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A factory emitting smoke with New York City in the background. Photo: Kena Betancur/Corbis via Getty Images

Axios' David Nather asks and answers a good question: What does the health care industry have to do with climate change?

The answer: It turns out the U.S. health care system is the 7th largest producer of carbon dioxide in the world, according to the Commonwealth Fund — which is why the health care foundation says the system should do more to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

  • The group points out that Kaiser Permanente has already cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 29% over the last 10 years, largely through the use of solar power and other environmental initiatives.
  • Outside the U.S., Britain’s National Health Service is another model — it’s working on cutting its emissions, too.

The catch: The health care industry is diverse and is rarely on the same page on anything, let alone an issue that’s not directly related to health care. But the industry should consider climate change a health care issue, according to Commonwealth — because events like extreme heat and cold, as well as the weather disasters we’re seeing, “take a major toll on health.”

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
28 mins ago - Health

Falling sperm counts could threaten the human race

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new book makes the case that sperm counts have been falling for decades — and a major reason is chemicals in the environment that disrupt the body's hormonal system.

Why it matters: The ability to reproduce is fundamental to the viable future of any living thing. If certain chemicals are damaging our fertility over the long term, human beings could end up as an endangered species.

2 hours ago - Health

Black churches become vaccine hubs

A woman arrives at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic outside the Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church in southeast D.C. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Black pastors have a new job on their plates during COVID-19: encouraging skeptical congregants to get vaccinated.

Why it matters: “There’s distrust in our community. We can’t ignore that,” Rev. James Coleman of D.C.'s All Nations Baptist told AP.

Biden names USPS board of governors nominees, as Democrats put pressure on DeJoy

United States Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy at a Feb. 24 committee hearing. Photo: Graeme Jennings/pool/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday nominated a former postal union lawyer, a vote-by-mail advocate, and a former deputy postmaster general to sit on the Postal Services' Board of Governors.

Why it matters: The nominations, which require Senate confirmation, come as some Democrats call for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's ouster and others push for Biden to nominate board members to name a new postmaster general.

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