- freely available
Challenges 2019, 10(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe10010014
2. Capturing the Zeitgeist: Opportunities and Threats
3. The Unique Approach of Planetary Health
4. Thoughts into Action
5. The Value of Interdisciplinarity
6. A 12-Step Programme for Earth
7. Planetary Health Ethics: Beyond First Principles
7.1. Imagination Challenges
- Planetary Health involves the continual act of attunement to our bodies, the environment, the cultures we exist within, other inhabitants of the Earth and Earth’s complete biosphere. Human actions should aim to inflict no harm on the planet.
- Humans are inescapably part of the animal kingdom and of Earth’s biosphere. Re-alignment with human evolutionary history, and an understanding of what costs or benefits may be involved when alignment is abandoned, should be an imperative for Planetary Health.
- Planetary Health considers each human generation to be the custodians, not the masters, of Earth and its biosphere, responsible to future generations as well as to their own. We must leave the planet in a healthy state for future generations; they have equal rights to live on a healthy planet.
- Planetary Health is a transdisciplinary ethos open to all. It does not belong to any one particular profession or social group. It not only requires voices to be heard from within academia, civil society, government (at all levels, especially at the local), the world of business and from outside traditional institutional powers, but also must facilitate the incorporation of these actors into a collaborative discussion.
7.2. Knowledge Challenges
- The biosphere—particularly with regard to the potential for broad ecological diversity that exists within it—must be valued for its own sake, not only for the production of the food, medicines, and ecosystem services that are of benefit to humanity. New ways to understand, measure and value nature may require the entire biosphere to be afforded legal rights. It is insufficient and unjust to confer rights to individual nonhuman entities on the basis of how humans perceive it and/or on calculable economic measures, such as ecosystem services.
- Improving human relationships with the natural world, and ultimately improving human health by reducing environmental damage, may challenge the current dominant paradigms of economic growth and development. We must not shy away from new ways of thinking about economic growth [20,43] that eschew exponential growth rates forever if planetary damage is a byproduct. We must seek to redefine the notion of economic output and what it means to be productive. Planetary Health will benefit from indigenous populations’ understandings of the value of air, land and sea.
- Planetary Health workers must seek ways to balance equity of, and accessibility to, the past, present, and future benefits derived from human innovations. Future progress and development must not be impeded, but new benefits must not further stress the Earth System addressed by the planetary boundaries model. This will need us to critically debate and formulate new ways to deal with the complex equity issues at the heart of planetary health, that are simultaneously inter-generational, inter-species and social.
- Early indications of ecosystem and planet-wide harm must be recognized and acted on at an international level with a fair sharing of the costs, assessed on ability to pay and responsibility for the damage caused. Practical alternatives to the cause of the harm must be developed, shared and implemented, not just discussed.
7.3. Implementation Challenges
- As an ethos, Planetary Health must not only be a way of working, but also a way of living with which all people can engage. Active engagement with community groups and smaller organizations must be facilitated.
- Planetary Health followers should attempt to enhance the early recognition of severe deviation from healthy environmental conditions and seek to realign human societies with their ecosystems at the earliest possible opportunity, supported by robust evidence of the detriments of inaction. Much of this evidence will be locally specific, requiring us to think globally and act locally.
- Actions to address Planetary Health should follow a precautionary principle until we can identify where the risk of further deviation from optimal environmental conditions lies in future. We must also provide solutions and support for mitigating these risks, including strengthening the legal instruments for protection of nature . This support may come in the form of financial and technological assistance, new legislation and structures of international governance, or knowledge sharing as appropriate. For each context, participatory approaches with local partners should be key to developing the best solutions.
- A Planetary Health approach will provide the evidence on the basis of which sound policy decisions can be based and locally sensitive action taken. In the face of ideology and vested interests that often seek to ignore, denigrate, and undermine evidence, the Planetary Health approach must seek to sustain advocacy and action.
