Reports on Climate Change

Climate Change. Seal the Deal!

Commentary from David Shearman
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced that the UN is launching a worldwide climate change campaign under the slogan: "Seal the Deal! Power green growth. Protect the planet".

The campaign aims to galvanize political will and public support towards signing a new UN agreement on climate change, and urges world leaders to act in the best interest of their peoples and the planet by sealing the climate deal.

Reports on Recent Climate Change Conferences

These reports were prepared by Peter Tait, DEA member, NT

Key Science Messages from the Climate Conference in Copenhagen

Scientists at the international congress in Copenhagen, held in March 2009, have prepared a summary statement of their findings for policy makers. The congress was conceived as an update of the science of global warming ahead of the UN summit in December.


 Ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in December this statement will go to officials and heads of state at the conference. The full conclusions from the 2,500 scientific delegates from 80 countries that have attended the three-day meeting this week will be published in full in June 2009.

The impact of global crises on health: money, weather and microbes

This is an Address  by Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, given at at the 23rd Forum on Global Issues,  Berlin, 18 March 2009

This is an inspirational Address. I see it as clarion call for health professionals to make heard their case  in the halls and corridors of bad governments. To those members of DEA who are briefing their elected representatives. please print out a copy and take it to your meeting. We acknowledge WHO-- Editor.

"The world is in a mess, and much of this mess is of our own making. Events such as the financial crisis and climate change are not quirks of the marketplace, or quirks of nature. They are not inevitable events in the up-and-down cycle of human history.

Climate Change Blues and Greens

by David Shearman

Evidence is accumulating that the public is increasingly disinterested in climate change. What is this evidence, what are the reasons for its occurrence and how does it affect our mission to get government to act?

In the US a Gallup Poll in March indicated “the highest level of public scepticism about mainstream reporting on global warming seen in more than a decade” of polling. Most Americans thought that global warming was “either correctly portrayed in the news or underestimated” but two-in-five said the media are exaggerating. In the 2006 Gallup Poll, 66 percent thought that the issue was reported correctly or underestimated in news reports, and 30 percent thought it was exaggerated. In 2009 these figures were 57 percent and 41 percent.  It was also found that climate change was the only issue for which public concern dropped significantly over the year. This fall in concern did not occur with other environmental problems.

Clean Energy For Eternity and Matthew Nott

Clean Energy For Eternity  is a  project run by community groups and initiated  by surgeon Matthew Nott. His story  which follows, is inspirational and is a model that could be applied to many rural and regional communities around Australia. I urge you to look at the web site  -- Editor

I am an orthopaedic surgeon, based in Bega on the Far South Coast of NSW. The Bega District Hospital attempts to provide a trauma and elective orthopaedic service to South East NSW, covering a population of 100 000 people. The service is growing. We now have three orthopaedic surgeons; there are plans for a new regional hospital, and a new private hospital is in the planning stages.  As it is for most rural surgeons, life is extremely busy. Three years ago, I decided to make my life a whole lot busier by starting a community campaign looking at regional solutions to climate change. Why on earth would I want to take on such a big task?

A Brief ABC of Biochar; importance in reducing green house emissions

Biochar is a fine-grained, highly porous charcoal that helps soils retain nutrients and water. The carbon in biochar resists degradation and can sequester carbon in soils for hundreds to thousands of years.

Millions of dollars are being deployed on research into sequestration of carbon derived from burning coal in power stations This research is seen as a political and employment necessity. However, there are more simple and efficient ways to sequester carbon which are under exploration. The creation of biochar is one of them.



Good News for Research into the Health Impacts of Climate Change


Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Climate Change and Water;
The Hon Nicola Roxon MP, Minister for Health and Ageing;
Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. 
27 January 2008


Australia’s top research institutions are turning their attention to the human health impacts of climate change, and the strategies Australia will need to reduce the risks.

The Australian Government’s National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF), National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the CSIRO have identified health and climate change as a strategic priority for research, and $10 million is being provided to fund the effort.

Climate Change and the Financial Crisis; a new opportunity for DEA to redouble its effectiveness.

Dr Bill Castleden

Having completed my five year term as Chair of DEA I have been asked to write a ‘farewell’ piece for the website. It builds on an article David Shearman posted on 4 November 2008 and incorporates my thoughts on the recently circulated Hansen letter to the Obamas.


DEA exists because climate change, environmental degradation and pollution are such serious threats to human health. In particular climate change will bring to Australia an increased burden of heat stroke, injury from fire and storm, infectious diseases, social disruption and mental illness. In the developing world it will bring famine and water shortage.

Food, Population Policy and Climate Change

Walking to the shops instead of driving would seem to be one way that each of us can reduce our greenhouse emissions. Unfortunately, your emissions may be less if you take the car. If you take your family in the car as well then greenhouse will benefit even more. This seems counterintuitive.  The reason is that if you eat an average Australian diet with meat and dairy, the calories you use walking to the shops will probably create more greenhouse emissions than driving. If you grow your own food, don’t use fertiliser, collect your rainwater and are mainly vegetarian then definitely walk to the shops.

Climate change; ethics and human rights

The recent Poznan meeting on climate change produced thousands of statements but little progress. In sifting through the deluge of words, one fundamental issue emerges, the conflicting views of developing and developed nations. This has human rights and ethical connotations. To illustrate the issue I will discuss statements from Evo Morales, President of the Republic of Bolivia, from representatives of the Pacific countries and from a US ethicist representing Western thought. 

Climate Change: Save the Planet from Capitalism a statement delivered to the meeting in Poznan by Evo Morales Ayma, President of the Republic of Bolivia.

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