Doctors will today take to the streets in support of the anticipated thousands of Australian school students who will miss classes to call for urgent action on climate change. Medical group Doctors for the Environment Australia says climate change is the biggest risk to public health in human history and children, who are especially vulnerable, have good reason to speak out.
DEA, a national medical group that protects health through care of the environment, is supported by a Nobel laureate, recipients of the Australia of the Year award and other health experts.
DEA Honorary Secretary Dr Richard Yin says, “It’s inspiring to see today’s generation of young people taking control of their future in the face of persistent government inaction.
“The health impacts of climate change are now unequivocal - key health organisations around the world, including the WHO, have declared it a public health emergency.
“And with every further year of inaction we are eroding the hard- fought gains made over the last two centuries and undermining the future environmental conditions that support our health and wellbeing.”
Human-induced climate change increases the likelihood of the record-breaking “natural” disasters that we are experiencing. Apart from the potentially harmful physical impacts on children from extreme weather, including more severe and frequent heatwaves, floods, drought and bushfires, children can also suffer mental stress. A recent UNICEF report stated children living in rural Australia experienced emotional distress from having to deal with the drought burden.
Says Dr Ingo Weber, who is coordinating a separate campaign focusing on the health impacts of climate change on children on behalf of DEA, “When you think of climate change, don’t just think of polar bears but think of the faces of your children and grandchildren.
“The bottom line of climate change is health, their health. They have least contributed to climate change but will suffer the greatest health impacts if we fail to act now.
“For this reason, doctors and medical students are supporting School Strike 4 Action. Children have a right to defend their health and doctors have duty to protect it.”
The School Strike 4 Climate on Friday 15 March is part of a global movement to address global warming and was originally inspired by 15-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg.
Please contact DEA's Communications and Media Coordinator Carmela Ferraro to arrange an interview with any of the following spokespeople.
Ph: 0410 703 074
DEA Honorary Secretary Dr Richard Yin (Based in Perth, 3 hours behind AEST)
DEA’s No Time for Games campaign coordinator Dr Ingo Weber
Victoria, Dr John Iser
New South Wales, Dr Kim Loo
Queensland, Dr Pieter Jansen
Western Australia, Dr Richard Yin
Western Australia, Dr George Crisp
Tasmania, Dr Tom Clemens
South Australia, Dr Ingo Weber
School Strike 4 Climate website
DEA No Time for Games campaign website
https://notimeforgames.nationbuilder.com DEA report: No Time For Games: Children’s Health And Climate Change https://www.dea.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Children_and_climate_change_report-_No_Time_for_Games_web.pdf
Climate change & Health in Australia Fact Sheet
DEA is an independent organisation of medical doctors protecting health through care of the environment http://dea.org.au We are supported by a Scientific Committee of distinguished health experts: Prof Stephen Boyden AM, Prof Emeritus Chris Burrell AO, Prof Peter Doherty AC, Prof Michael Kidd AM, Prof David de Kretser AC, Prof Stephen Leeder AO, Prof Ian Lowe AO, Prof Robyn McDermott, Prof Lidia Morawska, Prof Peter Newman AO, Prof Emeritus Sir Gustav Nossal AC, Prof Hugh Possingham, Prof Lawrie Powell AC, Prof Fiona Stanley AC, Dr Rosemary Stanton OAM, Dr Norman Swan