Pages tagged "ecology"

  • 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!
  • Climate and health community pays tribute to Professor Tony McMichael

    Leading epidemiologist and public health researcher Professor Tony McMichael has been honoured with a two day festschrift in Canberra to celebrate his work on the occasion of his retirement from the National Centre for Population Health and Epidemiology at Australian National University (NCEPH-ANU). Current and former colleagues, students, and members of the national and international public health community gathered to reflect on, and pay tribute to, the work of the man described as "the world's leading scholar and commentator on the relationship between global climate change and human health." However while Professor McMichael might be best known for his climate and health research - as Dr Maria Neira from World Health Organisation said: "for W.H.O., Tony is the guru on climate and health" - presentations from fellow researchers and students over the two days demonstrate an extraordinarily broad ranging research career. Professor McMichael has made seminal contributions to scientific and human understanding of the health implications of tobacco, the health risks from lead production, uranium mining, rubber production, and ozone depletion as well as climate change. Many of those present recounted how their careers had been influenced by Professor McMichael's' work, particularly his seminal text: "Planetary Overload", published in 1993, which outlined the threats to health from climate change, ozone depletion, land degradation, loss of biodiversity and the explosion of cities. Professor McMichael's work as a public health researcher and epidemiologist has been instrumental in the phasing out of lead in more than 100 countries; key to legal decisions to determine what constituted scientific proof in relation to harm to human health from tobacco; and profoundly influential in highlighting how the health of the natural environment and the health of the biosphere is fundamental to human health. Reflecting Professor McMichael's diverse interests and love of the arts, the festschrift was not only a stimulating intellectual event, but featured an art exhibition: the Contested Landcapes of Western Sydney, curated by Tony's colleague and friend from ANU, artist John Reid. The festschrift celebration dinner in the Great Hall at University House featured the remarkable talents of Tony's daughter Anna McMichael on violin and Daniel de Borah on piano. Other family members also at the festschrift included Tony's other daughter, anthropologist Celia McMichael, brother and sociologist Philip McMichael and wife Judith Healy. Colleague and joint festschrift organiser (with Jane Dixon and Tony Capon) Colin Butler closed the conference by saying that it would take "months to fully explore the breadth and depth of Tony's career" and "even then we might not fully understand it". We did however, as Colin said, catch a glimpse, and what an inspiring glimpse it was.

  • 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).

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