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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;...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

REDD: An introduction

March 10, 2010 - ...industry to continue polluting. While there has not yet been any agreement on how REDD is to be financed, a look at some of the main actors involved suggests that there is a serious danger that it will be financed through carbon trading. The role of the World Bank is of particularly concern, given its fondness for carbon trading. Back in 2004, Ken Newcombe, then Senior Manager of the World Bank’s Carbon Finance Business, explained to journalists at the Carbon Expo in Cologne that “The World Bank is reducing the risk for private investors.” (Newcombe has now left the World...

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...

iDEA 2021: Planet Health and Hope

July 22, 2021 - ...saving, and so are we.” show less Dr Chris Moy show more Dr Chris Moy is a full-time General Practitioner from Adelaide. He graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1991 and he has worked in general practice for over 25 years. His specific interests include aged care, palliative care and health communication systems. Chris is the current Federal AMA Vice-President and, prior to this, was Chair of the Federal AMA Ethics and Medico-legal Committee for 4 years.  He also recently completed his term as AMA South Australia President. He has participated in many initiatives related to aged and end-of-life care, Advance Care Directive legislative and policy development, and the advancement...

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

August 23, 2016 - However one interprets the science, it’s bad news The recent IPCC report estimates that sea level rise will be 0.3 meters by the end of this century. However more recent evidence of acceleration indicates that 0.5 meters may be reached if all other variables remain the same. These estimates are likely to be conservative for several reasons. Firstly the IPCC collection of data for the 4th IPCC report finished about two years ago. Data since then suggests acceleration. Secondly, the IPCC scientists are conservative in their consensus opinions. Like many scientists they are reticent to overstate even if they feel...

UN Convention Recognises GM Tree Threat

June 1, 2006 - ...are shared by many forestry experts and civil society organisations around the world, such as the World Rainforest Movement, the Union of Ecoforesty, the Global Justice Ecology Project, Via Campesina, the Independent Science Panel (see “Save our Forests” series SIS 26) and the International Forum on Biodiversity. Delegates from these organisationshad lobbied hard at international meetings leading up to the latest CBD declaration, which is part of a wider commitment to a road map that significantly reduces the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, in line with the 2002 World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD). Women destroy GM seedlings Feelings...

Book Review: Energy Autonomy. The economic, social and technological case for renewable energy

March 25, 2007 - ...ten international conferences on the politics of climate protection. In contrast, the share of renewable energy rose by 33 per cent, from 1.04 to 1.38 toe over the same period. Scheer maintains that this disparity is fostered by government annual subsidies, which amount to US $ 244 billion for fossil and nuclear fuels, compared to $ 9 billion for renewable energy – a mere 3.7 per cent of the total. Not captured by these statistical calculations are the subsidies in the form of tax exemptions worldwide for aircraft and ship fuels, amounting to some $ 250 billion, and development funds...

Carbon Neutral Conference, Perth WA 12-13th September 2007

September 22, 2007 - ...is currently the only government run scheme in the world. Businesses that offset all of their emissions in this way are able to claim that their products and services are ‘carbon neutral’ and can use the Greenhouse Friendly logo. Abatement projects wishing to sell carbon offset credits within the Greenhouse Friendly program undergo a rigorous assessment process. So far only 24 projects have been approved in Australia to sell carbon offset credits but there are approximately another 50, according to Jessica, undergoing the accreditation process. To date the Greenhouse Friendly program has achieved a 4 million tonne reduction in greenhouse...

An Encouraging Visit to a Federal MP to discuss Australia’s Green House Emissions

June 6, 2008 - ...be taken seriously because you’re a doctor, with scientific credibility and no conflict of interest. Feel free to use my approach, or invent your own. I truly believe that we, environmentally literate and concerned doctors, have an enormous amount to contribute in the struggle to make governments wake up and act decisively. I note that the big “excuse” of politicians at the moment is that they’re waiting to see what Garnaut Review will say (draft due next month). My concern with that however is that none of world economic and climate modelling that Garnaut will be assessing includes an Emergency...

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

June 15, 2012 - ...World Heritage Site in Danger in the next year. If the in-Danger listing happens, it would be deeply embarrassing to the Queensland and Commonwealth governments, and the worldwide publicity would be an enormous blow to the Australian tourism industry. The comprehensive report expands on a summary released earlier this month, which has triggered a political storm between the Queensland State and Commonwealth governments. The Great Barrier Reef is slowly declining, an inconvenient truth that is often ignored or denied. In the past 50 years, it has lost half of its coral cover. Many coastal reefs and seagrass meadows have been...

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...

Toward a Mercury Treaty that protects public health: A health sector platform

May 27, 2010 - ...has been shown to save health institutions considerable money. The Health Sector Leading the Way A diversity of national and international health professional organizations, such as the World Medical Association, the World Federation of Public Health Associations and the International Council of Nurses have recognized the need to reduce the use of mercury in the health care sector. The World Health Organization has issued a policy paper for the phase‐out of mercury in the health sector. Health Care Without Harm an international coalition of health professionals, health care institutions and networks has worked to substitute mercury‐based medical devices in the...