Economic Growth and Health Poster

Economic Growth and Health Poster

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The words ‘economic growth’ appear in most news bulletins and political articles in the press. This poster raises the issue that growth in many ways is a health hazard for it is incompatible with a sustainable future for humanity.


In Western society progress is equated with economic growth. It is argued that wealth creation has allowed us to spend more on environmental and health objectives and certainly human health in many societies has improved immeasurably during the twentieth century.

DEA and Medical Observer - Prescription for a Healthier Planet

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DEA and Medical Observer have prepared the "Prescription for a Healthier Planet" brochure. The effects of climate change pose the most serious of threats to the health of the world’s population. The potential consequences of global warming include increased storms, droughts and floods. In regions with already marginal water supply, billions could face further water stress. Disturbingly, it’s predicted some of these effects could be seen by 2020. Of the developed nations, Australia is most vulnerable to the dangerous outcome of climate change. Continued warming will lead to a massive loss of farmable land and food production; amongst the health risks are increased deaths and distress from heat-related illnesses and the exposure of millions to mosquito-borne diseases such as Dengue Fever; ecosystems such as the Great Barrier Reef and Kakadu will be irreversibly damaged.

Transport and Health Poster

Transport and Health Poster

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Doctors regularly see the adverse effects of private motor vehicles via patients injured in road traffic accidents. Despite the number of fatalities halving over the last 30 years due to random breath testing and improved road and vehicle design, Australia still recorded 1611 road crash deaths in 2007. (1) It has been predicted that by 2020 traffic accidents will be the third largest cause of global disability adjusted life years lost. (2)

Climate Change Health Check 2020

Climate Change Health Check 2020

Dr Graeme Horton
Professor Tony McMichael
Doctors for the Environment, Australia
April 2008
A report prepared for the Climate Institute of Australia in relation to World Health Day on April 7, 2008 for which the World Health Organisation’s theme is ‘Protecting Health from Climate Change’.
Click here to read the full report.

Climate Change and Health Poster

Climate Change and Health Poster

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Why is climate change so serious?

Climate change happens when the earth heats up because of too much carbon dioxide and other ‘greenhouse gases’ in the atmosphere.

Climate change is already happening. Temperatures and sea levels are rising and rainfall is changing. The CSIRO predicts that by 2030, annual average temperatures in Australia may be up to 2.0°C higher than in 1990.

Biodiversity Poster

Biodiversity Poster

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The importance of biodiversity to your life and health

The single most important factor in the health of each person is not the availability of good health services, or effective cancer drugs, or short waiting lists or state of the art accident services, it is the integrity of the Earth’s ecological services. Perhaps this is an understatement for it is the only factor of consequence. Without ecological services, the Earth would be ‘dead’ like many other planets including our neighbouring planets in the solar system. It follows that the protection of ecological services is integral to maintaining all advances we have made in medical science and in providing a future for further advances.

When We Die—a case for easier deaths and natural burials

Not many lectures are a work of art. This one is, in more ways than one.  Bryan Furnass, DEA Member, welds ecological and medical knowledge, using Western art and literature, to create a masterpiece. When you read it you will both learn and enjoy the experience. Don’t miss it!

Are Commercial Banks a Health Hazard?


Global determinations will determine whether humanity survives relatively unscathed from the ecological crisis. One of the major players in determining the outcomes will be the international banks for they determine whether money will be spent on environmental innovation. Since we all accept the relationship between the environment and health then it is quite clear that some operations of the banks are a health hazard.

The indictment
The history of banking is one of recurrent financial crisis due to greed and mismanagement, each crisis necessitating government funds to restore economic equilibrium. ‘Government funds’ means your money and so there is less money to be committed to health and the environment.  In the savings and loans crisis in the US in the mid eighties, deposits were gambled or stolen in the wake of deregulation and between 1986 and 1995 the cost was huge-- 3% of GDP, most of which was covered by the taxpayers. This lead to the Commissioner of the California Department of savings and loans, William Crawford, saying “the best way to rob a bank is to own one” Five hundred and fifty of those involved were convicted and 326 went to jail.

Clean coal (CCS) and Climate Change.

The announcement of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute at the G8 meeting by Mr. Rudd and President Obama and the support from 23 governments, 100 companies and with James Wolfensohn and Nicholas Stern on its advisory board was reported as the one positive feature of the meeting. Let us analyse whether this is positive or negative for the containment of green house emissions

DEA policy drafted in 2008   summarises our concerns about carbon capture and storage (CCS). It is speculative and even if successful is unlikely to prevent several warming thresholds. Present data suggest 2030 as the earliest date for implementation and commencement of any reduction in emissions

The Population Bomb Revisited - by Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich


Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich co-authored The Population Bomb in 1968.

The Population Bomb has been both praised and vilified, but there has been no controversy over its significance in calling attention to the demographic element in the human predicament. Here we describe the book’s origins and impacts, analyze its conclusions, and suggest that its basic message is even more important today than it was forty years ago.

