Clean Energy Action is saddened to report the passing of Dr. Paul Epstein, a physician and associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School – he was a pioneering voice in bringing awareness to the human health concerns related to climate change. According to the Center for Health and the Global Environment, Dr. Epstein “was one of the first people to link extreme weather events with the emergence and spread of human infectious diseases. He was also one of the first people to recognize the independent effects of greenhouse gases on the environment and human health.” Beginning in the early 1990s, Dr. Epstein began publishing widely in scientific journals about the potential effects of excessive carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – a topic rarely considered at the time.
One of his acts in his last year of living was to include Clean Energy Action’s Research Director, Leslie Glustrom, on his Harvard True Cost of Coal study. Visit Dr. Epstein’s Full cost accounting for the life cycle of coal here. “The study tracks the multiple human health and environmental impacts of coal from mining to transport to combustion in coal power plants and the waste stream that results. The Harvard paper estimates that “the life cycle effects of coal and the waste stream generated are costing the U.S. public a third to over one-half of a trillion dollars annually.”
Dr. Epstein will be deeply missed both by friends and the scientific community.
For more information, visit the NY Times article, “Dr. Paul Epstein, Expert in Public Health, Is Dead at 67” here.