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  1. 1

    Frank Campbell

    “Climate change will have a devastating impact on health from changing patterns of vector-borne diseases and heat impact on the elderly and vulnerable, through to food and water security and death and injury from severe weather events.”

    This turgid piece assumes that the carbon tax will mitigate “climate change”.

    It will have no effect whatever on climate. I challenge the authors to say that it will.

    But the carbon tax will discriminate against the remnant industrial working class and the rural poor. Health is indeed inversely correlated with poverty, so we can expect deleterious health effects from the carbon tax. “Compensation”/tax cuts will presumably decrease over time, but the “price on carbon” will increase.

    The tax is only half the story. My party, the Greens, have secured $13 billion for renewable energy. This is a fraud. Current renewables cannot provide baseload power. Most technologies (like Flannery’s geothermal fantasy Geodynamics, which is tanking after ten years of losses) are unproven. Most money will therefore flow to wind and solar, both absurdly expensive and by definition unreliable. Wind turbines produce essentially nothing 80% of the time. Fossil fuel backup is required 24/7.

    If this tsunami of technological stupidity occurs, the effects of “pricing carbon” will be far higher. As always, the health burden will follow the economic burden- on the poor.

    The tragedy is that Greens, the Left and progressives generally are trapped in their own rhetoric. Fear of heresy cripples independent critique.

    Most likely this will empower the Right for a generation. A serious health hazard.

  2. 2

    old epictetus

    Wind & tidal power, going twenty four hours each day? The wind always seems to be blowing whenever I visit the coast of Victoria. The sun shines a lot on our roofs. Yes we will need fossil fuel for some time, but we need to get a move on with the rest. Insulation, draught proofing, public transport, all add up. And then there is the important health benefit of a reduction in coal use and so air pollution.

    Mrs Thatcher got rid of coal in britain, though for a more sinister reason, and to use gas.
    So maybe Tony will see the light.

  3. 3

    Frank Campbell

    Old Epictetus: “The wind always seems to be blowing whenever I visit the coast of Victoria.”

    You’ve inadvertently stumbled on one of the more egregious hypocrisies of wind turbine imposition: after ruining one of the great coastal landscapes (Cape Bridgewater), resistance to coastal turbines soon blocked further infestation. The Otway coast for example is protected. In South gippsland the locals threw out their MP and local councils.

    All that did was sacrifice poorer, weaker regions inland. On the coast, turbines might manage 30% of rated capacity. Inland it’s more like 20%. Less wind. No matter. Power comnpanies are forced by law to take spasmodic (therefore useless) wind power regardless. At three times the cost of coal-fired power.

    And since this is a health blog, note that the severe stress caused to neighbours by massive turbines spinning at 270 kph is no joke.

  4. 4

    Jenny Haines

    All environmental change is going to bring some degree of suffering and the work of Marmot and Wilkinson demonstrates that that suffering is usually greater at the lower end of the social gradient. The challenge for governments is what they are going to do to compensate for that impact and whether the compensation is enough. There is no doubt that the earth is warming. Whether that is caused by human made impacts alone is debatable in my view. But to the extent that we humans are impacting on global warming, if we can do something about it, we should. From a health perspective, we need a lot of work done to plan for the shape of health services over the next century. I know governments tend to only think about the next four years so the next century is definitely a challenge for them, but it must be done if we are to avoid aggravating the effects of climate change by inadequate health services.

  5. 5

    George Jones

    I’m afraid the research literature does not support you at all:

    See for refutation on malaria:
    on Dengue fever.

    and entertaining conclusions on heat effects on mortality:
    “Estimates of the temperature threshold below which cold-related mortality began to increase ranged from 15°C to 29°C; the threshold for heat-related deaths ranged from 16°C to 31°C”.

    There is no health justification for CO2 emission reduction, I’m afraid.


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