8. Next Steps
Conflicts of Interest
- Horton, R.; Beaglehole, R.; Bonita, R.; Raeburn, J.; McKee, M.; Wall, S. From public to planetary health: A manifesto. Lancet 2014, 383, 847. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Whitmee, S.; Haines, A.; Beyrer, C.; Boltz, F.; Capon, A.G.; de Souza Dias, B.F.; Ezeh, A.; Frumkin, H.; Gong, P.; Head, P.; et al. Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch: Report of The Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on planetary health. Lancet 2015, 386, 1973–2028. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Prescott, S.; Logan, A.; Albrecht, G.; Campbell, D.; Crane, J.; Cunsolo, A.; Holloway, J.; Kozyrskyj, A.; Lowry, C.; Penders, J.; et al. The Canmore Declaration: Statement of principles for planetary health. Challenges 2018, 9, 31. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Potvin, L.; Jones, C.M. Twenty-five years after the Ottawa Charter: The critical role of health promotion for public health. Can. J. Public Health Revue Can. de Sante’e Publique 2011, 102, 244–248. [Google Scholar]
- Knapp, S.; VandeCreek, L. A Guide to the 2002 Revision of the American Psychological Association’s Ethics Code; Professional Resource Press/Professional Resource Exchange: Sarasota, FL, USA, 2003. [Google Scholar]
- Singer, P. Practical Ethics; Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK, 2011. [Google Scholar]
- Gray, B. (Bio) Ethics in a Pluralistic Society. Challenges 2019, 10, 12. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Butler, C.D. Planetary epidemiology: Towards first principles. Curr. Environ. Health Rep. 2018, 5, 418–429. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Berry, T. The Sacred Universe: Earth, Spirituality, and Religion in the Twenty-First Century; Columbia University Press: Portland, OR, USA, 2009. [Google Scholar]
- Rockefeller, D. The role of foundations: Rockefeller Foundation. Public Health Rev. 2016, 37, 32. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Prescott, S.L.; Logan, A.C.; Katz, D.L. Preventive Medicine for Person, Place, and Planet: Revisiting the Concept of High-Level Wellness in the Planetary Health Paradigm. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 238. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Cole, J.; Bickersteth, S. What’s planetary about health? An analysis of topics covered in The Lancet Planetary Health’s first year. Lancet Planet. Health 2018, 2, e283–e284. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Oxford University. Available online: https://www.planetaryhealth.ox.ac.uk/ (accessed on 2 May 2018).
- Wellcome Trust. Available online: https://wellcome.ac.uk/what-we-do/our-work/our-planet-our-health (accessed on 2 May 2018).
- Worldwide Universities Network. Available online: https://www.invivoplanet.com/ (accessed on 14 January 2019).
- Planetary Health Alliance. Available online: https://planetaryhealthalliance.org/ (accessed on 17 January 2019).
- The Lancet Planetary Health. Available online: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/issue/current (accessed on 17 January 2019).
- Ferriman, A. BMJ readers choose the “sanitary revolution” as greatest medical advance since 1840. BMJ Br. Med J. 2007, 334, 111. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Cole, J. Human Health in an Era of Global Environmental Change. In Report for the Rockefeller Foundation Economic Council on Planetary Health; Oxford Martin School: Oxford, UK, 2018. [Google Scholar]
- Raworth, K. A safe and just space for humanity: Can we live within the doughnut. Oxfam Policy Pract. Clim. Chang. Resil. 2012, 13, 1–26. [Google Scholar]
- O’Neill, D.W.; Fanning, A.L.; Lamb, W.F.; Steinberger, J.K. A good life for all within planetary boundaries. Nat. Sustain. 2018, 1, 88. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Dong, X.; Milholland, B.; Vijg, J. Evidence for a limit to human lifespan. Nature 2016, 538, 257. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Cole, J. Introduction to Planetary Health: Human Health in an Era of Global Environmental Change. CABI 2019, in press. [Google Scholar]
- Wilcox, B.; Kueffer, C. Transdisciplinarity in EcoHealth: Status and future prospects. EcolHealth 2008, 5, 1–3. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Global Warming of 1.5 °C; IPCC: Geneva, Switzerland, 2018.
