Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Doctors issue public health warning on Basin Flyover

www.orataiao.org.nz

MEDIA RELEASE

26 May 2014

Doctors issue public health warning on Basin Flyover

At today’s cross-examination of public health witnesses as the Basin flyover hearings continue, the flyover’s threats to health were exposed.

Speaking for OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council, Dr Alex Macmillan, Council Co-convenor and senior lecturer in Environmental Health at the Dunedin School of Medicine, said: “The Basin flyover’s biggest threat to our health is increasing climate-damaging emissions.”

“This flyover and the associated SH1 improvements, will increase greenhouse gas emissions at exactly the time when New Zealand needs to be rapidly reducing transport emissions”, says Dr Macmillan.

Dr Macmillan said that although the NZ Transport Agency does not accept the effects of the project on climate change as relevant, our changing climate is widely recognised by world health authorities and top medical journals as a leading threat to global health this century.

“The Basin flyover is part of the Roads of National Significance that encourage much greater private vehicle dependence at the expense of public and active transport – and the health of Wellingtonians”, says Dr Macmillan.

Dr Macmillan adds: “There are real opportunity costs with the funding of this flyover, when just 1400 metres down the road, Wellington’s regional hospital is crippled with debt. Ironically, by designing physical activity out of New Zealand’s transport system, NZTA is also increasing the load on hospitals.”

Research shows that physical inactivity is costing our economy around one percent of GDP including impacts on workplace productivity and individual well-being. Globally, physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of premature death. In 2010 alone, twenty-one premature deaths were attributed to physical inactivity inWellington and costs of $141 million. Research also shows that for each 1% reduction in motor vehicle distance, there is a corresponding 1.4-1.8% reduction in the incidence of road vehicle crashes.

“The NZTA has clearly not understood that transport and health spending come from the same taxpayer purse”, says Dr Macmillan. “NZTA’s failure to adequately consider a whole of raft of health impacts, physical inactivity, noise and air quality effects, road traffic injuries, and most importantly, the flyover’s impact on climate health, is clearly false economy, outdated and irresponsible.”

ENDS


OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council

www.orataiao.org.nz

OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate & Health Council comprises senior doctors and other health professionals concerned with climate change as a serious public health threat. They also promote the positive health gains that can be achieved through action to address climate change. See: www.orataiao.org.nz

Notes to editors:

Background

About Climate Change and Health

Human-caused climate change is a serious and urgent threat to human health. Climate change and its environmental manifestations (e.g. warmer temperatures, more heat waves, altered rainfall patterns, more extreme weather such as heavy rainfall events and/or drought, tropical storms, sea-level rise) result in many risks to human health, both direct and indirect, that are recognised by world health authorities and leading medical journals alike.

Globally, leading health threats include water and food shortages, extreme weather events, and changing patterns of infectious disease. In NZ there will also be new health and social pressures relating to climate migrant and refugee populations arriving in NZ and flow-on health impacts from changes in the global economy. NZ already has a relatively high burden of several diseases that are sensitive to climatic conditions, and climate trends may already be affecting the health of New Zealanders.

It has been estimated that climate change already causes 400,000 deaths per year globally through malnutrition, heat illnesses, diarrhoeal infections, vector (e.g. mosquito) borne disease, meningitis and environmental disasters; and that this number will increase substantially by 2030 if current emission patterns continue. These health impacts most seriously affect people in developing countries, and the most disadvantaged and vulnerable within all countries.

Health Co-benefits of Climate Action

Addressing climate change is an opportunity to improve population health and reduce inequities (unfair differences in health between different population groups). In NZ, well-designed policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can bring about substantial health co-benefits including reductions in heart disease, cancer, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal disease, respiratory disease, and motor vehicle injuries, and improvements in mental health - with resultant cost savings for the health care system.

These co-benefits arise because some emission reductions measures impact on important determinants of health, especially energy intake (nutrition) and expenditure (physical movement). For example:

• Active transport (walking, cycling, public transport) improves physical activity, reduces emissions, and can reduce air pollution and road traffic injuries. Walking and cycling are inexpensive, and public transport is used proportionately more by people with lower incomes – with benefits to health, climate and equity.

