Pages tagged "Behaviour change"

  • UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres calls for transformation of world economy

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    CAHA Vice President Dr Peter Sainsbury is in Paris attending many of the side events accompanying the UNFCCC COP21 global climate change talks. He shares some reflections here on the process, stimulated by a presentation by UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figures to one of these side events. "At the beginning of the second week of the COP21 negotiations in Paris, Executive Secretary of the UNFCC, Christiana Figueres, addressed a group of philanthropic funders. I was fortunate enough to be there and she was inspiring, but the message was also concerning. The whole speech, only 10 minutes, is available at http://youtu.be/vJOKGFZctPw I strongly encourage people to watch it.

    My summary, to whet your appetite, is: Ms Figueres began with some upbeat observations about progress in several domains over the last 12 months and then expressed her views that:

    · An agreement to tackle climate change would be nutted out over the next week, although it would be tough;

    · An agreement would probably be made about the direction of change but not the speed;

    · ˜a completely different economic development model' is required to effect the changes necessary;

    · Markets alone could achieve the change required but not quickly enough;

    · The science is clear that carbon emissions must peak by 2020 “ especially if we are to fulfil our moral duty to protect the most vulnerable communities;

    · We must focus our attention and help on developing countries “ they have increasing carbon emissions, increasing populations and increasing needs for infrastructure;

    · The energy needs of those without current access to electricity must be met with renewables “ but different finance models will be needed in different situations, for example for on-grid and off-grid communities;

    · We must find ways of working across not within silos, and for the long not the short term “ not easy for humans; The mantra is BAU: Business As Urgent.

    Why did I find all that concerning? Because while I am sure that we (the global we) understand the problem adequately and have sufficient technological solutions already available to us to keep global warming under 2C, I'm not sure that we have the social wherewithal (for instance common purpose and national and international institutions) to achieve the policy and technical changes necessary in the very short time we have left to prevent disaster. As others have observed: the laws of physics don't negotiate."

  • The world in which I want to grow old is within reach: Grace Fitzgerald at the Melbourne Peoples Climate March

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    Grace Fitzgerald gave this incredible speech at the Melbourne People's Climate March: "Two weeks ago, meteorologists announced that in 2015, global warming would for the first time pass one degree above pre-industrial levels.

    For a young person who has grown up in the knowledge that my future is inextricable from the climate around me, that landmark is terrifying.

    From a young age, I have ben told that two degrees of global warming presents a boundary beyond which the safety and security of my friends, family and community cannot be guaranteed.

    I hardly remember a summer without the devastation of fires, drought, floods and vicious storms that bit-by-bit chip away at my sense of security.

    Climate chaos is a reality in which none of my generation wants to live.

    As young people, we are lauded for our capacity to be idealistic and to envisage better things.

    For my friends and I, imagination is driven by a necessity to create a fairer, healthier and happier future than the outlook from 2015.

    We know we have the tools to create this future.

    We know that the solutions to the climate crisis are available to us, and that in achieving those solutions there are unprecedented opportunities to improve quality of life for all people, everywhere.

    I am inspired every day by the creativity and commitment of young people who are busily laying the foundations of climate justice.

    School students around the country are working with their teachers and parents to ensure their schools and communities are powered with renewable energy and producing minimal waste.

    On university campuses, students are demanding that the fees for our education are not used to fund the fossil fuel industries that are undermining our future.

    Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are inspiring us all with their devotion to custodianship of our natural home.

    Young innovators are leading the way in the renewable transition, development of fairer economic systems, and the redesign of our cities and food systems to create healthier lives for us all.

    We are challenging institutions, vested interests, political inertia and the behavioural status quo.

    We are doing this work so that we too can enjoy all the beauty of life on planet Earth.

    We are doing this work because to continue along the trajectory of business as usual would be to inflict suffering on those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

    We are doing this to protect and preserve the futures of our children and grandchildren to come.

    We do this out of love for one another.

    Margaret Mead told us to "never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world".

    I don't doubt it “ because I am seeing the world change as I speak.

    My peers talk of "when we solve the climate crisis", not "if we solve it".

    But we need help in ensuring a safe climate future.

    The sooner we slam down the brakes on climate change, the faster we will be able to tackle deeply rooted, systematic causes of inequality and inequity.

    The longer we leave it, the more precarious our capacity to survive and thrive will become.

    As we race towards two degrees I implore you “ please work with us.

