My family was largely unaffected by the back-to-back late-summer storms that dumped nine inches of rain on our New Jersey town in 2021. The basement smelled funky for a day or two and the grass seed I’d just laid — my first tentative venture into the world of dad-grade groundskeeping — was washed away to parts unknown. But beyond that, we came out of it in far better shape than our neighbors did.

Until the colder weather came and we noticed that the storm had warped our drainage patterns, creating pools of water at random intervals across our property. And so it was that, bringing the garbage cans down to the curb early one morning, a patch of black ice sent me airborne.

Thus began my decidedly non-existential — and, I must stress, fantastically insignificant given what much of the rest of the world is dealing with — battle with climate anxiety (see “Topical Depression”). Ever since a ski accident almost ended me, I’ve been wary of icy terrain. Now it has crept back into my world, in the form of rink-slick pathways.

I should get used to it: Climate change will continue to alter nearly every landscape in ways predictable (heat waves ravaging crops) and less so (the World Economic Forum recently alerted us to the scourge of shrinking goats in the Italian Alps). Yes, we’re already stressed out about jobs, bills and coaches who warp the time/space continuum in their scheduling of kids’ practices, but we’re going to have to find some mental real estate to worry about the cascading effects of having fried the planet.

That’s why, in the reporting of MM+M’s first-ever Climate Issue, it was heartening to learn that health-adjacent organizations have belatedly started to consider the impact of their practices on the environment. The impact is significant: According to even conservative estimates, healthcare systems account for between 4% and 5% of global emissions of carbon dioxide (see “Green Giants”).

The irony — that organizations which exist to improve health outcomes are among the world’s biggest polluters — is lost on nobody. So these organizations are investing in the development of products that address health conditions emerging in the wake of climate change. They’re attempting to limit emissions and migrate significant portions of their supply chains to the renewable-energy grid (see “A Changing Climate”).

It’s not enough, but it’s a start.