Seven doctors, including an Italian Neurologist, a Spanish Surgical Professor and a Trinidadian Public Health Director collaborated in performing a poem, written by a British GP to inspire bold action, in the name of public health, to protect the planet.
Inspired by the Letters to the Earth poems, performed by such icons as Yoko Ono and Mark Rylance, Dr Chris Newman, a GP and ITU doctor at the Nightingale Coronavirus hospital in London, wrote a poem to highlight the similarities between Coronavirus and Climate change. Together with Mercury Prize-nominated musician Sam Lee, a volunteer creative team from Argentina, Bangladesh and UK, and 6 doctors from around the world they set about creating a video to celebrate Earth Day 2020.
This video, titled “What Future Should We Choose?”, captures the energy of the current pandemic moment to highlight that our health is inextricably linked to that of the planet, and that urgent action is needed. It is being distributed by all who were involved in its production, the British Medical Journal as well as by organisations such as Global Optimism – founded by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac, authors of the recently published book “The Future We Choose: Surviving The Climate Crisis” and hosts of the podcast Outrage and Optimism.
Dr Newman originally got involved in Environmental activism during Extinction Rebellion’s takeover of central London in April 2019, and has since co-founded an international Doctors for Extinction Rebellion group, from whose ranks many of the performers came
Dr Chris Newman. GP and Intensive Care Doctor at the Nightingale Hospital, London
“We have seen in these last few months that amazing things are possible when governments, businesses and the public come together with common purpose; united behind science. If it is to thrive, humanity must recognise climate change for what it is; a far greater threat to our health than even Coronavirus. Planetary health is the rock upon which human health sits, and right now it is in danger of crumbling beneath us. This Earth Day let’s come together to appreciate what we have, and fight to protect it”