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Challenges 2019, 10(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe10010007

Planetary Health: A New Reality

1
Assistant Clinical Professor in Psychiatry, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, 11980 San Vicente Blvd., Suite 810, Los Angeles, CA 90049, USA
2
inVIVO Planetary Health, of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), West New York, NJ 10704, USA
Received: 26 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract

The grand challenges of our time—climate change, biodiversity losses, and global non-communicable disease rates—underscore that humanity and the planet are in crisis. Planetary health provides a unifying concept wherein efforts toward remediation and survival can be concentrated. Evidence derived from the animal kingdom and from human demography suggest that there is cause for optimism in planetary health. With proper navigation, a transition toward a new epoch—one of symbiotic flourishing—is possible. Responses to the current challenges can usher in a new reality, one in which the core value is the well-being of all. This paper presents the philosophies and perspectives of renown biophilosopher, Jonas Salk, who—after developing the first effective vaccine to prevent polio, one of the great achievements in public health—expanded his vision beyond the prevention of individual diseases to that of addressing the basic problems of humankind. This vision is very much in line with our current understanding of and approach to planetary health. In response to changing conditions, planetary limits, and evolutionary pressure, new values, new communities, and new modes of interacting will likely emerge and be integrated with developments in science, technology, economics, the arts, and international relations, resulting in our survival and enhanced health and well-being. View Full-Text
Keywords: Planetary health; human evolution; sustainable futures; global population growth; long-range thinking; renewable energy use; interdependence; cooperation; integration; value systems; cultural shift Planetary health; human evolution; sustainable futures; global population growth; long-range thinking; renewable energy use; interdependence; cooperation; integration; value systems; cultural shift
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Salk, J.D. Planetary Health: A New Reality. Challenges 2019, 10, 7.

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