A well-planned response to the risks to human health from large-scale climate change will have two dimensions. First, is slowing the rate of change in order to increase time for measured preparation. For this we depend on the wisdom and will of world leaders in laying out a policy framework and the innovation of industry in achieving a viable path to stabilizing the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases. Second, we in the public health community need to develop better monitoring systems to assess emerging risks that may increase as the climate warms. We should advise governments at all levels on how to minimize the chance of epidemics and small outbreaks, and other short-term impacts of weather extremes.
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