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The Human Costs of Iraq and Other Wars

April 18, 2008 - ...in Australia and globally, and especially in the nation that is responsible for over half of the world’s military expenditure, is essential to ensure that true human security is our goal rather than destructive capacity. Most of you will be familiar with the Global Action to Prevent War program, a far-reaching and comprehensive series of goals to reduce and phase out our reliance on armed conflict. To some it will seem utopian. And yet there is nothing in the program that is beyond human capacity. The GAPW program also requires wide dissemination and study. There are of course very many...

Nanotechnology and the environment: A mismatch between claims and reality

July 26, 2009 - ...wheat are staple crops which feed a large proportion of the world’s people. At a time of unprecedented global food crisis, these preliminary studies suggest that carbon nanomaterials could reduce yields of one of the world’s most important staple crops and leave another more vulnerable to pollutant uptake. Water filtration/ decontamination technologies largely perform similar functions to current technologies, but remove community control. Proponents of nanotechnology-based water treatment technologies have claimed that they will be cheaper, more durable, and more efficient than those used currently (Hillie et al. 2007). Nanotechnologies commercially available or under development include nano-membranes, nano-meshes, nano-fibrous filters,...

Climate change action in Australia- Go back to Go

April 2, 2012 - ...Environmental Outlook to 2050: The Consequences of Inactionhttp://www.oecd.org/document/46/0,3746,en_2649_37465_49742254_1_1_1_37465,00.html State of the Climate 2012http://www.csiro.au/Outcomes/Climate/Understanding/State-of-the-Climate-2012.aspx IPCC Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX)http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/SREX/ What’s happening to Australia’s climate?http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/whats-happening-australias-climate?utm_source=Climate%20Spectator&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=eb2e43c09d-CSPEC_DAILY Germany’s $263 Billion Investment In Renewables Is Biggest Energy Shift Since World War IIhttp://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/03/19/446887/germany-263-billion-investment-in-renewables-is-biggest-energy-shift-since-world-war-ii/ Cavalier approach to climate data is infuriatinghttp://media.crikey.com.au/dm/newsletter/dailymail_0cf314f52d2a691a78b5bb9d7b91df94.html#article_17267 Scrapping the target won’t solve the problemhttp://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/scrapping-target-wont-solve-problem The state climate smokescreenhttp://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/state-climate-smokescreen?utm_source=Climate%20Spectator&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=f440630c8d-CSPEC_DAILY Manmade Climate Change Accelerated In 2001-2010, World Meteorological Organization Reportshttp://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/03/24/451239/manmade-climate-change-accelerated-in-2001-2010-world-meteorological-organization-reports/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climateprogress%2FlCrX+%28Climate+Progress%29 Must-Read Trenberth: How To Relate Climate Extremes to Climate Changehttp://thinkprogress.org/romm/2012/03/25/451347/must-read-trenberth-how-to-relate-climate-extremes-to-climate-change/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climateprogress%2FlCrX+%28Climate+Progress%29 Miners might not dig a coal delay, but it makes sensehttp://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/miners-might-not-dig-a-coal-delay-but-it-makes-sense-20120307-1uker.html#ixzz1qlSFmrh6 The end for coal?http://www.climatespectator.com.au/commentary/end-coal...

17 May 2009: The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a report on climate change and health

May 21, 2009 - ...to lessen associated health risks. National governments are now committing to undertake evidence-based actions to protect health from climate change. In May 2008, the 193 Member States that constitute the World Health Assembly (WHA) passed a resolution calling for a stronger commitment from Member States and the World Health Organization (WHO) to protect health from climate change. In particular, the resolution called on WHO to work with other agencies to identify research requirements and pilot projects that should be supported by the international community on a series of practical themes, with the aim of designing effective actions. Now read onhttp://www.who.int/phe/news/madrid_report_661_final_lowres.pdf...

