Leadership on addressing climate change involves an urgent increase in the use of renewable energy to replace greenhouse producing fossil fuels. The use of fossil fuels for energy production is harmful to health both within Australia and internationally.
The co-benefits of doing this are a reduction in the huge health costs from cardio-respiratory disease caused by using fossil fuels for our energy needs.
The renewable energy sources wind wave and solar, have not been shown scientifically to have any health impacts. These modalities should be regarded as a key preventative health strategy.
A more rapid increase in renewable energy deployment is essential in fulfilling Australia’s commitment to green-house emission abatement and in holding world temperature rise to less than 2°C.
After a successful eight -year community led campaign, the SA government recently announced that the world’s largest stand-alone concentrated solar thermal (CST) power plant will begin construction in Port Augusta. This will transform a city which was powered by ageing coal fired power stations into a city with a bright future as a renewable energy hub in the 21st century. What’s more, doctors and medical students were a major driving force behind this decision, writes Dr Ingo Weber with AMA vice-president Dr Chris Moy.
Submission to the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) on
– Alinta Energy Reeves Plains Power Station, comprising the construction of a 300 MW capacity gas fired peaking power station
– AGL Energy Grand Trunkway, Torrens Island, comprising the construction of a two stage power station with a total capacity of 420 MW
With mining interests calling for new high efficiency coal fired power stations to be built in the Hunter region, it is time to examine the health effects of these proposed plants.
Australia’s energy debate needs to consider mounting evidence that unconventional gas extraction poses a serious risk to human health, argues David Shearman.
Doctors slam yet another review of Australia’s electricity supply, saying it raises questions of probity, and also delays efforts to reduce green-house gas emissions from dirty energy production that is harming our health.
DEA notes that the Climate Change Authority (CCA) will join with the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) to review an Independent Review into the Future Security of the NEM. The report of this Independent Review is not yet available, so why there has to be further review of an unpublished Review is problematic and raises questions of probity.
I had felt deeply uncomfortable about my contribution to climate change for decades. My electricity and car were powered by fossil fuels. My groceries were trucked and flown in from distant places. My bank invested in coal, oil and gas.
With the first of RenewWA’s climate forums starting today at Edith Cowan University in W.A., Amy Marshall from Doctors for the Environment goes in to bat for renewable energy.
Many salutory lessons arise from this fascinating account of the role of health and medical expertise in the successful closure of polluting power stations in South Australia.
THE Federal Government and state Liberals are demanding that Jay Weatherill’s Government should reopen the Port Augusta coal-fired power station.
Doctors for the Environment Australia recommends that the present budget for ARENA be maintained as a preventative health measure.
Australia must shelve plans to make gas a “transitional fuel” because it will worsen the climate change emergency, warn health experts in response to last Fridays COAG meeting of energy ministers.
Energy ministers are being urged to put clean energy at the top of the COAG agenda to protect health.
Leading health experts are calling on the country’s energy ministers to make a firm commitment for a rapid replacement of coal and gas with renewable energy at Friday’s COAG meeting.
Doctors have today described comments that renewable energy from solar and wind are causing the SA power “crisis” as disingenuous because they ignore the hefty costs of coal and gas to public health and to the health budget.
South Australia’s recent Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission has recommended avoiding some bad options: no nuclear power generation and no reprocessing or fuel leasing in the foreseeable future.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), climate change from global warming is one of the greatest threats to public health and it will affect, in profoundly adverse ways, some of the most fundamental pre-requisites for good health: clean air and water, sufficient food, adequate shelter and freedom from disease……..
Stationary energy, as a sector, is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions globally and in Australia.
Renewable energy comes from natural sources which are constantly replenished.
Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) Chair, Professor Kingsley Faulkner wrote to Mr Richard Warburton, Chair of the Renewable Endergy Target Review to express DEA’s concern about the process and expected outcomes of the Renewable Energy Target (RET) Review.
Port Augusta has experienced pollution from its power stations for many years.
This recent report, co-authored by the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) and the Climate Insitute, draws together the many ways in which we can improve health (whilst saving money) by acting to limit climate instability. DEA is part of CAHA, which is an alliance of health organisations. As such, all DEA members can feel pleased they have contributed to the publication of documents such as this.
Scientific evidence overwhelmingly indicates that increasing green house emissions are responsible for the climate change which is having health impacts throughout the world.
The patients suffered from nervous excitability, with buzzing noises in the ear, giddiness, and neuralgic pains … in some cases …objective lesions, such as a subinflammatory condition of the membrane tympani … All the trouble speedily vanishes if the ear is allowed a sufficient measure of physiological rest; this it can only obtain by the cause of the evil being withdrawn. The victims … seem all to be of markedly nervous organization, and the moral may be drawn that such persons should not use the telephone. British Medical Journal, September 21, 1889
Solar energy has no health hazards and low green house emissions. Germany forges ahead with its use. Some Australian states are reducing their commitment to solar and indeed Queensland has recently cancelled a project at Cloncurry approved by the previous government. It prefers coal seam gas although this threatens farming land and water resources.
There is an important public health message for power producers and governments. It is no longer appropriate to harm people by burning air polluting fossil fuels when there are healthy alternatives.
Fossil fuels are responsible for a significant disease burden in our community contributing to climate change. Wind power and other renewable energies have the potential to reduce threats to health through reduction in air pollution and mitigation of climate change.
This article describes the Feed-In Scheme for Small-Scale Solar Photovoltaic Installations in South Australia
Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) has major concerns about the expected effects of climate change on human health and well being. We have recently released nationally and internationally a report on this topic. It is therefore appropriate that we submit to this Senate Committee to emphasise that a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is urgent and the only way that this can be quickly accomplished is by encouraging energy saving and expanding renewable energy provision. The situation is urgent because recent scientific reports are showing that the harmful effects of climate change are arising much faster than anticipated from IPCC data. There is increasing danger that climate change may become irreversible.
I would like to alert DEA members and invite them to give their support to the Futureworld Eco-Technology Centre in Coniston, Wollongong. Futureworld is a not for profit community based organization almost entirely dependent on volunteers. The Centre also has strong connections to the University of Wollongong.
The Eco-Technology Centre will be opening shortly and will exhibit cutting edge, developing and current commercially available environmentally friendly technologies including energy saving technologies. Three Illawarra environmental technology world firsts, the Solar Sailor, Energetec’s Wave Power and Brightstar Environmental Solid Waste to Energy (SWERF) will be demonstrated.