The big news about climate and our health

collage79_560

A new global health report calls climate change a ‘health emergency’, but also an opportunity. Citizens are taking legal action against their own governments’ inaction on climate change because it is going to harm the nation. And in Holland, they won the case.

The 79th Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse resonates current climate news headlines such as these.

Interviews with Fiona Armstrong, Environmental Justice Australia, and Andrew Laird, Surf Coast Air Action.

Audio excerpts from youtube videos: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, USA, Adam Bandt MP, The Australian Greens, and Ariane Wilkinson, Environmental Justice Australia. More information and audio excerpts below.



Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 79:

» To open or download this programme in mp3-format, right-click here (Mac: CTRL + click)


» Subscribe to ‘The Sustainable Hour’ podcast — via iTunes or via your own podcast/RSS software








 LISTENER SERVICE 

Audio excerpts

…from the 79th Sustainable Hour

Fiona-ArmstrongDSC_0265

Fiona Armstrong, Environmental Justice Australia

Fiona Armstrong at the Climate and Health Alliance has been working hard to make sure the new Lancet report is seen, read and understood in the Australian health sector.


IMG_8247-andrew150

Andrew Laird, Surf Coast Air Action

Andrew Laird speaks about how Surf Coast Air Action is now focusing on the threat of CSG mining in the Surf Coast Shire.



adam-bandt-150px

Adam Bandt, The Australian Greens

“How many more people would be smoking if cigarets costed two dollars a packet?” asks Adam Bandt. We are doing the equivalent with fossil fuels, he argues.




 MORE INFORMATION 

Quotes, excerpts and links

…in relation to the 79th Sustainable Hour



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Lancet_banner



 HEALTH 

Major report on health and climate change

Another big international moment happened last week: the release of a major report on health and climate change in the globally renowned medical journal the Lancet. This is a bit like the UN panel of climate scientists for the health world, and it is big global news. It speaks in a strong language, calling climate change a ‘health emergency’.

Lancet2015-cover

The ‘2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change: Policy Responses to Protect Public Health’ is an update to the landmark 2009 Lancet Commission report. This new report argues that tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century, an opportunity that now requires political will to realise.

The Lancet report: ban fracking
The report recommends to stop fracking for gas: “The time when fuel switching could decarbonise the global economy sufficiently quickly to avoid dangerous climate change has almost certainly passed. It is increasingly difficult to justify large-scale investment in unabated gas-fired infrastructure,” it states.

» Read more: www.thelancet.com/commissions/climate-change

» The Lancet report (PDF, 60 pages)



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 HEALTH 

Petition for health professionals

The Guardian: “Do no harm: the Wellcome Trust should not profit from the fossil fuel industry”

On 25 June 2015 in the Guardian, a group of senior health professionals – along with other doctors, nurses and academics – are asking the Wellcome Trust to divest from fossil fuels. Among them are the editors of the leading medical journals, the BMJ and the Lancet.

“Health organisations such as the Wellcome Trust have considerable moral and scientific authority, and a decision to divest has the potential to influence policy-makers, other investors and the public, in the UK and internationally.”

Do you belong to the health community? If so, the signatories to the letter are inviting you to join them and sign the letter too. Whether you’re a psychologist, community health worker, academic, student, retired GP, dentist or midwife, you can add your name to their letter here.

» Read more on www.theguardian.com/environment

» Sign the petition on www.theguardian.com

Air pollution is like smoking a cigarette each day, doctors warn

Air pollution in parts of NSW is so bad that it is equivalent to smoking a cigarette a day, according to a group of doctors who have called on the state government to take immediate action. Twenty-four doctors have written to Health Minister Jillian Skinner and the Environment Minister Mark Speakman, warning that the latest pollution monitoring in Newcastle showed that three out of six sites revealed air pollution above the accepted advisory standard.

The doctors are concerned that the unacceptably high levels are having an impact on residents health, particularly children.

» Sydney Morning Herald:
Air pollution is like smoking a cigarette each day, doctors warn



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

EJA-signup

 JUSTICE 

Pending civil case against Australian government

Environmentalists in Australia are preparing to launch legal action against the government’s inaction on climate change. This comes after a landmark ruling in a Dutch court, which ordered the country’s government to slash greenhouse gas emission at a faster rate.

