, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 155–157 | Cite as

Embracing the nature of complex interactions: climate change and human survival

Anthony McMichael with Alistair Woodward and Cameron Muir: Climate change and the health of nations: famines, fevers, and the fate of populations. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017, 392pp, £29.99 HB
  • Cristian Timmermann
Book Review

When we consider our failure as a global society to mitigate climate change, it would be a mistake to focus the blame entirely on either (1) the lack of goodwill of public and political forces in gathering knowledge and understanding of natural processes or (2) oligarchies ruthlessly pursuing short-term economic interests and displays of power. The scientific community, including both natural and social scientists, has not been able to engage citizens and political parties and thus recruit them as allies to further their common agendas. Climate change mitigation is not the only issue affected by this failure. The negligent approach taken towards improving and increasing public understanding of the scientific explanations of natural and social processes is levying an enormous cost on areas as diverse as maintaining a public willingness to cooperate with vaccination programs (Goldenberg 2016), reducing antibiotic resistance (Littmann et al. 2017), and wildlife conservation (Donoso 2017)....



This work is supported by a postdoctoral fellowship (FONDECYT/CONICYT No. 3170068).


  1. Donoso, Alfonso. 2017. Representing Non-Human Interests. Environmental Values 26(5): 607–628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Goldenberg, Maya J. 2016. Public Misunderstanding of Science? Reframing the Problem of Vaccine Hesitancy. Perspectives on Science 24(5): 552–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Littmann, Jasper, Annette Rid, and Alena Buyx. 2017. Tackling Anti-microbial Resistance: Ethical Framework for Rational Antibiotic Use. European Journal of Public Health. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro Interdisciplinario de Estudios en BioéticaUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Instituto de Estudios InternacionalesUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile

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