Australian news, and some related international items

Doctors describe renewable energy as “medicine” for Australia’s rural towns

Renewables the medicine our regional towns deserve Apr 2017 Renewable energy is the doctor’s prescription for better health. The world needs to move away from electricity generated from coal and gas. It’s polluting our air and producing greenhouse gases causing global warming.

The federal government’s State of the Environment report estimates 3000 deaths are caused by urban air pollution in Australia each year – more than the national road toll. Based on the sources of pollution in urban areas, up to half of these deaths can be attributed to the burning of coal. This means every wind farm or solar installation – whether it be on your roof or large scale the size of a small town – is saving lives.

Thousands suffer heart and lung diseases from this air pollution at great cost to health services. Yes, coal is cheap but only because it’s subsidised by the health costs paid by thousands of our fellow Australians.

Doctors for the Environment Australia seeks to bring health benefits of renewable solar and wind energy to many rural and regional communities. In Port Augusta, South Australia we helped the community close a coal power station that caused lung cancer and asthma. A solar thermal plant is now foreshadowed. Across Australia, communities benefit from solar plants with local jobs, energy security and income. Barcaldine, in central west Queensland, has just installed the state’s largest solar plant, which according the mayor Rob Chandler has “brought a lot of dollars into the community.”

The best thing about this medicine is there are no negative side effects. Anxieties have arisen over wind farms, but no medical or scientific organisation here or overseas has identified any cause or harm. The prescription of renewable energy will help bring health and stability to rural communities. Demand treatment!

Dr David Shearman is secretary of Doctors for the Environment Australia and former professor of medicine at the University of Adelaide. 


April 24, 2017 - Posted by | General News

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