SBS News’ Abby Dinham spoke to lawyer for Environmental Justice Australia, Ariane Wilkinson

Environmental Justice Australia have several clients who are very concerned that the current policies are failing us and are concerned about the harms to Australians from government inaction on climate change. “The duty of care aspect is a legal hurdle which will have to be established,” Ariane Wilkinson explains in the interview.

» SBS – 1 July 2015:
Environmentalists consider legal challenge to climate ‘inaction’

Could it happen in Australia?
» Sign up here with Environmental Justice Australia if you are interested in finding out more about any climate legal action in Australia and/or attending an online briefing about the Dutch case:
www.envirojustice.org.au



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



“Investing one cent more in oil, coal and gas is investing in the death of society, and the in the death of our children.”
Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International – interviewed in Philippino tv programme on ANC (13:19-13:35). Uploaded on youtube.com on 4 June 2013




. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“We have not inherited the Earth from our fathers and are hence entitled to use it according to our wishes. We have rather borrowed it from our children and have to maintain it properly until they can take over.”
Australian Minister of the Environment, speaking at OECD Ministerial Conference on the Environment in November 1974




. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 POLICY 

Putting a fee on pollution

The Australian Greens MP Adam Bandt spoke at the event ‘Intelligence Squared: A Tax Won’t Fix Climate Change’

The one-and-a-half hour YouTube video was published in January 2015. The event was held on the eve of the vote on carbon tax legislation in the Australian parliament. Politicians, scientists, academics and stakeholders make their case and plead their cause: Can a tax fix climate change? If not, what will?

Adam Bandt maintains that “direct action” and a price on carbon should not be seen as mutually exclusive measures. He demonstrates his point with the example of federal anti-smoking campaigns, and emphasises precautionary principles, comparing the tax to an insurance policy for our continued survival.



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 POLICY | USA 

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s 104th speech

In this week’s ‘Time to Wake Up’ speech, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse discusses the recently released Papal encyclical on the environment:

‘Time to Wake Up’ speech no. 104 on 24 June 2015

Every week Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gives a ‘Time to Wake Up’ speech in the American Senate where he reminds the senators that climate change is real, and that the numerous climate skeptics in the Senate are wrong.

“We are sleepwalking our way to a climate catastrophe. The data match, and show decades of increase in global temperature. The ocean is warming, sea levels is rising. More acidic. Those are the facts.”
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

What the scientists are telling us about sea level rise is scary stuff. Much uncertainty still surrounds the pace of future sea level rises, with estimates for a five-metre rise ranging from a couple of centuries – possibly even less – to a couple of millennia. But there is hardly any doubt that this rise is inevitable. Five metres.



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“Some of the nation’s peak business and lobby organisations are calling on the Abbott government to dramatically ramp up Australia’s emissions reduction commitments from 2020 onwards, warning against “piecemeal” policies and arguing that avoiding dangerous warming and reconfiguring the economy requires tougher and more urgent action than politicians have allowed.”
Sydney Morning Herald


 POLICY 

Australian business roundtable requests climate action

Unprecedented alliance of peak bodies pressures PM over climate change
A new “welfare lobby group” which includes two of the nation’s most recognised and powerful employer organisations, the Australian Industry Group and the Business Council of Australia, wants to set the path for policies that encourage investment in low and zero-carbon technologies.

“This is real leadership that bridges previously untouchable divides, and which attacks Abbott Government solidarity on climate change where it hurts – and at just the right time too.”
Alan Barlee

» The Guardian – 29 June 2015:
Australian climate policy paralysis has to end, business roundtable says
“Business and industry alliance sets out climate ‘principles’, including that climate policy should be ‘capable of achieving deep reductions’ in emissions”



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“We as Aussie farmers call on the Liberal Party conference to reject the motion put by the regional and rural committee of the Liberal Party questioning the basis of climate science, and instead call for post-2020 targets to cut carbon pollution that are in line with scientists’ recommendations of at least 40 per cent by 2025, and at least 60 per cent by 2030 over 2000 pollution levels.”
Farmer group – in an open letter to the Liberal Party


 POLICY 

Farmer group urges Liberals to take action on climate

In an open letter to the Liberal Party ahead of this weekend’s national conference, a group of farmers say climate change is real and happening on their farms. They urge the Liberal Party to take strong action on climate change

» Read more on www.abc.net.au



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 POLICY 

Glenn Lazarus “stands up for the future of this country”

Senator Glenn Lazarus – voted into Australia’s Senate on the Clive Palmer ticket in 2013, now an independent – has emerged as one of the most eloquent advocates of critical policies in the Senate. This is especially the case in the energy and climate change spheres.