Climate Change and the Financial Crisis. An Opinion

November 4, 2008 - ...are moving towards regulation and away from the view that our lives can be safely left to market forces. The only surprise was perhaps the naivety of those who had overseen the financial debacle. The individual prize surely must go to Alan Greenspan, former chair of the US Federal Reserve who said “Those of who have looked to the self interest of lending institutions to protect share holders’ equity, myself especially, are in a state of shocked disbelief”. This statement reduces to rubble the edifice of unfettered markets for the system is supposed to be self-regulating because of inherent feedback...

Green China and Young China

August 1, 2007 - ...China’s land mass is affected by acid rain. Over 300 million rural residents have no access to clean drinking water. One-third of urban residents breathe heavily polluted air. Thanks to the traditional model of economic development – which is energy intensive, heavily polluting and relies on high levels of consumption – China has become the world’s largest consumer of water, largest emitter of waste water and one of the three areas in the world worst affected by acid rain. Our current society is unsustainable. In 2003 China crossed a “safe boundary” on the Gini coefficient – a measure of inequality...

Coal Madness in Queensland

September 27, 2012 - ...CO2 from all sources in 2011. Australia will double its present coal exports. Australia’s domestic emissions account for 1.5% of world emissions making us the largest per capita emitter in the world. Some Australian state governments have tried to reduce these emissions under UN regulations; others appear not to care. Yet with the projected increase in fossil fuel exports, our total responsibility for world emissions is likely to be over 4% of world emissions. This is a collective denial similar to the denial of the US Republicans on climate change; it doesn’t fit into their agenda or view of the...

Climate change – ‘What Australia can learn from the world’s best de-carbonisation’

April 4, 2012 - ...that advocate more rapid and transformational change. The less ambitious plans and strategies (which are generally government-led) often fail to adequately address the question, “given that the proposed actions won’t be enough to prevent runaway climate change, what can be done to bridge this gap?”. More ambitious plans and strategies (generally non-government authored), often fall down on answering the question “given that political and social support for rapidly implementing these proposals remains challenging, how do we bridge this gap?” Technology is not the most significant barrier Analysis of these strategies shows that technological barriers are not the most significant obstacles...

Scientific Advisory Committee

October 6, 2020 - ...weekly ‘explainers’ around the science of COVID-19. Close biography Prof Michael Kidd AM Read biography Professor Michael Kidd AM is a general practitioner and Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Flinders University. He is a past president of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the current president of the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA). He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and a member of the Council of the National Health and Medical Research Council. Close biography Prof David de...

Report on Zero Emissions at the “Target Zero” conference, Melbourne 30 June

July 8, 2007 - ...past CO2 pollution even if we drastically reduce future pollution. In his view, for the first time in the world’s history, man now has control of world climate, for good or for ill. Global warming is maximum at higher Northern hemisphere latitudes and there has been an acceleration of Arctic ice melting and Greenland icecap melting in the past few years, much of the evidence coming from accurate satellite measurements. The only way to prevent this continuing is to hold the level of CO2 below 450ppm and this will require immediate action. The consequences of neglecting to do this are;...

However one interprets the science, it’s bad news | Healthy Planet, Healthy People | DEA

August 23, 2016 - ...We need to move into a new paradigm. One has to ask what will be the sea level rise by the time there is an efficient, effective carbon trading scheme. In times of national emergency, do nations leave solutions to the market? In England in the 39-45 war, citizens awoke one morning to find that all the metal fences in the street had gone! Churchill directed that they go to munitions. No waiting for market forces then. Planes and tanks were needed immediately. David Shearman Go Back | Posted in: Opinion & Commentary | 03 June 2007 – David Shearman...

Supercapitalism and Demise of the Environment; book reviews

July 17, 2008 - ...wealth and protect what citizens valued in common began to disappear. Giant firms that dominated entire industries retreated and labor unions shrank. Regulatory agencies faded. CEOs could no longer be corporate statesmen. And as the intensifying competition among companies spilled over into politics, elected officials became less concerned about the Main Streets and communities in their districts and more concerned about attracting money for their campaigns. Lobbyists swarmed over Washington and other capital cities seeking laws and rules that would give them a competitive advantage (or avoid competitive disadvantage) relative to their rivals, wielding greater and greater influence over decision...

