The argument that LNG is good for Australia and good for the world cannot be substantiated by scientific or medical facts, states Dr David Shearman. Many studies confirm that the emissions profile of gas is little different to that of coal.
Let us be clear:
- gas will do nothing to decrease the carbon footprint in Asian countries
- it won't help Australia reduce its domestic emission commitment to the Paris agreement
- gas is not a transition fuel for the electricity sector
- The production of gas in Australia is a health risk
- Health and water security concerns cause stress to residents in Queensland’s vast gas fields and for the proposed Narrabri, Northern Territory and Western Australian developments
- and, as with coal, the health impacts become simple externalities ignored by government for political expediency
- enthusiasm for gas is often accompanied by policy barriers against renewable energy.
Health departments have been reluctant to embark on studies when their governments are besotted by gas development.
What can be done? Australia needs a climate change policy based on scientific facts, not on opinion.
Dr David Shearman AM FRACP is Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Adelaide, and co-founder of Doctors for the Environment Australia
Read the full article which was published in Renew Economy on 20 March 2020
The Implications for Human Health and Wellbeing of Expanding Gas Mining in Australia