The 2023 U.N. climate conference in Dubai saw a milestone as 123 countries signed a statement acknowledging that climate change poses a major threat to human health. And yet it’s not clear if the world can move fast enough to slow change to a manageable level, or to counter the health impacts that by mid-century are projected to cause at least an additional 250,000 deaths per year.
A series for the PBS NewsHour examines the challenge from two very different perspectives. The first highlights the surprising fact that Texas, long a bastion of oil barons and fossil fuel production, has become far and away the U.S.’ leading producer of renewable energy. Clean energy expert Michael Webber, the author of Power Trip, says Texas is a prime example of doing “the right thing for the wrong reasons.” Could it be an example for other oil- and gas-dependent economies?
The second story examines a movement among medical professionals to highlight the dire health consequences of failing to address climate change, including increased spread of infectious disease, poor air quality from fires, deadly heat, and fractured governments and health systems. Cameras go inside a unique training session at Texas A&M’s “Disaster City.” Harvard, meanwhile, is the launching pad for a remarkable research project that is helping grassroots activists in India to overhaul the way the world responds to extreme heat waves.