A Carbon Neutral Country. What would it take for Australia to become a leader in greenhouse?

May 1, 2007 - ...the amount being produced and creating new industries based around carbon neutral technologies. In order to ensure industry drove this it should be seen as a set of partnership projects with 1:5 funding from other levels of government and the private sector (as with the Better Cities Program which revitalized inner cities across Australia). In this way substantial change to the power and transport systems could be driven whilst revegetating vast areas of our landscape. What will this approach do? 1. Establish a market for reduced greenhouse gas products including transport. As coal, natural gas and petrol would have the...

Explainer: what is biodiversity and why does it matter?

Explainer: what is biodiversity and why does it matter?

November 7, 2012 - ...nutrients. They enable plants to grow and therefore to feed us, keep pest species and diseases in check and help protect against flooding and regulate the climate. These benefits are known as ecosystem services. A functioning natural world also provides a living for farmers, fishers, timber-workers and tourism operators to name but a few. So biodiversity keeps us alive, but there are other less tangible benefits. Recreation such as fishing or hiking, the aesthetic beauty of the natural world and our spiritual connection with nature; the cultural values we place on plants and animals such as the kangaroo and emu...

New marine reserves won’t address UNESCO’s Reef concerns

June 15, 2012 - ...the world’s largest coral reef system, but is also has 200 years of coal reserves. But Queensland’s coal and gas industry has a much more limited life-span, because rising levels of CO₂ in the atmosphere will inevitably trigger global action to curb the use of carbon-based fuels, far beyond today’s tentative steps to introduce carbon taxes and market-based instruments. As far as I know, no Labor or Coalition MP has acknowledged this reality. The rush to get as much fossil fuel out of the ground as quickly as possible, before the transition to alternative sources of energy occurs, has pushed...

Climate change, an important study “What Australia can learn from the world’s best de-carbonisation

March 23, 2012 - ...lessons. The window is closing fast A wide range of detailed national and global level strategies demonstrate the technological and economic feasibility of rapidly moving to a post carbon economy. This goal can still be achieved at the scale and speed required to significantly reduce the risk of runaway climate change. But the gateway for effective action is rapidly closing. Decisive action in the next five to ten years will be critical. There is a crucial difference between transition strategies that advocate a pragmatic and evolutionary approach and those that advocate more rapid and transformational change. The less ambitious plans...

New report from Beyond Zero Emissions

August 1, 2012 - Laggard to Leader- How Australia Can Lead the World to Zero Carbon Prosperity Last week I was both proud and relieved to be at Melbourne Universities’ Asia Centre for the launch of Beyond Zero Emissions’ latest report, Laggard to Leader- How Australia Can Lead the World to Zero Carbon Prosperity. Proud, because the lead authors Fergus Green and Reuben Finigan were colleagues of mine when I completed my Fellowship at the Centre for Sustainability Leadership and relieved because their ambitious report provided an alternative to the seemingly ineffectual process the international climate negotiations have become. This report outlines the challenge...

The Medical Profession and Environmentalism

February 14, 2008 - by David Shearman Summary This paper was written in 2002 soon after DEA was formed and was intended as a summary of the reasons for our formation. Solzhenitsyn said, “If you want to change the world you must first change yourself”. This article analyses the psychological and ideological mechanisms which impede doctors and the community from making appropriate responses to the many impending world crises. It is important to examine how these mechanisms have affected the conservation movement because in seeking sustainable health and wellbeing, we must teach and lobby for the maintenance of the global environment, the biosphere. Denial...

Health, Environmental Damage and Human Rights

October 30, 2008 - ...year the theme of World Health Day was “Protecting Health from Climate Change” and as part of a World Health day strategy, researchers around the world were encouraged to gather and publish current available information about the health impacts in their countries and communities of climate change so that citizens would be more alert to the need to address this problem and hopefully would persuade policy makers to take the required actions urgently. With the help of Professor Tony McMichael, Director of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, at The Australian National University, we prepared the Climate Change...