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The Lancet Series on Health and Climate Change

November 29, 2009 - ...technical fixes, and lifestyle recommendations. One widely held view is that their implementation would, almost without exception, prove socially uncomfortable and economically painful. But as a series of new studies shows, in one domain at least—public health—such a view is ill founded. If properly chosen, action to combat climate change can, of itself, lead to improvements in health. The news is not all bad”. Climate change will harm human health, and successful strategies to mitigate the extent of the change will restrict that harm. But new studies published in The Lancet show that appropriate mitigation strategies will themselves have additional...

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

June 8, 2012 - ...September 21, 1889 The history of the introduction of new technology has often featured highly publicised panics about the miseries that will be visited upon those who fall prey to these Mephistophelean temptations. The industrial revolution in the nineteenth century was the golden age for technophobes and those convinced that modern society was toxic. George Miller Beard, an American neurologist, popularised the long-discredited diagnosis of neurasthenia. He argued that “wireless telegraphy, science, steam power, newspapers and the education of women; in other words modern civilization” was responsible for widespread anxiety, depression, headaches and fatigue. While we can laugh at the...

Independent Australia: Morrison’s condescending response to kids and climate

September 30, 2019 - ...need to act? Mr Morrison said we are doing alright on emissions (we are not), we are taking real action (we are not), that our critics ignore our contribution because it doesn’t fit the narrative they wish to project (fake news?).  His attitude to the striking children was dismissive and patronising. What he ignores is that many of their leaders, and indeed most of the children, understand what is happening to their world.  Dr Graeme McLeay is a retired anaesthetist and member of Doctors for the Environment Australia.  Read the full article in Independent Australia which was published on 29 September 2019....

Wildlife, biodiversity, climate change, population and economic growth

May 8, 2011 - ...the need for hospitals, emergency services, life support systems (intensive care) and family doctors. Waiting lists and hospital closures are rightly big news. Even more fundamental to health are the natural life support systems, the natural resources, water, availability of productive, non-degraded land, biodiversity and stable climate. These are deteriorating, and scientists have used the words global environmental change to describe them. This change is accelerating. If we apply these concepts to Australia then very bad decisions are being made by all governments. In general, decisions are being made by 20th century thinkers rather than by those who understand the...

Can we expect climate change in the US?

March 10, 2008 - ...and pray? Climate change action is now urgent and so solutions need courageous leadership. We can stress the importance of our leaders taking these issues to our ally. Mr Rudd will do this and he must be supported. DEA has members who write excellent letters to the press here and in the UK. Please have a go in the US press, we will record each of your successes in our newsletter. In general Americans are well disposed to us though some have confused us with Austrians, and we therefore write to them from a favoured position. Remember, this is a...

Commentary on the second part of the IPCC Report on Climate Change

April 15, 2007 - by David Shearman My January news letter was devoted to the first part of the IPCC report which dealt with the science of climatic change and its certainty. The second part of the IPCC report, just published, describes the existing and predicted effects of climate change on the life support systems of humans and other species. The specific human heath aspects are described The report is a shocker. A badly needed outcome of the report is US recognition of the problem. To date the US press has been defensive and skeptical. However the latest findings are reported in detail e.g....

Health warning: WA fracking could blow away Australia’s carbon budget

Health warning:  WA fracking could blow away Australia’s carbon budget

March 20, 2018 - ...Dr Crisp says a recent statement by the McGowan Labor Government that it plans to make WA into a “global LNG hub” is deeply concerning news. Says Dr Crisp, “The fact this public announcement comes ahead of the Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation in Western Australia calls into question the government’s commitment to its base its decision on up- to -date scientific and medical knowledge. “Natural gas is not an alternative fuel from coal—it’s about 90% methane, which is 80 times more potent as a greenhouse gas over a 20-year period than coal, so even small leakage rates add significantly to fracking’s...

Exxon Valdez. Environmental Law R.I.P.

June 30, 2008 - ...Exxon, the first had reduced the damages to $2.5 billion. The punitive damages are shared between more than 32,000 Alaska Natives, landowners and commercial fishermen most of whom lost their livelihood, is about $15,000. A third have already died. Exxon Mobil had a 2007 profit of 40.6 billion dollars. The important agenda behind the legal decision was apparent from the following statement “This is good news for companies concerned about reining in excessive punitive damages,” said Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “For years the Chamber has argued that punitive damages are too unpredictable and...

US Opposition to GMOs Gathers Momentu

June 25, 2009 - Scientists and physicians in the heartland of genetic modification are alerting policy-makers and the public to the dangers of GM crops. Prof Peter Saunders We thank the Institute of Science in Society http://www.i-sis.org.uk for Permission to reproduce this ISIS Report by Professor Peter Saundershttp://www.i-sis.org.uk/US_Opposition_to_GMOs.php This is a good news article.The Obama administration is listening whereas the Bush administration would not-Editor Safety and agronomic performance under fire Great upheavals may be afoot in the United States, the world’s leader in genetic modification (GM), and biggest producer of GM crops. Within the past several months, doctors have issued a strong statement calling...

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

June 6, 2008 - ...mid-range prediction. As stated above, the 90% confidence intervals for temperature rise at 550ppm CO2e is 2-4.5 degrees. So we are 90% confident that temperature rise will be less than 4.5 degrees, not three degrees. For 90% confidence of three degrees, the IPCC charts show we should aim for 430ppm CO2e. And that’s ignoring climate feedbacks! Worse still, we’re already at 461! Finally, I discussed the Earth’s history from palaeoclimate records to look at what three degrees might really be like. I showed him this paragraph from CarbonEquity’s website and again, it was all news and got his full attention...

