Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Turnbull government budget ignores health impacts of climate change

Shortsighted Budget 2017 ignores health impacts of climate change, Independent Australia  Kristine Barnden 19 May 2017, The Turnbull Government has once again prioritised growing the economy over human lives, writes Dr Kris Barnden.

ACTION TO PROTECT AUSTRALIA from climate change was a policy free zone in the 2017 Budget. Despite strong scientific and economic consensus on the urgent need to transition away from fossil fuels, our government has prioritized efforts to grow the economy using a business as usual approach.

Doctors have been speaking out about the adverse health effects of climate change, as well as the health co-benefits of policies aimed at mitigating and adapting to climate change. In Australia, air pollution from coal fired power stations contributes a significant proportion of the over 3000 deaths per annum from pollution and a plea has been made by doctors for a rapid transition away from coal fired power.

Agriculture is another area where actions to reduce green house gas emissions are likely to be associated with multiple benefits, including health. In last week’s Budget, agriculture and regional Australia are seen as winners only from expenditure on rail. However, we need to recognize that agriculture is an important contributor to greenhouse emissions and also extremely vulnerable to their effects as recognized by the farming industry. These factors are budgetary items and need to be built into national financial policy. Indeed as President Obama has noted, food security is a world issue and we carry responsibility as a food exporter……….

Agriculture, the environment, the economy and human health interact at many levels, and we face significant difficulties on all fronts. All will be affected by climate change, and we cannot afford to consider each in isolation. We need strong leadership, and the ability to look beyond short term political and ideological considerations to longer term gains.

Dr Kristine Barnden is a member of the management committee of Doctors for the Environment Australiahttps://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/budget-2017-ignores-health-impacts-of-climate-change,10314

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May 20, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, health, politics

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