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A day to lift our spirits

March 14, 2013 - ...Northern Rivers area of NSW, causing widespread celebration in the community. They cited regulatory uncertainty and blamed the State government’s recent CSG exclusion zone for residential areas and agricultural infrastructure. Yesterday, Environment Minister Tony Burke announced he will introduce amendments to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 that will require federal assessment and approval of coal seam gas and large coal mining developments which have a significant impact on a water resource. http://www.environment.gov.au/minister/burke/2013/mr20130312.html?utm_source=mins&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed. The importance of this cannot be underestimated. At a time when the federal government has been divesting environmental responsibilities to the states under pressure from...

New Acland coal mine expansion (May 2019)

May 7, 2019 - DEA has provided a submission to the Queensland government opposing a water licence for the Acland mine extension. This continues the saga of pollution and harm to local inhabitants over the past decade. Over that time, DEA has made two submissions and attended the Land Court case as expert witness . Yet the company and the Queensland government are still intent on approval. This story provides every reason why New Environmental Laws are needed in Australia. Read the submission here....

Crikey clarifier: how is CSG extraction regulated?

August 30, 2011 - ...are essentially breaking the law by locking the gate.” It also means that landholders whose properties are rich in CSG and petroleum rather than resources stipulated in the Mining Act are not protected by the rights under the Mining Act that allow property owners to “veto the granting of a mining lease over the surface of their land” and “to negotiate the terms of access to minimise inconvenience to them. Therefore the press release issued by the NSW Minerals Council on August 15 to counter the “misconception that land-holders have no rights if a mining company obtains approval to develop...

The Human Costs of Iraq and Other Wars

April 18, 2008 - ...suffered a psychological disorder. A 2007 investigation by the CBS television network in the US estimated that, for those veterans aged 20-24, the suicide rate was four times the national average. The profound psychological impacts of this war on US veterans – and their communities – are compounded by the fact that the troops were told they were going as liberators. Instead they are attacked by Iraqis as hated occupiers. The economic cost of the war, to the US alone, has been estimated by Joseph Stiglitz from Columbia University and Linda Bilmes from Harvard, at $3 trillion. This estimate takes...

Supercapitalism and Demise of the Environment; book reviews

July 17, 2008 - ...We cannot blame capitalism, any more than we can blame the tiger for being a carnivore; that is the nature of the beast. Its task is to make profits. It is the role of governments to control capitalism, to divide up the kill and to ensure true sustainability. They have failed. It is easier for them to accept the camouflage of green-wash than make hard decisions. There are many green Kormarants sailing in the ocean of public affairs. Possible solutions are being floated by many and in several texts elsewhere, I have argued for the splitting of the fusion between...

DEA – Do The Math Movie Screening:

May 23, 2013 - ...campaign, DEA students in various states held screenings of the Do The Math film. In Tasmania, about 50 people came along to see the compelling film and much discussion was had concerning the planned mining in the Tarkine region of Tasmania as well as the alarming large-scale mining expansion in Queensland. As the films name suggests, the alarming evidence based statistics are front and centre within the production, and they contribute to the films timely overall educative and empowering dialogue. DEA Tasmania gives it 5 stars. The film is accessible at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsIfokifwSo Henry West – Tasmania State Student DEA Represenative...

The Medical Profession and Environmentalism

February 14, 2008 - ...movement in Western societies which for several decades has opposed land clearing, the use of fossil fuel, deforestation etc. We now recognise that their agenda has had a strong health component, though they did not promote it as such. The conservation movement consists of a fluid network of community groups with multiple agendas and value systems, but with the general ethos of improving the environmental and social fabric of society.(3) In general, their membership is representative of the general community though the larger more structured groups are more frequently middle class and well educated. The general community, therefore, identifies the...

Reports on Recent Climate Change Conferences

March 30, 2009 - These reports were prepared by Peter Tait, DEA member, NT Key Science Messages from the Climate Conference in Copenhagen Scientists at the international congress in Copenhagen, held in March 2009, have prepared a summary statement of their findings for policy makers. The congress was conceived as an update of the science of global warming ahead of the UN summit in December. Ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in December this statement will go to officials and heads of state at the conference. The full conclusions from the 2,500 scientific delegates from 80 countries that have attended the three-day meeting...

Greening our prescriptions

July 9, 2010 - Dr Rosemary Stanton OAM Lose weight and save the planet – ask me how It can be difficult to convince many people that they need to change their eating and exercise habits. Could a new perspective on food provide a more effective motive? The diet that is better for the environment, with fewer processed packaged foods, less animal fat and more plant-based foods could also improve health and reduce risk of many health problems. CSIRO’s social researchers (1) find people are interested in climate change and understand the urgency to address it. A message to ‘save the planet’ and reduce...

Forget Bush for the moment, let’s worry about China!

December 9, 2007 - ...environmental concerns for many local populations in the developing world. SPOILING THE PARTY In the view of China’s leaders, however, damage to the environment itself is a secondary problem. Of greater concern to them are its indirect effects: the threat it poses to the continuation of the Chinese economic miracle and to public health, social stability, and the country’s international reputation. Taken together, these challenges could undermine the authority of the Communist Party. China’s leaders are worried about the environment’s impact on the economy. Several studies conducted both inside and outside China estimate that environmental degradation and pollution cost the...

