES required of you, however,  are NOT inconsequential.