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March 4, 2021

Physicians call to take action on climate public health emergency

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One of Australia and New Zealand’s largest medical colleges, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP), has declared climate change as a national public health emergency – urging all Governments to take action to implement a national climate change strategy.

The call comes on the back of conditions in NSW where bushfire smoke has caused air pollution to soar to more than 10 times the level which is known to be hazardous to health, and a severe heatwave is predicted and expected to impact many parts of South-Eastern Australia this week.

Serious impact on public health

RACP Fellow and public health physician, Dr Kate Charlesworth said that climate change is already having a serious impact on public health – and it’s time that the government implemented a national health strategy to manage the impacts of climate change on public health.

‘Forecasts for the next week across South East Australia indicate extreme heat of 45+ degrees Celsius will impact many areas over a number of days, potentially including major population centres. So it’s important for people to be prepared for this.

‘We encourage the public to take extra precautions this week in protecting themselves from the heat and smoke by staying hydrated and keeping updated with air pollution ratings, and stay indoors when necessary.

Children, elderly, and ill at higher risk

‘Children, the elderly, and anyone with pre-existing health problems are at a much higher risk under the heat and smoke conditions – so we’re urging them to take extra care.

Dr Charlesworth said that climate science tells us that these heatwaves are expected to increase in frequency and severity over the coming decades. ‘Left unchecked, climate change will worsen food and water shortages, alter the distribution of infectious diseases, and increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.

‘These conditions are already having serious consequences for public health and wellbeing.

‘The climate health crisis is right in front of us now – it’s urgent that  our Governments act.’


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9 COMMENTS

  1. Yet more idiotic alarmism from people who should know better, as if none of this has ever occurred many times in the past and been a lot worse, have they provided any evidence that if Australia reduced its alleged global warming emissions of 1.3% to zero it would make any difference?

    • Anton ,
      The 1902 and the 1930s were far worse ..
      But you wont get those facts at the BOM , or
      The ABC or The propaganda machine the Guardian!:

  2. The ‘focus’ is on — public health & is far from being
    idiotic. The Royal Australasian College is doing
    what the medical profession does – trying to
    lessen the health problems of the moment. What
    is misleadingly toxic is the dumb dumping down of
    intelligent thought that is simply what it is. Cook on.

  3. Anton… irrespective of our views on global warming, I sense one way to make a huge difference is learning how to best share our resources with others e.g. cars, houses, land, tools, food, money, knowledge, effort and time. In terms of evidence… I suggest we all conduct our own experiments. I am optimistic our research would clearly demonstrate sharing of resources results in a huge difference i.e. great expressions of gratitude and a mutual sense of increased connection and well being. I look forward to sharing findings with you.

  4. Just put the word ‘climate’ in a headline if you want to hear from Anton in another scornful post belittling anything resembling a facts, a warning, or just plain science. Since doctors apparently know nothing and their sole aim is just to alarm you, then I suggest Anton, that you stay well away from them at all times. They’re just in on your conspiracy now too.

    • Facts Nat ..the science is settled..if this is what you
      Believe fine ..but take some friendly advice ..
      Most of the country voted down this nonsense during
      During the last election!! By the way the ABC
      Impartial as they are not !! On the Q&A programme
      Run by a pack of far left wing loonies ..recently
      Reminded us all on the rising sea levels regarding
      The pacific nations .. the host just took this as the truth never asked where ? How many people have been displaced..also , was it not the ABC
      Who predicted that the Maldives would be swallowed by the year 2000 … just came back from
      The Maldives new resorts just finished millions
      Invested, also a new Airport .. asked many locals
      Why would anyone invest so much money
      With Climate change emergency sea level rises?
      I said haven’t you heard the predictions regarding
      Sea level rises .. ?? Most of the locals i asked
      Just laughed!!

    • Well speaking of science, Australia’s chief scientist has said that if Australia’s emissions were reduced to zero it would have no effect on temperature, so what is it these ill informed doctors want the government to do?

  5. Yes – just put ‘climate’ headings anywhere & the
    same flies get giddy. I’ve not read so much crap
    from so few people in my over 70 plus years. If
    OZ imploded tomorrow they’d blame a foreign
    power – or a nasty kid with a match-stick. The
    flies are stuck in a time-warp & I suspect they
    get some kind of satisfaction whenever a form
    of chaos takes place. I also believe they have
    a large vacant space between heart & head &
    somehow can’t or won’t reason with precision.
    Not everything is ‘political party’ allied. I do
    believe we were meant to be ‘human’ not self
    employed ‘hit men’ who won’t ever learn how
    to be a brother or sister’s keeper in tough
    times either. There are true-blue messengers
    out there. Just shut up for a short while &
    learn to learn by listening.

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