It has now been forty years since we wrote The Population Bomb (Ehrlich 1968). The book sold some 2 million copies, was translated into many languages, and changed our lives. There is not much disagreement about the significance of the volume – whether a person agrees with it or not, The Population Bomb helped launch a worldwide debate that continues today. It introduced millions of people to the fundamental issue of the Earth’s finite capacity to sustain human civilization. We believe that despite its flaws, the book still provides a useful lens for viewing the environmental, energy, and food crisis of the present time.

We need to act on climate change now - by Professor David Karoly

Global warming has been discussed often over the past two years in newspaper articles and opinion pieces, in the lead-up to the last election and as the Government has tried to introduce its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

Is there a real scientific debate about climate change or is this just political manoeuvring?  If climate change is real, is it due to humans or is it natural? How bad will it get? How will it affect people, including human health?  These are some of the many questions that I am asked regularly, and below I try to provide some answers.

In 1988, due to growing concerns about climate change and its possible impacts, the governments of the world set up an independent agency, under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization and the UN Environment Program, called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).


Media  Release:  Sunday,  July  5,  2009

Medical organizations concerned with the health impacts of both climate change and military activity today called for a carbon audit of the large-scale joint US-Australian military exercises that will begin in Australia on Monday.   The Talisman Sabre exercises will take place from July 6 to 25 at several locations, the major one being Shoalwater Bay, near Rockhampton, in Queensland.  

The Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW) and Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) said that climate change caused by carbon emissions poses an overwhelming threat to the health and security of all Australians, and all contributions to the problem – including our military activities - must be assessed.

Our experiment with climate is dangerous - by Professor Peter Doherty, Laureate Professor

Professor Peter Doherty, is Laureate Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne - Friday, 5 June 2009, Published in the Medical Observer

SCEPTICISM is central to science. Denial is something else. Being sceptical by nature and training, I’ve read up on anthropogenic, greenhouse gas-induced climate change and am firmly on the side that says we need to act. (1)

In fact, I’d thought most reasonable people were convinced. Australian, US and UK public policy is certainly being developed accordingly.

It seems, though, that the senior geologist Ian Plimer is not only sceptical but in outright denial, a position he develops at length in a new book (2) that has received a great deal of publicity: Heaven + Earth: Global Warming The Missing Science.

US Opposition to GMOs Gathers Momentum

Scientists and physicians in the heartland of genetic modification are alerting policy-makers and the public to the dangers of GM crops. Prof Peter Saunders

We thank the Institute of Science in Society  for Permission to reproduce this ISIS Report by Professor Peter Saunders  

This is a good news article.The Obama administration is listening whereas the Bush administration would not-Editor   

Overloading Australia” by Mark O’Connor and William Lines. Book Review

The population of Melbourne will soon reach 4 million and yet the government of Victoria is planning an expansion of 75,000 people per year to a total of 6 million with the creation of an urban sprawl greater that than that of New York or London.  Another 1 million people will need to be accommodated before 2025. This madness, abdication of responsibility, whatever one calls it, is an appropriate point to review Mark O’Connor and William Lines’ book “Overloading Australia” (Envirobook)

This book makes the case that population control is the key issue in the plethora of interlocking world problems that threaten humanity and specifically it analyses population trends in Australia. The facts and fallacies are stated clearly and will provide a valuable source of information for those challenging the bastions of ignorance.

The West is partly responsible for China’s green house emissions

A Chinese intellectual visiting the US was heard to say that the Americans must be mad to buy all this rubbish; he was referring to the mountains of Chinese consumables. Here lies the problem in apportioning responsibility for green house emissions. China is now the largest emitter in the world and a new study shows that exports to the West are a major source of these emissions.
In summary, half of the increase in emissions is due to production of exported goods and services, 60 per cent of which are exported to the West. This means Western consumers are partially responsible for one third of increases in Chinese emissions. These exports tend to be electronic products, metals, chemicals and textile products.

Climate Change and Population

Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) is to be congratulated on its submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change in Bonn. Here are extracts from the submission - URL at the end of the article.

Climate change, are our elected representatives able to take action?

Around the World, scientists are becoming very anxious about data that suggests an acceleration of climate change. Statements urging reductions in emissions are being made by Academies, Colleges, Journals and by individual scientists. The editorial in the April 30 edition of the Journal Nature says,

“Nations urgently need to cut their output of carbon dioxide. The difficulty of that task is manifest: emissions have continued to rise despite almost two decades of rhetoric, diplomacy and action on the matter. But that unhappy fact should not be taken as a licence for fatalism. Governments have a wide range of pollution-cutting tools at their command, most notably tradable permit regimes, taxes on fuels, regulations on power generation and energy efficiency, and subsidies for renewable energy and  improved technologies. These tools can work if applied seriously — so citizens around the world must demand that seriousness from their leaders, both within their individual nations and in the international framework that will be discussed at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December”.