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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...

Transitional Towns and Climate Change

June 7, 2008 - ...of English Literature at Manchester University who writes in the Guardian this week. Civilisation is run by national politics; it has come to signify material well-being and individual autonomy and has separated itself from culture which in its widest sense is a whole way of life, collective and spontaneous. References (1) The climate change challenge and the failure of democracy, Shearman and Smith, Praeger, USA (2) Climate as a crisis in world civilisation; why we must totally transform how we live, Smith, Shearman and Positano, Edwin Mellen Press, New York (3) Shearman, New Scientist, April 2008 (4) Fourth World Quarterly...

Al Gore, a Plan to Repower America to Counter Climate Change

July 21, 2008 - ...Two major studies from military intelligence experts have warned our leaders about the dangerous national security implications of the climate crisis, including the possibility of hundreds of millions of climate refugees destabilizing nations around the world. Just two days ago, 27 senior statesmen and retired military leaders warned of the national security threat from an “energy tsunami” that would be triggered by a loss of our access to foreign oil. Meanwhile, the war in Iraq continues, and now the war in Afghanistan appears to be getting worse. And by the way, our weather sure is getting strange, isn’t it? There...

Climate Change. Seal the Deal!

May 2, 2009 - 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. Mr Ban urged the EU to continue its leading efforts to push towards the signing of an effective climate change agreement during the UN Climate Change Conference...

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...

Climate Change Strategy and the Environmental Movement

August 30, 2009 - An interesting review article ‘Hijacked by Climate Change” by Richard Black on BBC News has asked “Has climate change hijacked the wider environmental agenda? If so, why? And does it matter?” These questions are highly relevant to how we present our case to the community and to government. It is unarguable that we were heading toward a world ecological crisis even without adding in the damage of climate change. Biodiversity is declining rapidly, as the habitats and ecosystems of forests, wetlands, coral reefs and rivers are plundered for resources or urbanisation. Pollutions, draining of aquifers, overfishing, desertification due to land...

Breast Cancer and DDT, implications for malaria treatment

August 9, 2007 - ...who reached puberty before 1945 could not have been exposed to the pesticide during development up to puberty. DDT continues to be used in some African countries to fight malaria. For example, DDT is effective in prevention when used to spray annually inside huts. This use was sanctioned in the UN Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants as a public health exception. In a reversal of 30 years of policy, the World Health Organization endorsed DDT spraying for malaria control. see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5350068.stm for more detail and other articles. Within the International Society of Doctors for the Environment Dr. Paul Saoke,...

Clean Energy Finance Corporation Expert Review

December 13, 2011 - We note “The CEFC will act as a catalyst to private investment which is currently not available and thereby contribute to reducing carbon emissions and cleaner energy”. Download the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Expert Review....

Big Banks Are Selling Us Out on Climate Change by Tara Lohan, AlterNet, www.alternet.org

October 13, 2007 - ...Citi has been busy funding dirty energy. Last year they gave 200 times more money for dirty energy than for clean. In the process they’ve helped underwrite some of the world’s worst environmental and human rights offenders. Here’s a sample: In 2006 they gave $4 billion to Peabody Energy, the world’s largest coal mining company, which has been ravaging Dine and Hopi lands for 40 years, taking 2.5 million gallons of water out of their desert watershed each day and leaving behind a trail of toxic waste. In 2006 they gave $400 million to Drummond, a mining company, which is...

Is Environmentalism Failing?

February 23, 2011 - ...world they are committed to—the world of free-market capitalism, limited government, unlimited consumption, and the subordination of nature. Against this, much of the environment movement has no real political understanding of the world. They mistake the superficial argy-bargy dished up by the daily news media for political analysis, and do not truly comprehend the forces they are ranged against. They see environmentalism as merely wiping away the blemishes on the prevailing system, rather than challenging it. And until environmentalism fully grasps its historic mission, it will continue to be found wanting in its greatest test. So we urgently need a...

The Tarkine Forest under threat – Again

March 19, 2012 - ...here in Tasmania. That’s normal. I’m confused too! This is a “Land of Confusion” and yes, I love the song, its brilliant to run to, to get the angry hormones going! Good luck if your head is not in a spin at the end- but this is how I see things at the moment: Essentially at the moment there are shonky deals being revealed by the likes of Tasmanian Times online news (tasmaniantimes.com.au) of an ‘independant’ MLC receiving gifts from corrupt families in Borneo; Tasmanian Hydro being involved in dam building causing human rights abuses, deforestation, etc in Sarawak; the...

Coal’s Control of Government

August 11, 2011 - ...safety. In this new mode labour costs were relatively minor; between 1950 and 1966 employment in NSW coal mines decreased by 40% while output doubled. These new levels of efficiency put Australia on a trajectory of ever greater production and exports. Australia is now the fourth largest coal producer in the world behind China, the USA and India. Of the known recoverable resources, Australia has 10.6% of the world’s black coal and 8.9% of world’s brown coal and at current rates of extraction these are expected to last 111 years and 539 years respectively. With over three-quarters of electricity derived...

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

June 6, 2008 - An Encouraging Visit to a Federal MP to discuss Australia’s Green House Emissions So Ross Garnaut thinks humanity will probably lose the fight against climate change. The architect of Australia’s response to climate change says the issue is “too hard” and there is “just a chance” the world will face up to the problem before it’s too late. I think this is the likely conclusion for all who spend time on the scientific literature. I believe that our response to this situation must be to redouble our efforts to urge decision makers to take more action. Martin Williams, a DEA...

A Healthy New World Order – Peter Tait

May 12, 2013 - A Healthy New World Order – Peter Tait This is a presentation from the iDEA13 Conference (April 2013) by Peter Tait. Please use the link on the right of the screen to view the presentation....

Desalination and relentless ‘development’ for what? The sorry story of the SA Gulfs

April 10, 2011 - ...of houses. We believe we can make progress by looking after and enhancing our rivers, wetlands, gulfs, land, and all the biodiversity depending on these living systems. A desalination plant in Gulf St Vincent or Spencer Gulf does not provide the necessary guarantees and confidence to proceed. We are the watchers and keepers, and we say NO. We choose to live with Nature, not against it. We act for present and future generations. The desalination plant can be converted to a world-class marine research establishment, combining tourism and an Arts Centre. South Australia can lead the world by acknowledging its...