    We can't wait for more negotiations, for another federal election, for the call to action of another angry summer.

    The world in which I want to grow old is well within our reach; we just need all hands on deck to make climate justice a reality." - Grace Fitzgerald is a medical student at Monash University, and in 2015 co-project managed the Australian Medical Students' Association Code Green project.

    A "climate octopus", Grace has worked in a volunteer capacity with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Doctors for the Environment Australia, the Climate and Health Alliance, Healthy Futures and 350.org.

    Grace has been on the Victorian Organising Committee engaging the health sector in the People's Climate Marches.

  • Electronic networking does work!

    A report from the ˜Environmentally sustainable practice in hospitals and community settings' seminar 15 May 2015

    Janet Roden, Professional Officer in the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWN&MA), and Peter Sainsbury, Director of Population Health in South Western Sydney Local Health District, met in 2014 on a Global Green and Healthy Hospitals webinar organised by CAHA Convenor Fiona Armstrong. Out of that meeting the two of them organised an ˜Environmental Health Seminar' attended by 50 health professionals at Liverpool Hospital on 15 May 2015 “ a first in NSW for collaboration between a local health district and the NSWN&MA on environmental sustainability.

    The focus of the seminar was on environmentally sustainable practices in hospital and community settings and the 50 health professionals present heard a tremendous array of knowledgeable speakers, all of who have runs on the board promoting environmental sustainability in their own workplaces. Debbie Wilson, Sustainability Officer with the Counties Manukau District Health Board in New Zealand, focused in her keynote speech on outlining the activities of the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals network and the environmental initiatives they have introduced in Manukau.

    In the afternoon, Debbie talked about the identification and management of toxic chemicals in health services. Other speakers included Chris Hill talking about the initiatives taken to promote environmental sustainability at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane; Terrona Ramsay and Aileen Thomas describing the very innovative approaches adopted to make the small regional health service at Kooweerup in Victoria greener; Michelle Skrivanic and Alison Brannelly talking about the initiatives nurses can take in large hospitals, for instance reducing and separating waste in operating theatres; and Matt Power from St Vincent's Health Australia describing how health services can improve energy efficiency.

    And somewhere amongst all that we found time for lots discussion with the audience, much of it focussing on the practicalities of (and problems associated with) encouraging health services to become more environmentally sustainable. All in all, a very practical and enjoyable day ¦ and all because of professional speed dating. Click on the links below for podcast recordings of the presentations:

  • Health sector urged to engage with social media to promote climate action

    What does the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report mean for health in Australia? This post first appeared on the blog Croakey on 31 March 2014 A new report from the IPCC issues the world one of its most stark warnings on climate change to date. Leaked drafts suggest this report will be one of the IPCC's most stark warnings yet issued on climate change, especially as it relates to human health. Authors of the health chapter say the report chronicles serious impacts to human health and wellbeing already from climate change, and warn of our limited ability to adapt to rapidly increasing global temperatures. What is the IPCC and what does it report on? The IPCC is a scientific body under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) - 195 countries are members of the IPCC. Every four years, the IPCC releases a series of assessment reports on the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change. Four Assessment Reports (AR1, AR2, AR3 and AR4) and part 1 of the Fifth Report (WGI or AR5) have been released to date. The AR5 WGI report covered the physical science and was released in September 2013. The second part (WGII) of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) will be released this week. This IPCC Second Working Group report (WGII) covers the evidence on the impacts of climate change on humans and other species, the vulnerability of human society and other species and ecosystems to climate change, and on the adaptation measures underway or needed to minimise adverse impacts. The third working group report on mitigation (WGIII) will be released in Berlin in April 2014. This second report from Working Group II is an important one for health. What does the IPCC WGII report say about health? The findings of note from WGII include that climate change is affecting everyone in every nation on every continent, right now. Australia is particularly vulnerable to impacts on food production. The report highlights that people everywhere are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, especially extreme weather events which are now more frequent and more severe. Despite long standing warning on the need for mitigation (curbing emissions) and adaptation (responding to minimise the impacts of climate change), levels of adaptation to global warming around the world remain low. Some efforts by defence organisations, the tourism industry and insurance companies lead the way, but much more must be done. Failing to do so will put health further at risk, as it means we are not acting to avoid some potentially preventable impacts, like coastal flooding, heat stress from heatwaves, and the spread of disease. The report shows that failing to cut greenhouse gas emissions will lead to levels of warming that will make some parts of the world uninhabitable. However reducing emissions can cut the economic damage from climate change considerably. Further, the report shows that reducing emissions will bring many immediate and localised benefits to human health “ the savings from which would substantially offset the costs of reducing emissions. Health professionals are urged to act to raise awareness about the health risks from climate change and the health benefits of cutting emissions. Unless these issues are more widely understood, we risk failing to take actions that may ultimately determine whether or not we survive as a species, this profound, manmade, global threat to health. What can you do? You can help promote the issues raised in the IPCC report this week by joining a social media Thunderclap on climate and health. Follow the Climate and Health Alliance (Australia) on Twitter @healthy_climate) and our international group the Global Climate and Health Alliance on @GCHAlliance. Like our respective Facebook pages https://www.facebook.com/climateandhealthalliance and https://www.facebook.com/climateandhealth Have a look Climasphere for lots of resources about climate change and the IPCC report. Later this week, you can check out a short film, share some infographics and join a webinar on climate and health “ look for details here: http://www.climateandhealthalliance.org/ipcc Importantly however, please do as CAHA President Dr Liz Hanna urges in this press release: "Act at a global level, a national level, at state and community level and as individuals. We must do all we can to cut emissions and urge others to do so if we are to avoid putting health at greater risk," Dr Hanna said. "The reality is, cutting emissions will bring many immediate benefits for public health, as well as help limit climate change in the longer term. We can afford to do it, but we cannot afford to wait."

