Dr. Alan Lockwood speaks out on 'Coal's Assault on Human Health'
Dr. Alan Lockwood gave to the Ecology Center’s Clean Energy
Now campaign a major boost during a tour around mid-Michigan earlier this
Dr. Alan Lockwood (second from right) met with student leaders of the Beyond Coal campaign at Michigan State University
Lockwood, professor emeritus of neurology and nuclear
medicine at the University of Buffalo, is the lead author of a study titled “Coal’s
Assault on Human Health” published by the Physicians for Social
Responsibility in November 2009.
visit, Lockwood carried the message about the dangers of coal-burning power
generation to meetings with editors at the Detroit
Free Press and with student journalists and activists advocating cleaner
fuel sources at Michigan State University.
of his efforts, though, was his presentation at grand rounds at Sparrow
Hospital in Lansing on Nov. 8, titled “Code Black: Coal Combustion and Public
Health.” Grand rounds are a traditional formal educational opportunity in the
medical community, featuring presentations on clinical issues and cases. More
than 80 physicians and other health professionals attended Lockwood’s talk,
which was accredited for continuing medical education credit.
Ecology Center organizer Brad van Guilder coordinated
Lockwood’s visit to Michigan with the national office of Physicians for Social
Ecology Center organizer Brad van Guilder and Dr. Alan Lockwood in the Ecology Center offices
“We’re trying to raise the public’s awareness of the dangers
of burning coal for power in our work with a broad coalition of other
environmental and health groups,” van Guilder said.“A major focus of our effort is enlisting health
professionals as messengers, which is why we’re working with Physicians for
Social Responsibility and scholars like Dr. Lockwood.”
“When we went to meet with the editors at the State News (MSU’s student paper), our
message was that coal has a significant negative health impact, and that
Michigan State could take the lead in addressing climate change,” van Guilder
said.“The tentative goals that
they are reportedly considering there fall very far short of what they can and
should be doing.”
After their meeting with the student journalists, the State
News published its first editorial
endorsing the goals of the student Beyond Coal campaign.
On the national level, there is a campaign to encourage
colleges and universities to adopt a climate-neutrality commitment, to model
ways to eliminate global-warming emissions. While nearly 300 schools across the
country have signed on, none of Michigan’s major research universities are on
the list, van Guilder noted.
EcoLink — November 2011 Ecolink An online publication of the Ecology Center