Glenn Lazarus recently said: “The people of Australia want our country to move towards cleaner, greener energy. Everyone knows that dirty coal is bad. Everyone knows renewable energy is not only good for the planet but also good business sense – full stop.”

“I would also like to put on record that I am not party to the other dirty deal done between the Abbott government and the cross-bench which reduces support for the wind industry, puts in place additional layers of compliance and installs a national wind farm commissioner.”

“I make no apologies for being one of the few senators in this place to stand up for the future of this country. The rest of the world is moving towards renewable energy and so should we.”

» See article on www.reneweconomy.com.au



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

SA-100pct_collage1000

 RENEWABLES 

100% renewable electricity for South Australia

There is an energy revolution underway, and our state faces some big choices. We are leading the world in renewable energy and have a real chance to get to 100% renewables in 15 years.

This paper summarises its key findings in a recent study by Dr Mark Diesendorf, Deputy Director of the Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of NSW. He examined scenarios where the future electricity mix of South Australia (SA) could be predominantly or entirely based on renewable energy by 2030.

» Read more on www.abc.net.au



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 RENEWABLES 

Renewables 2015 Global Status Report

New report from the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century, REN21

Get the figures right and put the relative importance of wind energy into perspective, as compared to solar, when we talk renewable energy choices:

Globally, solar PV capacity has grown 48-fold over the last decade. From 3.7 GW in 2004 to 177 GW in 2014.
Wind power capacity went up nearly 8-fold over the same period. From 48 GW in 2004 to 370 GW in 2014.

» Read the report: ‘Renewables 2015 Global Status Report’



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 RENEWABLES 

Bloomberg predictions for wind industry

In 2026, wind turbines will become the cheapest form of power generation in the world, Bloomberg predicts

The road to remaking the world’s power generation will have two major mileposts. The first comes in 2026. That’s the year when Bloomberg analysts project wind will become the cheapest form of power generation in the world. Of course the world will actually be catching up to Brazil, the European Union and Australia, all places where wind is already the cheapest form of new power generation.

» Read more on www.scientificamerican.com



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 DIVESTMENT | RELIGION 

Lutheran World Federation divests

On 23 June 2015, the Lutheran World Federation‘s governing Council voted to stop investing in fossil fuels.
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has announced that it shall be the policy of the LWF not to invest in fossil fuels. The LWF Council also called on its member churches “not to invest in fossil fuels and to support energy efficiency and renewable energy companies, and to encourage their institutions and individual members to do likewise.”
The LWF Council further emphasized that “we re-commit ourselves and encourage others to commit to a profound change in our lifestyles and in the broader system of production and consumption. We must live as responsible and accountable citizens of this planet.”

» Read more: www.lutheranworld.org


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 PETITION 

Join the largest climate petition to save the world

Earth Day Network: “Tell local, national and international leaders to phase out carbon.”

Scientists warn us that climate change could accelerate beyond our control, threatening our survival and everything we love. We call on you to keep global temperature rise under the unacceptably dangerous level of 2 degrees C, by phasing out carbon pollution to zero. To achieve this, you must urgently forge realistic global, national and local agreements, to rapidly shift our societies and economies to 100% clean energy by 2050. Do this fairly, with support to the most vulnerable among us. Our world is worth saving and now is our moment to act. But to change everything, we need everyone. Join Earth Day Network.

» Sign the petition on www.action.earthday.net



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Fracking


BelmontMarkets600

 VICTORIA 

Government Fracking Inquiry seeks submissions

Frack Free Grovedale members Alan and Lyn Manson held a stall at the Belmont Markets last Sunday to alert the community that the State Government is holding a public inquiry into the Unconventional Gas industry – otherwise known as ‘fracking’. They were offering to assist those people who were opposed to this industry.

This is because if areas in the PEP163 exploration area extending from the southern suburbs of Geelong to Torquay, Anglesea, Moriac, Ceres and Highton are allowed to be mined, the entire nature of the region will be transformed into gas wells, gas pipes, and significant mining equipment infrastructure to the detriment of our underground water supplies, the environment, agriculture and our tourism industries.

The inquiry is seeking submissions from anyone who either opposes or supports this industry coming to Victoria. At times, certain gas industry workers approached the couple, complaining they were “opposing jobs in the region”.

