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Climate change, catastrophic risk and disaster law

April 13, 2012 - ...exposure to risks – can produce climate-related disasters. Climate extremes are disasters where they produce widespread damage and cause severe alterations in the normal functioning of communities and societies. As NSW mops up after the floods and braces for more wet weather, it is timely that we ask ourselves if the law is equipped to deal with catastrophic climate risks. In 2011, the Australian Climate Change Commission said that the catastrophic 2010-2011 floods across eastern Australia were caused by a very strong La Niña event rather than climate change. The Commission concluded, however, that a link between the floods and...

Global Health Conference 2011 Report

July 29, 2011 - With thanks to Melissa Franks of University of Notre Dame Australia, here is an account of this recent medical student conference. Click adjacent link for the report in pdf format....

keywords

February 5, 2011 - Tag Results for: hospital Hospitals & Sustainability Co-authored by Brenton Burger and Peter Newman, the latter being Dean of the Curtin University Sustainability… Sustainable Hospitals – Response to Victorian Climate Change Green Paper Doctors for the Environment Australia has a “green hospitals group” and is taking an increasing interest… DEA Guide to Greening Your Hospital Download this pdf article using the link on your right. …...

Climate Change. Seal the Deal!

May 2, 2009 - ...up for lost time both at home and abroad, we are back in the game.” As foreshadowed in a previous article on this site, the Clean Air Act has now become law. This accepts that greenhouse gases are responsible for climate change and endanger public health and welfare within the meaning of the Act. The situation can be summed up in the words of Thomas Friedman in the New York Times “It is not an exaggeration to say that the team that President Obama appointed to promote his green agenda is nothing short of outstanding — a great combination of...

Nanotechnology and the environment: A mismatch between claims and reality

July 26, 2009 - ...applications with little or no proven societal benefits, environmental costs could be high and the technology as a whole distrusted or rejected by the public. IPEN is a global network of more than 700 public interest non-governmental organizations working together in over 80 countries for a toxic free future. IPEN has established a nano-working group, which coordinates the actions and activities of public interest organizations around the world in the field of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials. Members include IPEN participating organizations such as the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), the National Toxic Network, the International Society of Doctors for the...

The Population Bomb Revisited – by Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich

July 13, 2009 - ...impossible. Norman Myers was years from calling world attention to the destruction of tropical rainforests; when The Bomb was written, the possibility that the tropical moist forests of the Amazon basin, Africa, and Asia might be destroyed was essentially unknown. Also unknown were the threats of endocrine disrupting contaminants (pollutants that mimic hormones), compounds with non-linear dose-response curves that may be more dangerous in trace rather than high concentrations (Myers and Hessler 2007, Narita et al. 2007). Polar bears were not having reproductive difficulties blamed on pollutants then, nor were they losing their habitat due to melting sea ice. And...

Climate change – β€˜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...

Wind Turbine Syndrome: mass hysteria in the 21st Century?

June 8, 2012 - ...noise complaints at some point. An estimated total of 239 formal complaints have been received about UK wind farm sites since 1991, 152 of which were from a single site. The estimated total number of complainants is 81 over the same sixteen year period. This shows that in terms of the number of people affected, wind farm noise is a small-scale problem compared with other types of noise; for example the number of complaints about industrial noise exceeds those about wind farms by around three orders of magnitude.” Simon Chapman is professor of public health at the University of Sydney....

Copenhagen Accord

December 30, 2009 - ...those to be submitted to the secretariat by non-Annex I Parties in the format given in Appendix II by 31 January 2010, for compilation in an INF document, consistent with Article 4.1 and Article 4.7 and in the context of sustainable development. Least developed countries and small island developing States may undertake actions voluntarily and on the basis of support. Mitigation actions subsequently taken and envisaged by Non-Annex I Parties, including national inventory reports, shall be communicated through national communications consistent with Article 12.1(b) every two years on the basis of guidelines to be adopted by the Conference of the...

Coal curse: the black side of the subsidised resources boom

July 8, 2012 - ...gas emissions, and accounts for more than half of world emissions from stationary sources. Though the costs to Australian and global society are huge, with such generous government subsidies, it is not surprising that production of coal-fired power shows no signs of abating, and likewise the continued growth of coal mining and coal exports. The coal curse has descended on Australia, and without urgent action we can only look forward to a mounting burden of illness, environmental degradation, economic dislocation, social disintegration and a warming planet. Stuart Rosewarne, Department of Political Economy at University of Sydney Linda Connor, Professor of...