Climate Change. A Letter to DEA from the Treasurer the Hon. Wayne Swan

August 27, 2008 - Early in 2008, Doctors for the Environment Australia wrote to all Federal parliamentarians about climate change. Because of the urgency of reducing greenhouse emissions we asked them to “Write to us yourself and tell us what you are doing personally (i.e. within your household) to address the problem of climate change. Let us know how you are showing leadership within your electorate and please send to us any messages you are using in your newsletters to constituents. The first responses to our letter were discussed in “News from the Secretary, May 2008”. With a few exceptions amongst Labor members the...

A day to lift our spirits

March 14, 2013 - News from DEA’s Unconventional Gas Working Group: So often our work feels like banging our heads against a brick wall, and it can be hard to see progress. However over time we really do see results. Recently we have seen significant improvements in protection from inappropriate coal seam gas (CSG) development in NSW. The NSW government is making major changes to CSG regulation, including a 2km exclusion zone for residential areas. This effectively prevents large scale expansion of CSG into the Sydney Metropolitan area. The CSG company Metgasco, has just announced it is suspending all exploration and production in the...

Canberra Times: Coronavirus: Doctors urge government to lock-in COVID-19 emission reductions

September 2, 2020 - As emissions plunge to their lowest levels in 30 years as a result of COVID-19, and the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reductions Angus Taylor pushes for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to fund new gas projects, Dr George Crisp warns gas is not a transition fuel- rather it’s no better than coal in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Dr Crisp urges the federal government to place evidence-based solutions that address climate change at the core of Australia’s pandemic economic recovery. Read the news story which was published in the Canberra Times on 1 September 2020....

DEA doctors innovating and protecting health during the COVID 19 pandemic

April 11, 2020 - ...on the mental health implications of living and working during a pandemic.https://7news.com.au/the-daily-edition/coronavirus-update-how-changing-your-mindset-can-help-if-youre-struggling-with-mental-health-c-901980  Past DEA Chair and present DEA Scientific Advisor Committee member Professor Michael Kidd is working in Canberra as the recently appointed Principal Medical Advisor to the Federal Department of Health and Professor of Primary Care Reform at The Australian National Universityhttps://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/professor-michael-kidd-appointed-to-advise-on-primary-health-reforms and writes in a recently published article of GPs central response to COVID-19 https://www1.racgp.org.au/ajgp/coronavirus/australias-primary-care-covid19-response To all our members and friends take care and we look forward to bringing you more news of DEA member activities over the coming weeks. Dr Eugenie Kayak. DEA Co-chair. FANZCA, MBBS, MSc....

http://www.pnas.org/content/105/36/13185.short

June 25, 2009 - Scientists and physicians in the heartland of genetic modification are alerting policy-makers and the public to the dangers of GM crops. Prof Peter Saunders We thank the Institute of Science in Society http://www.i-sis.org.uk for Permission to reproduce this ISIS Report by Professor Peter Saundershttp://www.i-sis.org.uk/US_Opposition_to_GMOs.php This is a good news article.The Obama administration is listening whereas the Bush administration would not-Editor Safety and agronomic performance under fire Great upheavals may be afoot in the United States, the world’s leader in genetic modification (GM), and biggest producer of GM crops. Within the past several months, doctors have issued a strong statement calling...

Climate change action in Australia- Go back to Go

April 2, 2012 - ...working away quietly to deliver energy renewal. Legislation, even to remove huge subsidies to the oil industry, is blocked but he is able to use a national instrument to quietly bring change. The centrality and power of the USEPA was established by Richard Nixon (the last reforming Republican!). The action on coal fired emissions is decisive and will reduce mining and health impacts as detailed in the DEA news item on the Victorian Dual gas development.http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/us-epa-sets-first-cap-on-coal-plant-emissions-20120328-1vxnh.html#ixzz1qOv13as8 The USEPA ruling relates to new plants. ‘No new coal fired power” has been a pillar of DEA policy for two years (where are...

Healthy Cycling in Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Hobart

November 28, 2012 - ...medico friend identifies what he calls the Inverse Mortein principle, “if you’re not on a good thing don’t stick with it”. The results of sedentary lifestyles, with obesity and it’s associated problems, should remind us of the Inverse Mortein principle. Poor health, disability, and premature death are not good things. Greater efforts are necessary to promote happier, healthier, more active lives. The benefits of physical activity for cardiovascular and musculo-skeletal health are well known. Regular exercise lowers risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and of several cancer types. The preventative and restorative effects of physical exercise for brain health are...

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...

Is Environmentalism Failing?

February 23, 2011 - ...the most powerful industry coalition ever assembled. The ruthlessness of big carbon is known to all those who have watched the “greenhouse mafia” at work. Its influence is apparent in the draconian laws against climate protests passed in Victoria, urged by Martin Ferguson and under consideration in other states. When I think about the state of environmentalism in Australia I keep coming back to the events of 3rd May 2009, because what happened on that day encapsulates the impotence of the environment movement in this country. The Rudd Governments emissions trading policy—the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme—had been coming under heavy...

Energy Australia to close Yallourn power station early and build 350 megawatt battery

March 10, 2021 - “News that the owners of the Yallourn power station are bringing forward closure to 2028 is a step forward to reduction of pollution and emissions. By that time, according to power analysts, there will no shortage of renewables and storage to ensure adequate supply. Yallourn is one of the dirtiest, oldest and probably the most unreliable coal fired power station in Australia and provided employees are treated fairly and compassionately, its removal from the grid will not be missed” – DEA Board Member, John Iser. Read more about the early closure decision here....