This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Monday, April 23, 2018

A Shout-Out to the UC Planetary Health Center of Expertise

I spent this morning in the company of people who have organized the University of California Global Health Institute's Center of Excellence on Planetary Health. One of its two Co-Directors is my long-time friend and colleague David Lopez-Carr, who is Professor Geography at UC Santa Barbara. Here is their overall statement of purpose:
Planetary health is an emerging field that recognizes a balance is needed among the global systems of land, air, water and life. It raises awareness about our looming crisis of rapidly growing populations juxtaposed against limited food and natural resources. Climate change adds more unpredictability and extreme events into the mix. Planetary health identifies solutions that will help populations, both human and animal, to foster resilience in the face of changing environments.
The other Center of Excellence funded by the UC Global Health Institute is Women's Health, Gender and Empowerment:
As we approach 2020, women and girls continue to struggle for equal rights and opportunities. The oppression of women and girls is a pervasive human rights violation with profound effects on their health and wellbeing. 
The Center of Expertise on Women's Health, Gender and Empowerment (WHGE) envisions a world in which equitable gender norms lead to healthy and empowered women — including UC students. The Center promotes research, education and community engagement both globally and locally to reduce gender and health inequities.
One of the things strongly emphasized today was that these two themes go together. Planetary health is very dependent on the actions of women, and the planet's future rests heavily on the education of women (along with men, of course) on how to best use our resources in a sustainable manner.

This morning's meeting followed yesterday's UC Global Health Day at UC San Diego, sponsored by the UC Global Health Institute. Now, I have to tell you that even though I am affiliated with UCSD as a Clinical Professor of Global Public Health, by the time I heard about Global Health Day it was all sold out! No seats available, don't even show up! I'm guessing that they were not necessarily thinking in these terms, but it was a great metaphor for where we are in terms of planetary health. Are we, for all intents and purposes, sold out?

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