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.

American Cancer Society Trivializes Cancer Risks: Blatant Conflicts of Interest

The US President’s Cancer Panel (PCP) has produced its biennial report and it is on Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk; what we can do now  click here

This is the first time the PCP has focused on environmental causes of cancer, stating that “the true burden of environmentally induced cancers has been grossly underestimated” and strongly urging action to reduce widespread exposure to carcinogens.
The background to the report and the criticisms of the report from various sources are reviewed in Health and Environment  click here

Polluted by profit: Johann Hari on the real Climategate

Global warming - and the worst environmental disasters - will only be tackled when green lobbyists in the US stop taking cash from Big Oil and Big Coal

This article appeared in the independent (UK) Friday, 21 May 2010. We thank the Independent and Johann Hari for permission to re-publish.

Why did America's leading environmental groups jet to Copenhagen to lobby for policies that will lead to the faster death of the rainforests – and runaway global warming? Why are their staff dismissing the only real solutions to climate change as "unworkable" and "unrealistic"? Why are they clambering into corporate "partnerships" with BP, which is responsible for the worst oil spill in living memory?

Ecological Services and Human Health

Many of us have had the experience of briefing an elected representative on climate change and have mentioned the impact of climate change on ecological services. This is often met with a glazed look, so we go onto explain that these services are essential to human health and life—they are our life support system. If the politician has not lost interest the question may come forth, “What do you mean? What are they?” We then quote the standard reply that they are provision of food, fiber, purified water, degradation of wastes and pollutants, recycling of nutrients, stabilization of climate.

A Sustainable Population for Australia; a draft position paper from Doctors for the Environment Australia

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Recommendation

Doctors for the Environment Australia recommends that a national task force be formed to prepare a scientific report on an environmentally sustainable population for Australia.

This report must be based upon scientific, demographic and health science and not on the opinions of community sectors with conflicts of interest. The intent will be to provide the data upon which government policy can be reliably based.

Some facts

Projections suggest that world population, currently 6.8 billion, will reach 9.1 billion by 2050.

Are we keeping up with Green Technological Innovation?

After the shock and depression of Copenhagen some good news is starting to appear. The President of the Maldives has advised that the argument in favour of emission control should be reborn in economics and security. His country, at sea level, is in danger of inundation. The President has said that switching to wind and solar power makes good economic sense and he has pledged his country to become carbon neutral by 2020, so we might ask what is being done within the confines of the Copenhagen Accord before the next summit in Cancun, Mexico, from November 29 to December 1

As of today, a total of 73 countries — 40 developed countries and 33 developing countries have submitted targets or actions to the UN Secretariat Click here   You can read about this further here It is a good start after the disagreements in Copenhagen

The Greenpeace Report on Climate Change Denial

"Dealing in Doubt: The Climate Denial Industry and Climate Science" is an excellent report from Greenpeace.(article here) The analysis chronicles climate change denial over 20 years funded with $23m from Exxon Mobil in the past 12 years.
 Funds from the coal, oil and car industries were channeled through think tanks such the Heartland Institute, the Cato Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). The fundamental aim was to discredit the work of the IPCC based initially on the science of global warming and moving more recently to direct attack on contributing IPCC scientists. Names and mechanisms are detailed.

Climategate and shooting the messenger, by Peter Doherty

Peter Doherty, Nobel Prize winning scientist – is author of  “A Light History of Hot Air”  and member of the DEA Scientific Advisory Committee.
– We acknowledge that this article appeared in the Australian Financial Review February 11 2010. The article provides an important perspective from a world expert in science.

Climategate and shooting the messenger, by Peter Doherty

Back in November 2009, just before the Copenhagen Climate Congress, we suddenly saw the release of about 1,000 e-mails pirated from a server used by the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of Britain’s University of East Anglia. The police are still investigating, but what was in a few of these e-mails has been exploited to discredit both the integrity of the climate science community and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Leading CRU investigators and their correspondents were among the thousands of scientists who contributed to the fourth (and latest) IPCC report that summarizes what is happening globally with this enormously complex and difficult situation and speculates about possible outcomes.

REDD: An introduction

It is important that we understand REDD because many Western governments including that of Australia are relying on this mechanism to set-off their own emissions. There is no evidence that REDD will succeed and many feel that its supposed promise is being used to dodge the need for emission reduction at source.  This article by Chis Lang was published in REDD Monitor prior to Copenhagen. All of us need to understand REDD so read on

REDD, or reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, is one of the most controversial new issues in the climate change debate. The basic concept is simple: governments, companies or forest owners in the South should be rewarded for keeping their forests instead of cutting them down. The devil, as always, is in the details.

The Green Anaesthetist

A significant proportion of DEA members work in hospitals. This article by DEA members  Forbes McGain, Eugenie Kayak and David Story  provides an important blue print for sustainability in one specialty, anaesthetics. It should be an inspiration to all working in hospitals.

The reference for the article is McGain F, Kayak E, Story D. The Green Anaesthetist. In Riley R.H. (ed). Australasian Anaesthesia 2009. (pp.67-75). Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, Melbourne, 2009. ISSN 1032-2515. We are grateful to the Editor of this College for permission to publish.

Climate Change, an Analysis of Advocacy and the Public Silence

Perhaps climate change was a bad dream! Those expressing anxiety about its impacts and the future of humanity before the meeting in Copenhagen have awakened after the meeting and prefer not talk about their bad experience. The clamour of environmental groups has ceased like that of birds in a solar eclipse, scientists and their organisations are left reeling from fearsome attacks on their integrity, and governments are rapidly backsliding in response to polls showing that the public is increasingly disinterested in the topic.

The meagre commitments from nations in response to the Copenhagen Compact will result in a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees and if inadequately delivered will lead to a 4 degree rise. How can we be silent when emissions continue to slowly accelerate and virtually all scientific data demonstrate increasing effects on the physical and biological status of the planet?

The Tasmanian Water Saga and Plantation Timber

This is a remarkable story and if you saw both episodes of Australian Story Something in the Water  on ABC TV then you don’t need to read this introduction.
For the videos Click here and Here

Introduction
Alison Bleaney is a general practitioner (and DEA member) in St Helens, NE Tasmania. She was concerned by the number of unusual cancers and other illnesses that were diagnosed in her small community and when in 2004 a large flood of fresh water from the surrounding catchment rushed into the St. Helens bay and there was a large oyster kill, her attention turned to pesticide spraying in the catchment plantations. This was an appropriate question for the spraying practices in forestry had been a concern of many Tasmanians for a considerable time. She had difficulty getting government to investigate the problem and her experiences are detailed in our previous article, Click here  Spraying practices were detailed in a further article, Click here