Pages tagged "Psychology"

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

    Peter-Sainsbury-GCHA-Summit_COP21

     

    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."

  • 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."
  • 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.
Stay in touch with our community