RING CYCLE: Physician rides cross-country to sound climate change alarm

Dr. Wendy Ring will speak at 7 p.m. at the Rockford Grange on July 23 about how climate change affects our health and what we can do about it.

Ring is the organizer of Climate 911, a national organization of physicians dedicated to raising the alarm about climate change as a public health emergency and advocating for prompt effective solutions.

Ring and her husband, along with a team of cyclists, are on a pedal-powered speaking tour from Washington state to Washington, D.C.

“The bad news is that we’re already seeing new kinds of infections; increased toxins in our air, food, and water; and increased emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths as a result of climate change,” Ring said. “The good news is that the same common-sense policies we can put in place to slow global warming will also reduce our national epidemic of chronic diseases. It’s a win-win situation.”

When and where

Dr. Wendy Ring speaks on climate change

July 23, 7 p.m., at Rockford Grange, 4250 Barrett Drive.

Take Indian Creek to Windmaster Corner, go 1.5 miles west on Barrett.

Climate 911’s Prescription for Climate Action would cut U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2030 and decrease rates of cancer, obesity, heart disease and diabetes. The group is collecting endorsements of its prescription from health professionals across the country and will deliver them to lawmakers when they arrive in Washington, D.C.

The American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Nurses Association, American Public Health Association and other national health professional organizations have warned that climate change threatens human health and called for swift reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Ring was trained at Yale and Columbia universities, earning her doctorate in medicine and a master’s degree in public health, and was the medical director of a community health center in California for more than 20 years. She has been recognized by the U.S. Congress, the California legislature and the American Medical Association for her work in improving access to care for the underserved and was once named America’s Best Healer by Reader’s Digest.

Ring takes breaks from climate activism several times a year to fill in for other physicians but says she believes she can save more lives by spurring action on climate change than by treating patients one-on-one.

For more information visit Climate911.org.

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