Climate change will damage the public’s physical and mental health on an “unprecedented scale”, a group of more than 1,000 doctors have said in an open letter endorsing nonviolent protest.
The letter, signed by 1,147 doctors, warns that they are alarmed by extreme weather events, the spread of infectious diseases, loss of productive land and flooding, all of which will be caused by climate change.
Citing research into climate change, the letter said: “We heed predictions of societal collapse and consequent mass migration, both worldwide and within countries. Such societal collapse risks damage to physical and mental health on an unprecedented scale.”
The letter, which was signed by leading medical professionals including the Editor of the British Medical Journal Dr Fiona Godlee and the President of the UK Faculty of Public Health Professor John Middleton, added:
“As caring professionals we cannot countenance current policies which push the world’s most vulnerable now, and all our children in the future, towards progressive environmental catastrophe. We urge government and media to respond immediately and proportionately.”
It said that non violent direct action is useful in forcing the government to take note of these issues, arguing that “urgent radical action” will “mitigate the inevitable environmental damage”.
It adds: “The letter demonstrates the depth of frustration, helplessness and anxiety shown by increasing numbers of people from all backgrounds as we drift towards extinction.”
Activist group Extinction Rebellion will this afternoon march through Glastonbury, alongside Greenpeace, before forming the largest ever human extinction symbol. Musician Nick Mulvey will perform during the march on the group’s famous pink boat.
As politicians drag their heels on Brexit, a larger climate crisis continues to loom.