Exploring the Health implications of Energy Choices
This workshop was designed to open challenging questions about how we can protect the health of communities in the face of competing social, economic and environmental challenges and worsening climate change. It aimed to review the scientific evidence behind the debates on coal, unconventional gas, and wind power, to assist practitioners understand potential impacts on vulnerable communities, and to stimulate discussion on the health implications of energy choices.
The audience was asked to imagine themselves part of a community consultative panel to decide on what future energy development would be best for the health of their hypothetical community. Each speaker was an expert invited by the community to provide evidence to help their decision making.
(L-R) Drs Linda Selvey, Grant Blashki, Marion Carey and Helen Redmond
Grant Blashki facilitated the session in an engaging and creative way. Marion Carey spoke on wind power, examining the positives and negatives and reviewing the evidence behind the hype. Linda Selvey gave a comprehensive overview of the health and environmental impacts of coal mining and combustion with an update on current research. Helen Redmond gave an equally comprehensive overview of current and potential impacts of the unconventional gas industry which is rapidly expanding with minimal protections to health.
Feedback from the audience was that this comparative approach was a useful way of understanding the issues.
Population Health Congress Poster Session
Jenny Hellsing (DEA student member of the DEA management Committee) presents her poster “Are Australia’s future doctors being educated about climate change and health?”