  • Bit by bit

    Street based campaigning to engage people in climate action can be challenging, and sometimes campaigners wonder if it's worth it!

    People don't always want to engage directly, and for some members of the community, hearing about climate change is confronting and so they would rather not talk about it “ or even accept a flyer about a climate-related event. But every little interaction like this is a building block for further interaction and can help in providing an opening for those people to think more about the issue down the track. Here's what psychologist Dr Bronwyn Wauchope had to say to some campaigners handing out flyers for the National Day of Climate Action this Sunday: "Some people just aren't willing to accept it's a real problem, but don't underestimate those momentary interactions - it's about breaking it down for people bit by bit. Like building a house, we need to lay our foundations brick by brick. Over time this will build into a strong structure, one that people will see and want to replicate. It can be hard when people refuse to see this reality or refuse to care about nature or others, but let's not confuse that with how we feel - your efforts to engage and encourage others to stand up for this issue are admirable so be sure to congratulate yourselves! Plus it's more depressing to stand aside and do nothing, and you're protecting our own health and well-being by taking action. While those who declined may not give this another thought, just by having that brief interaction will increase the chance they will have a conversation later or fleetingly think about it when they see it on the TV or when a movie star speak about it. Over time those interactions will build up, and when they hear others in their circle express concern, they'll be more likely to share that concern."
  • Climate and health Clinic at SLF 2013

    A big shout out to the wonderful health promotion practitioners and students who participated in the Climate and Health Alliance's initiative at the Melbourne Sustainable Living Festival for the second year in 2013. Here, volunteer Sally talks about what they got up to and what the Climate and Health Clinic is about. http://vimeo.com/63054314
  • The project known as now

    An exciting project is evolving... The Climate and Health Alliance recently had the opportunity to crowdsource ideas for a new publication in the New News Incubator at the Melbourne Writers' Festival event. Guided by Daniel May, Fiona Armstrong, Paul Ramadge, and Bronwen Clune, this workshop worked to develop an idea to create a new online publication in the area of climate and health “ from scratch! Participants helped build the publication's identity, sketch out a community development strategy, a business case and a story list. The workshop was moderated by the incomparable health journalist and Croakey blogger Melissa Sweet. It has evolved into an proposal to create an online ˜hub' provisionally called now to showcase what healthy sustainable societies look like through sharing stories of existing low or zero carbon initiatives to help create an appealing narrative for positive change. now is proposed as an online ˜hub' to showcase what healthy sustainable societies look like by aggregating and documenting stories and images and case studies of existing low or zero carbon initiatives as a vehicle to help create an appealing narrative for positive change. Human health and wellbeing are dependent on sustainable environments. now uses health as a ˜hook' to build support for environmental sustainability and bio-sensitive societies. Stories and content will range from the micro to the macro “ i.e. what's possible in low carbon food production in Cindy's backyard all the way to stories about what's possible in terms of transforming our large scale industrial agricultural systems and infrastructure. now will function as a library as well as a ˜publication' with rich archival and background materials while presenting a dynamic and lively ever changing ˜face' with fresh content, and evocative images that will be equally appealing to consumers/community as it is to experts. A report on the MWF event is available here. A collaborating group is working together to further develop the idea. Watch out for further details!
  • Transforming economics and governance for better health