When the response was given that mining industry jobs would replace farm-related jobs and the industries that support them, the discussions became a little heated. When the opportunity was provided for these industry people to support their claims that both agriculture and mining could co-exist, the discussion ended.

The closing date is on Friday 10 July 2015.

» Submissions can be lodged via www.parliament.vic.gov.au/epc



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 EUROPE 

European report: ‘Fracking should be temporarily banned’

Fracking poses ‘significant’ risk to humans and should be temporarily banned across EU, says new report

A major new scientific study has concluded that the controversial gas extraction technique known as fracking poses a “significant” risk to human health and British wildlife, and that an EU-wide moratorium should be implemented until widespread regulatory reform is undertaken.

The damning report by the CHEM Trust, the British charity that investigates the harm chemicals cause humans and wildlife, highlights serious shortcomings in the UK’s regulatory regime, which the report says will only get worse as the Government makes further budget cuts.

It also warns of severe risks to human health if the new Conservative government tries to fast-track fracking of shale gas across the UK. The “scale of commercial fracking” unleashed by the Government’s eagerness to exploit the technique “should not be underestimated”, it cautions.

» Read more on www.independent.co.uk



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


 UNITED KINGDOM 

Government report: Fracking impact on water quality

Fracking operations to extract shale gas in Britain could cause nearby house prices to fall by up to 7% and create a risk of environmental damage, according to a government report that has been published in full for the first time.

Entitled ‘Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts’, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) document was released on 1 July 2015 after a freedom of information battle.

An official assessment of the impact of fracking, it warned that leakage of waste fluids could affect human health through polluted water or the consumption of contaminated agricultural products.

» The Guardian – 2 July 2015:
Fracking could hurt house prices, health and environment, official report says



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 POLICY 

Australian government tells states to open the gates

This is how the Australian government, in this case Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, sees it: “Activism is strangling the gas supply in the east coast gas market. Emotive ill-informed comment seems to be winning the argument over science,” he said at a recent ‘Australia’s Energy Future’ roundtable.

“Similar to the climate change debate, it seems the noisiest voices and not necessarily the most informed are being heard,” according to the minister.

» Read more on www.afr.com



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 SCIENCE 

Last call to save the oceans from climate disaster

Contrast the above kind of statements at ministerial level in Australia to what the science is currently telling us is going on in the real world. Here is just one of hundreds of examples that have ticked in during the last months:

“A paper published today in Science has issued a warning that our window of opportunity to save the oceans from major changes is in danger of slamming shut, bringing with it the risk that we will encounter planetary-scale tipping points in the behaviour of the climate.”


» Read more on www.theconversation.com






icon_small-arrow_RIGHT Podcasts and posts about climate change

Streaming live

facebook-square-logo2_300px

» The Sustainable Hour is streamed live on the Internet every Wednesday from 11am to 12pm (Melbourne time):
www.947thepulse.com – click on ‘Listen Live’

Podcast archive

Hours and hours of sustainable podcasts

» You can listen to all of The Sustainable Hour radio shows in full length and in selected excerpts:
Archive on climatesafety.info – with photos

Archive on cpod.org – with longer descriptions

Archive on itunes.apple.com – mobile phone friendly



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

Promote The Sustainable Hour

Print this A4-poster and put it on a wall or a board at your work place, a local café, shop or where ever you think there’d be people who’d find this information interesting. thesustainab_flyer200 Go to our Facebook-page and give us a click on the LIKE-button. Let the The Sustainable Hour’s listeners know about your green product. To become a business supporter or sponsor, contact: Liz Carr, Marketing & Business Development, 94.7 The Pulse

94.7 The Pulse

» 947thepulse.comGeelong’s Premier Community Radio Station

 

 


 

The Sustainable Hour on social media

» Facebook: Overview of all podcast front covers

» Catch up on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SustainableHour » Twitter tag: @SustainableHour


 

Share on Twitter

» Share this podcast on www.twitter.com






Share on Facebook

» If you’d like to share this page on Facebook, then copy this link:

(First paste the long link in a field on Facebook, wait until the photo has loaded, delete the link again, and then press ‘Post’)


Share on Pinterest

» Share this page on pinterest-logo

» More Sustainable Hour posts on Pinterest


 

“Participation – that’s what’s gonna save the human race.”
Pete Seeger, American singer




Comments