The Connection Between Global Health & Global Warming

The Overlapping Impacts of Climate Change and Global Health

Dr. Larry Brilliant is a renowned epidemiologist who has led numerous philanthropic efforts and eradicated smallpox with the World Health Organization team. Prior to his successful career, he lived in an Indian ashram, studying under Neem Karoli Baba, who inspired him to pursue a career in public health. In an interview with Techonomy founder David Kirkpatrick, Dr. Brilliant discussed his inspiring journey into public health, the eradication of smallpox, and the connection between global warming and global health.

From Ashram Life to Public Health

Dr. Brilliant’s mentor, Neem Karoli Baba, played an essential role in inspiring Dr. Brilliant to pursue a career in public health. Baba’s unique approach involved throwing apples at Dr. Brilliant’s testicles and advising him to leave the ashram. Baba’s persistence and inspiration led Dr. Brilliant to visit the World Health Organization office in New Delhi, where he aimed to help eradicate smallpox.

Overcoming Obstacles to Eradicate Smallpox

After several unsuccessful attempts to get a job at the WHO, Dr. Brilliant followed Baba’s advice and cleaned himself up, putting on a suit and tie. His persistence and determination eventually led him to meet the head of the global smallpox eradication program, who hired him. It took ten years to eradicate smallpox, but Dr. Brilliant and his team of courageous individuals successfully eradicated the disease.

Global Health and Global Warming

Dr. Brilliant is a well-known figure in the fight against the COVID pandemic. During his interview, he highlighted the link between global warming and global health. As the Earth gets warmer, animals migrate to different parts of the world, bringing new viruses with them. The destruction of forests and rainforests has led to animals and humans living in close proximity, increasing the likelihood of disease spillover.

Dr. Brilliant is also the science advisor for the film Contagion, which was a fictional representation of a viral outbreak. The film highlighted how a virus from a bat entered the human environment, leading to the COVID pandemic. He emphasized that many of the antecedent causes of climate change and global warming are the same antecedent causes of pandemics.

Final Thoughts

Dr. Larry Brilliant’s journey into public health is inspiring and demonstrates the power of persistence and determination. He and his team’s success in eradicating smallpox serves as a testament to the power of collaboration and hard work. Dr. Brilliant’s insights on the link between global warming and global health highlight the need for urgent action to address the root causes of pandemics.