- Xu, Y.; Ramanathan, V.; Victor, D.G. Global warming will happen faster than we think. Nature 2018, 564, 30–32. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Stone, S.B.; Myers, S.S.; Golden, C.D.; Group, P.H. Cross-cutting principles for planetary health education. Lancet Planet. Health 2018, 2, e192–e193. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Rockström, J.; Steffen, W.; Noone, K.; Persson, Å.; Chapin, F.S., III; Lambin, E.; Lenton, T.M.; Scheffer, M.; Folke, C.; Schellnhuber, H.J.; et al. Planetary boundaries: Exploring the safe operating space for humanity. Ecol. Soc. 2009, 14, 2. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Sachs, J.D. From millennium development goals to sustainable development goals. Lancet 2012, 379, 2206–2211. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Hancock, T.; Spady, D.W.; Soskolne, C.L. Global Change and Public Health: Addressing the Ecological Determinants of Health; Canadian Public Health Association: Ottawa, Canada, 2016. [Google Scholar]
- Solar, O.; Irwin, A. A Conceptual Framework for Action on the Social Determinants Of health; World Health Organisation: Geneva, Switzerland, 2010.
- Sen, A. Maximization and the Act of Choice. Econom. J. Econom. Soc. 1997, 65, 745–779. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Elster, J.; Hylland, A. (Eds.) Foundations of Social Choice Theory; CUP Archive; CUP: Kwun Tong, Hongkong, 1989. [Google Scholar]
- Stone, C. Should trees have standing? In Nature’s Web: Rethinking Our Place on Earth; M.E. Sharpe: Armonk, NY, USA, 1993. [Google Scholar]
- Boyd, D.R. Recognizing the Rights of Nature: Lofty Rhetoric or Legal Revolution? Nat. Resour. Environ. 2018, 32, 13–17. [Google Scholar]
- Atapattu, S. The Right to a Healthy Life or the Right to Die Polluted? The Emergence of a Human Right to a Healthy Environment Under International Law. Tulane Environ. Law J. 2002, 16, 65–126. [Google Scholar]
- Morris, I. Why the West Rules-for Now: The Patterns of History and What They Reveal about the Future; Profile Books: London, UK, 2010. [Google Scholar]
- Tomasello, M. Why We Cooperate; MIT Press: Cambridge, MA, USA, 2009. [Google Scholar]
- Tonigan, J.S.; Toscova, R.T.; Connors, G.J. Spirituality and the 12-Step Programs: A Guide for Clinicians; American Psychological Association: Washington, DC, USA, 1999. [Google Scholar]
- Nowinski, J. Facilitating 12-step recovery from substance abuse. Treat. Subst. Abus. Theory Tech. 2012, 3, 191–223. [Google Scholar]
- Quilley, S. 20 Navigating the Anthropocene: Environmental politics and complexity in an era of limits. In Handbook on Growth and Sustainability; Edward Elger: Cheltenham, UK, 2017; Volume 439. [Google Scholar]
- Gabrysch, S. Imagination challenges in planetary health: Re-conceptualising the human-environment relationship. Lancet Planet. Health 2018, 2, e372–e373. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Dietz, R.; O’Neill, D. Enough Is Enough: Building a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources; Routledge: London, UK, 2013. [Google Scholar]
- Malone, T.W. What Is Collective Intelligence and What Will We Do about It? In Edited Transcript of Remarks Made at the Official Launch of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence; Earth Intelligence Network: Oakton, VA, USA, 2006. [Google Scholar]
- Lévy, P. Collective Intelligence; Plenum/Harper Collins: New York, NY, USA, 1997. [Google Scholar]
- Duhaime, E.P.; Olson, G.M.; Malone, T.W. Broad Participation in Collective Problem Solving Can Influence Participants and Lead to Better Solutions: Evidence from the MIT Climate CoLab; Collective Intelligence; Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Cambridge, MA, USA, 2015. [Google Scholar]
- Cole, J.; Kleine, D.; Watkins, C. Internet discussion forums: Maximizing choice in health-seeking behaviour during public health emergencies. In Proceedings of the IEEE 2016 International Conference on Cyber Situational Awareness, Data Analytics and Assessment (CyberSA), London, UK, 13–14 June 2016. [Google Scholar]
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).