News & Media Opinion Pieces ‘Green jobs’ won’t save the debate

‘Green jobs’ won’t save the debate

‘Green jobs’ won’t save the debate

This article published in Climate Spectator is based on a presentation Richard Denniss gave to the Doctors for the Environment Australia medical students’ conference on climate change, environmental health and political change. Richard Denniss is Executive Director of The Australia Institute, a Canberra-based public policy think tank

This conference was held in Sydney April 30 –May 1

“Imagine your doctor suspected you had a deadly illness, but given the cost of the diagnostic test they decided to wait a year or two to see if things got better, rather than potentially waste money looking for something that might not be there. How would you feel about that?

Now imagine that your doctor, having waited long enough that the disease became clearly apparent, was reluctant to prescribe the best available treatment because there was no certainty that it would work. Indeed, imagine that the data showed there was only a 75 per cent chance that the treatment would work in a patient with such an advanced case of the disease. Should the taxpayer be expected to pick up the tab for expensive and time consuming treatment in the absence of certainty?

Finally, given all the suffering in the world, and the fact that other countries were doing nothing to curb the rise of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, how would you feel if the doctor, in a fit of nihilism, decided that there was not much point in treating a sick person in Australia as it was hardly going to make much of an impact on worldwide health outcomes?”

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