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

April 10, 2011 - ...becomes too high? Will there be independent monitoring? Seven Post treatment of boron Boron is a metal (metalloid) found in seawater. Boron scales the rust off pipes. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation for safe levels of boron in desalinated water is less than 0.5 mg/L. Some chemical standards assert that there is no safe level of boron for humans. Desalinated water has to be treated especially to control the boron level and this greatly increases the amount of electricity used in the process. Eight Enough water — Murray-Darling Basin System, stormwater The problem of the Murray-Darling Basin is caused...

Dick Smith on population growth and the developers

April 22, 2011 - Dick Smith, who assisted DEA with the press release of our population position paper, has written in the on-line press regarding the role of property developers in growth “Again and again as I tour Australia discussing our failure to have a sensible plan for population, I ask simple questions: Why would we want to rapidly increase our population? What’s so great about constant growth? What are the advantages for average Australians? I fail to ever get a convincing answer. The best the “pro-growthers” come up with is “because we can”, and that of course, is no answer at all. It’s...

Neglect of this patient will affect all of us

April 28, 2011 - ...water flows. Even areas that seem relatively undisturbed have not been spared. We’re seeing small mammals and seed-eating birds disappearing across the largely uninhabited north of Australia. And Phytophthora (root rot) is decimating the unique vegetation of Western Australia. Dissolved CO2 is causing acidification of the oceans, which is harming coral reefs and shell-forming organisms, with consequences for the entire ocean food web. Massive soil erosion and deforestation are not leaving Earth much capacity to metabolise and filter out the toxins. Sounds like liver failure and end stage renal disease. Our patient might have presented with hyperthermia, but now we’re...

A healthy world without inequality

May 3, 2013 - ...inequality. Twentieth century tools such as trickle-down economics, deregulation, resource-based growth and inept global governance are no longer suitable. One solution is ‘Contraction and Convergence’, developed by the Global Commons Institute. This calls for industrialised countries to reduce their emissions while developing countries increase theirs to allow for development and poverty reduction. This approach initially seems idealistic and unrealistic, as humans don’t easily give up their positions of privilege, nor want to ‘do without’. As doctors we know ‘crash diets’ rarely work for sustainable weight loss. Yet long-term behaviour change is more successful if unhealthy behaviour is replaced with a...

Current Campaigns and Projects

July 29, 2021 - ...more To learn more ways to get involved, please email janelle.sewell@dea.org.au. Watch the Climate and Health Candidate Forums in the five electorates on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joh2UI1pEQU&list=PLgvWbFycvOu6c1X7PA5lLx828Wel7sUF0 – The healthcare sector is responsible for a whopping 7% of Australia’s carbon emissions The Push to Make Healthcare Sustainable We feel that a profession whose mantra is ‘first, do no harm’, has a responsibility to decarbonise as quickly as possible. We recently joined forces with the Australian Medical Association (AMA) to call on the Australian healthcare sector to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero by 2040, with an interim emission reduction target of 80% by...

Children & Nature Seminar

November 11, 2012 - ...of the challenges and opportunities in creating nature experiences in a city with 1.1million children under the age of 12yrs with a rate of child poverty of 1/3. The seminar was co-presented by the Victorian Child & Nature Connection of which I am a co-founder and Health Advisor. I think the relationship between our children and nature is important and fundamental for wellbeing- I hope you will take the time to listen to the podcast of Tim Gill’s interview on the abc, link below or even peruse the report at http://www.londonsdc.org/documents/Sowing%20the%20Seeds%20-%20Full%20Report.pdf http://blogs.abc.net.au/victoria/2012/10/uk-childhood-expert-visits-evenings-.html?site=melbourne&program=melbourne_evenings Dr Dimity Williams- National Management Committee Member, DEA....

DEA & NTN 15/11/2012 – Coal Seam Gas Pollution

November 15, 2012 - Media Release: DEA & NTN 15/11/2012 – Coal Seam Gas Pollution FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : 15th November , 2012 FOR MORE INFORMATION: Dr Helen Redmond Doctors for the Environment Australiahttp://www.dea.org.au/ Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith, PhD NTN Senior Advisorbiomap@oztoxics.org DOCTORS AND COMMUNITY GROUPS SAY NEW EVIDENCE ON AIR POLLUTION FROM COAL SEAM GAS MINING MEANS BETTER HEALTH PROTECTION NEEDED A recent independent university study of the atmosphere of a coal seam gas field near Tara, Queensland has shown evidence of widespread releases of methane and carbon dioxide concentrations. Hotspot concentrations of methane were detected within the gas field that were more than...

Heat stroke, climate change and the elderly

April 24, 2012 - ...failure, lung disease or diabetes. In this study those years with larger summer temperature swings had higher death rates than those with smaller swings. This was true for each city examined in the US. Essentially people do not adapt as well to increased fluctuations around the usual temperature. This might be why the death rates are high in Melbourne. Indeed the 15,000 deaths in the heat wave in France in 2003 occurred in a population that had never experienced such temperatures before. Please add other key references to this article (1) Morbidity and mortality during heatwaves in metropolitan Adelaide https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2007/187/11/morbidity-and-mortality-during-heatwaves-metropolitan-adelaide...

