Health experts, including GPs and medical specialists, are today launching a video message warning that a gas-led pandemic economic recovery would be hazardous to health and cost lives. The call by doctors is attached to a petition calling for a renewable recovery instead.
Doctors for the Environment Australia is a medical group supported by leading health experts including a Nobel laureate and former Australian of the Year.
DEA spokesperson Dr Graeme McLeay says, “As doctors whose primary role is to protect health, we are compelled to speak out about the dangers gas poses.
“The mining, liquefaction, transport and burning of gas release carbon dioxide and methane, which have the potential to result in as much greenhouse gas as burning coal.
“The summer’s heat, horrific bushfires and terrible smoke pollution that for weeks engulfed our towns and cities is one example of the damage that climate change is causing.
“Gas can also harm Australians in other ways. Unflued or poorly flued gas stoves and heaters have been linked to higher rates of asthma in children.
“Some of the chemicals resulting from unconventional gas extraction, also known as fracking, have been found to be toxic to health. These substances pollute our land, including productive farming land. Gas mining also depletes groundwater relied on by farmers to grow our food. Precious groundwater aquifers can be polluted.
“Gas extraction reduces air quality to local communities. Studies also show that it can have a range of physical and psychological health impacts. “We have energy alternatives which don’t cost our health.
“Solar and wind will lower our emissions and improve our environment in many ways, including cleaner air. “Renewables also make social and economic sense. An Ernst and Young report showed that investment in the renewable energy sectors would yield three times as many full-time jobs as those in the fossil fuel sectors.
“The pandemic has shown us how effective the Government can be in protecting public health.
“It listened to the experts about managing the risks of Covid and has saved thousands of lives as a result.
“Listening to climate and health experts on the need to leave fossil fuels in the ground to curb the climate crisis will save thousands more.”
For media inquiries
Contact DEA's Media and Communications Coordinator Carmela Ferraro - 041 0703 074