Greening the Desert. How Farmers in Sahel Confound Scientists

January 4, 2008 - ...crops take out. The Kano region is the most agriculturally productive part of the country, with increased yields of sorghum, millet, cowpeas and groundnuts. A four-year study in eastern Burkina Faso challenged the assumption that land is degrading largely due to human activities [6]. It found that despite declining rainfall since the late 1950s and increasing populations, there was no evidence of land degradation connected to human activities nor a decline in food productivity. Conversely, yields of many crops have risen, and there was no decline of soil fertility over 30 years. These farmers did not achieve environmental sustainability through...

Urban Health – some reflections from Western Australia

March 31, 2013 - ...and planting. There are clear links between criteria air pollutants (N0x, S02, C0, fine particulate matter and ozone) and human health. Even at very low ambient levels air pollutants can be harmful to our health, some such as fine particulate matter and ozone do not appear to have a lower safe threshold. Green spaces and trees have beneficial effects on local air quality absorbing both the pollutants themselves and can also reducing the secondary aerosols formed by volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Ozone is formed as a secondary product in the atmosphere by the reaction between VOCs and oxides of nitrogen...

Scientific Consensus Statement on Environmental Agents Associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders

February 27, 2008 - ...health measure if we are to help prevent learning and developmental disorders and create an environment in which children can reach and maintain their full potential. Executive Summary: Scientific Consensus Statement on Environmental Agents Associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders “Given the established knowledge, protecting children from neurotoxic environmental exposures from the earliest stages of fetal development clearly is an essential public health measure if we are to help prevent learning and developmental disorders and create an environment in which children can reach and maintain their full potential.” In order to document and provide support to prevent neurodevelopment disorders, the Scientific Consensus...

DEA releases population poster

DEA releases population poster

February 8, 2011 - MEDIA RELEASE – Doctors join Dick Smith in saying “No” to a Big Australia National medical group, Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA), will this week wade into the population debate with the release of a poster to convey the health risks associated with unfettered population growth. Twenty-four thousand GPs will receive copies of the poster entitled ‘Advancing Australia Fairly’ this week to display in waiting rooms around the country. DEA asserts Australia’s population size should be based on a scientific understanding of the carrying capacity of our “fragile continent” and not on the views of those with vested interests....

Transitional Towns and Climate Change

June 7, 2008 - ...sign of proceeding to push aside the artificial, confrontational style of conventional politics; it is already asserting, if only by implication, that the political battle is not between ‘left’ and ‘right’, nor between capitalism and socialism, nor indeed between any other mass party. It is a battle between David and Goliath, one where for far too long Goliath has held all the cards and made all the running. Now, at long last, David has arisen to challenge this dangerous domination and to assert his own democratic rights to determine his own destiny. At long last, a group of educated, articulate,...

Hospitals set off on Environmental Path

November 4, 2008 - This article by Graeme Horton was published in Medical Observer on 3 October 2008. We republish it here for the benefit of our membbers who are not in General Practice and therefore do not receive the Medical Observer. Green corridors, green homes, green clinics… and now green hospitals! The next time you look you just might find that your local St Elsewhere’s has begun to take a long hard look at the impact it has on the environment and is making changes for the better. This trend is by no means ubiquitous but a growing number of shining lights are...

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

May 1, 2007 - ...change. However there is little doubt that Europe has gone beyond the US and actually has begun the global greenhouse transition. The UK Climate Change Bill now presents what seems to me the next big agenda: Carbon Neutral. The UK Stern Report has emphasized that we must begin to suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere now. Carbon neutral has emerged as the policy that progressive groups want to see happen so that from here on we are not damaging the atmosphere. Thus New Zealand have announced they will become the ‘world’s first truly sustainable nation’ and ‘they will aspire to...

Media Release: Bob Brown to inspire future doctors

April 5, 2013 - ...in advocating for environmentally sustainable practices to prevent health impacts. Other iDEA highlights include Professor David Karoly from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Professor Michael Kidd, AM. Climate change has been recognised by the World Health Organisation as the biggest health threat of the 21st century. Medical schools and colleges around Australia are now incorporating climate change into the curriculum, to prepare students for the surge of heat waves, natural disasters and vector-bourne diseases which they will encounter in their careers, and to advocate the importance of prevention. iDEA is backed by Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA)....

DEA – Do The Math Movie Screening:

May 23, 2013 - At the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, the Accord that was agreed upon by all nations of our planet only contained one number. This number was 2. The context of this number was that every country present agreed in principle that climate change must be kept below a rise of 2 degrees centigrade, or we will all face severe and damaging impacts. Scientists soon calculated that in order to achieve this we must not exceed the overall emissions total of 565 gigatones of CO2, which on the current trends equate to another 15 years of emissions at...