A Healthy Climate Change Battle

July 18, 2012 - ...collective action, for our role has been to provide advocacy and education that should be the role of the professional organisations. The profession can take action by promoting co-benefits in health and the economy by reducing greenhouse and associated air pollution. The health services and the community pay billions for treating the health impacts of fossil fuels. Indeed health co-benefits can be identified in most policy areas of climate change amelioration. They have not been addressed. David Shearman E/Professor of Medicine is Hon Secretary of Doctors for the Environment Australia, an independent public health organisation of medical doctors – www.dea.org.au...

Doctors Applaud Coal Funding Cut as Positive Health Measure

July 29, 2012 - ...proceed. “We welcome the news that the grant has been withdrawn”, said Dr Eugenie Kayak. “The evidence has mounted over recent years about the health impacts of coal. It is clearly time for Australia to join other developed countries in moving away from coal fired electricity generation to safer renewable energy.” “This is a sensible decision which is a step forward for the health of the Victorian public now and into the future.” The Victorian Government has yet to decide if it will withdraw its $50 million contribution to HRL. Background:http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/government-cans-100m-grant-for-coal-plant-20120727-22yle.html http://dea.org.au/news/article/landmark_hearing_doctors_vs_coal For comment: Dr Eugenie Kayak 0419 685 574...

The Psychological Impacts of Climate Change

April 23, 2012 - ...that will swell to record heights, and the fastest growing part of the nation is the increasingly arid West. “An estimated 200 million Americans will be exposed to serious psychological distress from climate related events and incidents: The severity of symptoms will vary, but in many instance the distress will be great”. A note from the Editor Please Read the full report and use this information when you see your elected representatives Please send your key references so we can build our learning on this topic (1) Major impacts of climate change expected on mental health (from the UK) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-12/kcl-mio120309.php...

BODHI: a buddhist influenced NGO

June 3, 2006 - ...other minority and oppressed peoples, such as in West Papua. We’ve also just begun a train-the-trainer project with a deaf girl in Nepal. I now work as an academic in global public health. I publish on how disease, poverty, discrimination and environmental scarcity combine to”lock-in” systemic disadvantage. And I’ve heard numerous experts and read many reports on Third World health and poverty. My experience with BODHI has informed my writing. It’s also made me sceptical of many of the conventional solutions proposed for poverty – but that’s another story. Further Information BODHIhttp://www.bodhi.net.au/ We thank ABC RadioNational for permission to publish...

DEA requests action from Minister Burke over Queensland’s Acland coal mine

January 14, 2012 - ...that the Commonwealth must intervene to take responsibility for these failures. We have provided a detailed critique of the air pollution demonstrated in the EIS. We have also written to the Queensland Ministers Wilson, Hinchliff and Darling. We attach: • Letter from local residents (Oakey Coal Action Alliance) asking for help • Letter to Minister Burke • Observations concerning the Air Quality section of Environmental Impact Statement for Acland Stage 3 (Chapter 9) by medical experts from Doctors for the Environment Australia • Letter to Minister Hinchliff, Minister for Mines, Queensland • The EIS for the project is at http://www.aclandproject.com.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=75...

NAIDOC Week 2021: Heal Country

NAIDOC Week 2021: Heal Country

July 5, 2021 - This NAIDOC week, we celebrate the rich history, diverse cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC week is centred on the theme Heal Country and is an opportunity to embrace First Nations’ deep knowledge and skills of Country, as well as their calls for greater involvement in managing Country which they have cared for since time immemorial. This will help to address historic injustices and the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss to shape a fairer and healthier future. Read more about what’s happening this week: www.naidoc.org.au...

Public Transport, Health and Climate Change—A DEA initiative

August 16, 2007 - ...do so, although it has funded urban motorways (e.g. M7 in Melbourne, Eastern Arterial in Melbourne, most recently the promise of $2.3 billion for the Ipswich bypass). This is not even-handed, and will not help our cities cope with global warming and peak oil challenges. For that we need to become less car-dependent, not more car-dependent. Federal funding for the expansion of public transport will provide huge savings in greenhouse emissions and health costs Almost 60 per cent of Australian adults are overweight or obese: as a result there is an epidemic of type 2 diabetes and several related serious...

‘Green jobs’ won’t save the debate

May 11, 2011 - ‘Green jobs’ won’t save the debate This article published in Climate Spectator is based on a presentation Richard Denniss gave to the Doctors for the Environment Australia medical students’ conference on climate change, environmental health and political change. Richard Denniss is Executive Director of The Australia Institute, a Canberra-based public policy think tank www.tai.org.au This conference was held in Sydney April 30 –May 1 “Imagine your doctor suspected you had a deadly illness, but given the cost of the diagnostic test they decided to wait a year or two to see if things got better, rather than potentially waste money...