Clean Energy For Eternity and Matthew Nott

March 9, 2009 - ...read whatever I could get my hands on regarding climate change. I read what the sceptics and deniers had to say. I read what the politicians, the economists and scientists were saying, and a clear pattern emerged. There is some uncertainty in the science of climate change. If the planet is warming, why was 1998 (according to the Hadley Institute) the hottest year ever recorded (or 2005 according to NASA). Are we in fact starting to see a cooling trend since 1998? Sea levels may be rising, but they have risen before. Sea level has been 30 meters higher than...

Preparedness is key to extreme weather events | Healthy Planet, Healthy People | DEA

August 23, 2016 - ...its weather map for temperatures once off the scale (50-52°C and 52-54°C). A relatively small change in the average temperature can significantly increase the frequency of extreme heat events. Australia has warmed steadily since the 1940s, and the probability of extreme heat has now increased almost five-fold compared with 50 years ago. Associated with the heatwave were bushfires across NSW, Victoria and Tasmania. With Hobart reaching its highest temperature on record (41.8 ̊ C), Tasmanian fires destroyed property and bushland, forcing communities flee to the coast and thousands to seek rescue or shelter. In 2009 we had an insight into...

A call for publishers to declare their conflicts of interest

October 10, 2007 - ...Australia, Medical Association for the Prevention of War, and the Presidents of their two parent bodies International Physicians for the Prevention of War, and International Society of Doctors for the Environment. The Letter We welcome the recent attention to the issue of the ethics and transparency of publishers in your journal (JRSM 2007;100:113 and 114–115).(1–3) While recent attention in this regard has appropriately focused on the prominent case of Reed Elsevier’s involvement in the global arms trade, there are many wider issues involved. Other examples of questionable publishing ethics which have been identified include the unhealthy involvement of some publishers...

Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone in Global Warming and Human Health

March 6, 2011 - ...as much as if no measures were undertaken. Over the same period an aggressive reduction of CO2 would do little to mitigate warming over the same period There is some uncertainty about the impact of BC because it can influence clouds that have multiple effects on climate that are not fully understood. METHANE REDUCTION Coal Mining. Improve the recovery of methane from ventilation air. This is a significant source world wide Oil and natural gas production. There is widespread pollution which negates much of the advantage of gas. In the Four Corners program http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2011/s3141787.htmgas was seen leaking around the drill...

Global warming to worsen malnutrition: report

December 18, 2007 - Courtesy FAO and World Science staff, World Science http://www.world-science.net Expressing their “deepest concern,” three U.N. agencies are warning that climate change will increase global hunger and malnutrition unless immediate action is taken. The alarm was sounded as scientists warned that global warming may have passed a tipping point, with the Arctic Ocean melting much faster than projected. “The Arctic is screaming,” Mark Serreze of the U.S. government’s snow and ice data center in Boulder, Colorado, told news agencies this week; NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally added that the Arctic might be nearly icefree in five years. The three Rome-based agencies—the...

BODHI: a buddhist influenced NGO

June 3, 2006 - ...a Buddhist-influenced organisation. I visited India that year, and met the Dalai Lama and the secretary of health of the Tibetan government in exile. (By the way, I also met my future wife, Susan, in India at that time.) Impressed, I vowed to do what I could to improve the health of Tibetan refugees in India. But as listeners will appreciate, it is much easier to make vows than it is achieve them. To make a long story short, Susan and I co-founded BODHI in 1989. The Dalai Lama agreed to become our founding patron. Three years later, during the...

Population & Health

February 8, 2011 - The following article appears this week in Medical Observer. The author is DEA national committee member and GP, Dr George Crisp. WITH a higher growth rate than many developing nations, the debate on Australia’s future population is well overdue. In the driest inhabited continent, with the poorest of soils, determining a sustainable population must be a priority. Yet we are led to believe that population growth is not only inevitable, but that our future prosperity depends on it. But growth is neither a solution to our demographic imbalance – which it merely serves to propel and magnify it into the...

REDD: An introduction

March 10, 2010 - ...is simple: governments, companies or forest owners in the South should be rewarded for keeping their forests instead of cutting them down. The devil, as always, is in the details. The idea of making payments to discourage deforestation and forest degradation was discussed in the negotiations leading to the Kyoto Protocol, but it was ultimately rejected. REDD developed from a proposal in 2005 by a group of countries calling themselves the Coalition for Rainforest Nations. Two years later, the proposal was taken up at the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Bali (COP-13). An agreement on REDD is...

Review of Interim Emissions Reduction Targets for Victoria (2021-2030) (July 2019)

July 2, 2019 - The Victorian Government appointed an Independent Expert Panel to advise on 5-yearly sector pledges on emission reduction targets (ERTs) up to 2030, under provisions of the Climate Change Act 2017. DEA believes that the Panel’s advice of 32-39% by 2025 and 40-60% by 2030 is sound but only if the upper level of each target is the ultimate aim. It is only these upper limits which would enable Victoria to achieve its legislated target of net-zero emissions by 2050 without placing an unfair burden on either the current or future generations. Review of Interim Emissions Reduction Targets for Victoria (2021-2030)...

Push for healthcare sector to reduce carbon footprint

December 17, 2020 - Croakey author Nicole Mackee quotes Hayden Burch co-author of the DEA zero net emissions report, in this article reporting on how far behind Australia is in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Click here to read the full article...