    We're very excited about our upcoming workshop at the Population Health Congress in Adelaide on 9th September. We'll be really giving our brains a workout as we think about how to transform Australia, and society for that matter, to more sustainable, healthier ways of living. Sunday 9th September - Pre-conference Workshop, Population Health Congress, Adelaide Convention Centre This workshop will bring together some of the thinking that is emerging around the world that recognises that as a species, we are responsible for driving changes that are affecting global systems and our current systems of economics and governance are contributing to destructive practices that mean we are hitting up against ecological limits. What can we do about this? What contribution can health professionals make to reshaping our thinking about what it means to have healthy sustainable societies? What new systems are being envisaged and/or are emerging to respond to these challenges? Come and join us for a stimulating Sunday afternoon sesssion in Adelaide, from 1-4.30pm on the 9th of September 2012. PROGRAM 1.00pm Welcome to country, introduction to workshop “ Peter Tait 1.10pm Presentation: Transforming democracy “ Peter Tait 1.25pm Presentation: Reshaping economics for better health and sustainability “ Fiona Armstrong 1.40pm Presentation: The nuts and bolts of making things happen “ Bob Douglas 1.55pm Questions and discussion 2.10pm Break into small groups: What does this mean for me and my practice? 3.00pm Afternoon tea and networking 3.30pm Report back from groups 4.00pm Synthesise discussions, brief outline of workshop report, and next steps ABOUT THE PRESENTERS: Dr Peter Tait is a general practitioner who worked in Alice Springs for 20 years before relocating to Canberra in 2011. He is involved in clinical work, public health and teaching. He has had a long involvement in the environment and peace movements. He was RACGP General Practitioner of the Year in 2007. He recently completed a Masters of Climate Change at the Australian National University. Fiona Armstrong is a health professional, journalist, and climate and health policy expert. She is the founder and convenor of the Climate and Health Alliance, a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development, and author of Our Uncashed Dividend: The Health Benefits of Climate Action and Shifting from Fear to Hope: Climate Policy Options for Australia. Emeritus Professor Bob Douglas is the former director of the National Centre for Population Health and Epidemiology at ANU. Following his retirement in 2001, he founded Australia 21 - a non-profit organisation developing research networks on issues of importance to Australia's future. Bob is the founder and chair of SEE-Change Inc which seeks to empower local communities to take action on climate change and their ecological footprint. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2000. Download the Workshop Flyer here (pdf) and download the Workshop Registration Form here. The Workshop Program is available here. The full program for the 2012 Population Health Congress is available here. This workshop is sponsored by the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) Ecology and Environment Special Interest Group (SIG).

  • Upcoming event: Habits and sustainable living

    If you don't understand habits, how can you hope to change them?

    The challenges and opportunities of habits to encourage sustainable living

    A seminar with Professor Bas Verplanken, University of Bath, England

    In this seminar, one of the world's leading experts on habits”Professor Bas Verplanken”will discuss the importance of understanding habits when developing interventions to influence behaviour (with a particular focus on environmental sustainability). He will highlight how habits can be measured, broken and created, and will offer guidance on timing interventions at key "moments of change" when habits are particularly vulnerable. Bas will argue that habits can serve as barriers as well as opportunities, and should take centre stage in behaviour change interventions. About the speaker: Bas Verplanken is a professor of psychology and the head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath, England. He specialises in theory-informed applied research, with a particular emphasis on habits in the health, consumer and environmental behaviour fields. When: Tuesday, 24 July 2012 5.30 “ 6.30 pm Where: The 242 Telstra Conference Centre 242 Exhibition Street Melbourne Cost: This is a free public event. All welcome RSVP: [email protected] by 20 July 2012 CAHA members and supporters are encouraged to attend.
  • Whats a climate and health clinic?

    CAHA ran its first ever 'pop-up' Climate and Health Clinic at the 2012 Sustainable Living Festival. Here, CAHA Convenor Fiona Armstrong talks about the clinic, about the roving health promoters, and what it means to get a 'prescription for a healthy planet and a healthy you'. https://vimeo.com/37793910
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