Around the world, the fossil fuels industry maintains its political and economic stranglehold, even as it is destroying planetary health and the wellbeing of current and future generations.
Climate policy is broken, and not only in Australia. Let there never be another publication on the commercial determinants of health that fails to centre the fossil fuels industry.
The column this week also includes calls to ditch the term ‘misinformation’, tributes to former Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, as well as a range of human rights concerns.
Scroll to the end for details of upcoming events, including briefings about the new MyMedicare program, and some worthy award winners.
Understand that science and scientists are under threat, and it’s a coordinated campaign…Understand that it’s not you who’s doing something wrong: you’re under attack for someone else’s political gain.”
Broken climate policy
Read the Climate Council report
Beating around the bush: How Australia’s national environment law is failing climate and nature Read the WFPHA statement on climate change litigation
Sourced from this article in Nature, Vaccine specialist Peter Hotez: scientists are ‘under attack for someone else’s political gain’.
For his work developing low-cost COVID-19 vaccines, physician-scientist Professor Peter Hotez was nominated for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize. For speaking out against anti-vaccine misinformation, he has become a prominent target of harassment, receiving death threats and having stalkers appear at his home.
Hotez, Dean of the School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and chair of Tropical Pediatrics at Texas Children’s Hospital, spoke to Nature about his book, The Deadly Rise of Anti-science.
He prefers to use the term ‘anti-science aggression’ rather than ‘misinformation’. The latter term “makes it sound like it’s random junk that appears out of nowhere on the Internet. It’s not: it’s an organized, well-financed, politically motivated campaign that’s meant to tear down the fabric of science. And we have to frame it in that way.”
He says the response has to be political. “This has become a political problem that will require political solutions. We’re going to need to have the leadership of the White House and the US Congress saying no, science and technology are fundamental to the stature and importance of the United States as a nation and we’re not going to tolerate these attacks.”
Reading about the history of attacks on science in the twentieth century and speaking with journalists and political scientists helped him to understand that there is political motivation. The right-wing media need to keep stoking the faux outrage machine, which is how they monetise the Internet.
Hotez urges: “Understand that science and scientists are under threat, and it’s a coordinated campaign…Understand that it’s not you who’s doing something wrong: you’re under attack for someone else’s political gain.”
Read: Addressing vaccine hesitancy: experimental evidence from nine high-income countries during the COVID-19 pandemicOn 26 September, the World Health Organization released two new publications, ‘Freedom from tobacco and nicotine: guide for schools’, and ‘Nicotine- and tobacco-free school toolkit’ to help protect children’s health.
The new guide and toolkit are step by step manuals for schools to create nicotine- and tobacco-free campuses, and take a “whole of school” approach – which includes teachers, staff, students, parents, etc. The guide and toolkit include topics on how to support students to quit, education campaigns, implementing policies and how to enforce them.
The guide highlights four ways to foster a nicotine- and tobacco-free environment for young people:
- banning nicotine and tobacco products on school campuses
- prohibiting the sale of nicotine and tobacco products near schools
- banning direct and indirect ads and promotion of nicotine and tobacco products near schools; and
- refusing sponsorship or engagement with tobacco and nicotine industries.
Countries highlighted in the publication as having successfully implemented policies that support tobacco and nicotine free campuses included India, Indonesia, Ireland, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Qatar, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Ukraine.
Read the Commission’s report and recommendations
Read the report on food waste Read the report on poverty and inequality Read: Exploring the role of community coalitions in the prevention of mental health conditionsRead: Length of stay variation in metropolitan Adelaide
public acute hospitals
The Australian Public Health Conference is underway in nipaluna/Hobart this week.
Meanwhile, at the University of Sydney…