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December 17, 2012

Local health-care provider focusing on climate change

PLATTSBURGH — Tim Palmer has played a visible role in the North Country’s health-care community for decades.

As a nurse for the Clinton County Public Health Department, Palmer has spent the last 27 years dedicated to improving the community’s overall health.

That specific focus will come to an end in January when Palmer retires. But he will continue to work toward a healthier world for all as he battles another nemesis: climate change.

“I see it as a critical issue,” Palmer said. “It’s a train wreck that is going to happen. The question is, ‘How bad is that wreck going to be?’”

The impact that climate change has already had on the Earth has guaranteed trouble, he added. Even if humanity applies the brakes to destructive behaviors, the train will not stop in time to prevent changes to the world as we now know it.

PROOF IN NUMBERS

The fact that climate change is a real phenomenon is no longer debatable, Palmer argued, as he noted a growing list of specific examples.

“If you were born since June of 1984, you have never lived a month that his not been above the global average,” he said of published statistics that confirm the planet is warmer now than it has been since the first humans walked its surface.

“The evidence, the predictions on the disaster we face should shock us into action,” Palmer said of the opportunity to prevent major catastrophe. “We still don’t know what kind of (train) wreck it will be, whether we’re simply derailed or we slam full throttle (into an approaching train).”

Palmer has already taken a proactive approach in how he will personally attack climate change: he has begun studies at Vermont Law School, where he hopes to build a resume that will allow him to approach climate change from a legal perspective.

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