iDEA is the annual national conference of Doctors for the Environment Australia. Bringing together medical professionals and students from across Australia and beyond, iDEA unites people with one common goal – to address the human health impacts of the environment and climate change.
March 2014 saw four hundred doctors, and medical students from all over Australia come together for the iDEA14 conference, Australia’s national climate change and health conference, run by Doctors For The Environment Australia (DEA), to address the health impacts of fossil fuels and anthropogenic climate change.
DEA Honorary Secretary and founder, Professor David Shearman, was presented with the inaugural Tony McMichael Public Health Ecology and Environment Award (TMPHEEA) at the PHAA annual conference dinner on September 18th before hundreds of guests, including former Health Minister Nicola Roxon.
10 weeks walking, 1200km from Cairns to Gladstone, along the Great Barrier Reef. This was enough to make me leave my job to see more of our beautiful Australia. Walking pace is the natural human pace. You see so much more when you walk, you dedicate your time. When you are walking, the journey is the destination. We followed the guidance of Footprints for Peace, a global community organisation for events to promote change through peaceful actions.
DEA Victoria doctors and medical students travelled to Anglesea on Sunday 16 June 2013 to learn more about the open cut coal mine and power station that abuts the local community. Dr Jacinta Morahan, who is an Anglesea resident, took the members on a tour to the local primary school that lies within close proximity to the mine and to the mine site itself to observe the planned expansion of the mine.
At the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, the Accord that was agreed upon by all nations of our planet only contained one number. This number was 2. The context of this number was that every country present agreed in principle that climate change must be kept below a rise of 2 degrees centigrade, or we will all face severe and damaging impacts. Scientists soon calculated that in order to achieve this we must not exceed the overall emissions total of 565 gigatones of CO2, which on the current trends equate to another 15 years of emissions at current increasing rates. This was disappointing at the time, as it was widely seen as a very weak outcome from a meeting billed to provide the required action on climate change. Since this conference, things have only become worse.
Many medical students enter their course believing they will be able to make a difference to the lives of others. Rarely is this more apparent than at a student conference concerned about the health impacts of climate change.