• Healthy eating, including increased plant and less red meat and animal fat consumption, would reduce the emissions associated with food production and likely lead to reduced rates of bowel cancer and heart disease.

• Improving indoor environments (e.g. energy efficiency measures such as home insulation) can reduce illnesses associated with cold, damp housing (e.g. childhood asthma and chest infections which are leading causes of hospital admissions, particularly for Maori and Pacific children).

• Increasing energy efficiency and/or moving away from fossil fuels would reduce health-damaging air pollution (e.g. particulates) from fuel combustion, in both indoor and outdoor environments, with large health gains.

References

Health impacts of climate change:

Metcalfe S, Woodward A, Macmillan A, Baker M, Howden-Chapman P, et al; New Zealand Climate and Health. Why New Zealand must rapidly halve its greenhouse gas emissions [Special Article]. N Z Med J. 2009 Oct 9;122(1304):72-95. http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/122-1304/3827/

Phipps R, Randerson R, Blashki G. The climate change challenge for general practice in New Zealand. NZ Med J. 2011 Apr 29; 124(1333): 47-54.

Costello A, Abbas M, Allen A, et al. Managing the health effects of climate change: Lancet and University College London Institute for Global Health Commission. Lancet 2009,373:1693–1733. (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)60935-1/fulltext)

McMichael AJ. Globalization, climate change, and human health. N Engl J Med. 2013;368(14):1335-43. doi: 10.1056/NEJMra1109341. (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra1109341 )

World Health Organization and World Meterological Association. Atlas of Health and Climate. Geneva: WHO, 2012. (http://www.who.int/globalchange/publications/atlas/en/index.html)

Confalonieri U, Menne B, Akhtar R, Ebi KL, Hauengue M, Kovats RS, Revich B, Woodward A. Human health. In: Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Parry ML, Canziani OF, Palutikof JP, van der Linden PJ, Hanson CE (eds.)]. Cambridge, UK: CambridgeUniversity Press, 2007. pp391-431. (http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/ch8.html)

Ezzati M, Lopez AD, Rodgers A, Murray CJ (eds). Comparative Quantification of Health Risks: the global and regional burden of disease attributable to selected major risk factors (volumes 1 and 2).Geneva: World Health Organization, 2004.

Climate Vulnerability Monitor 2nd Edition: a guide to the cold calculus of a hot planet. DARA International and the Climate Vulnerable Forum, 2012. (http://daraint.org/climate-vulnerability-monitor/climate-vulnerability-monitor-2012/report/)

Joint statement: It's time to act on climate change. Faculty of Public Health, Royal College of Physicians and 17 other organisations London: Faculty of Public Health, 2008.http://www.fph.org.uk/uploads/sustainble_development_joint_statement.pdf

Joint letter 2009 from The Royal College of Physicians and 17 other professional bodies, published simultaneously in The Lancet and the BMJ. Politicians must heed health effects of climate change. Lancet. 2009;374:973; BMJ. 2009;339:b3672. doi: 10.1136/bmj.b3672. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2809%2961641-X/fulltext, http://www.bmj.com/content/339/bmj.b3672

Chan M. Climate change and health: preparing for unprecedented challenges. The 2007 David E. Barmes Global Health Lecture, Bethesda, Maryland, USA, 10 December 2007. (World Health Organization, Director-General speeches 2006-12.) http://www.who.int/dg/speeches/2007/20071211_maryland/en/

World Medical Association. WMA Declaration of Delhi on Health and Climate Change. Adopted by the 60th WMA General Assembly, New Delhi, India, October 2009. http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/c5/index.html

New Zealand Medical Association. NZMA Position Statement on Health and Climate Change. Wellington: NZMA, 2010. http://www.nzma.org.nz/policies/advocacy/position-statements/climatechange

Health co-benefits of climate action

Chan M. Cutting carbon, improving health. Lancet. 2009;374(9705):1870-1.


(http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2809%2961759-1/fulltext)

Haines A, McMichael AJ, Smith KR et al. Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: overview and implications for policy makers. Lancet. 2009;374(9707):2104-14. (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)61759-1/fulltext)

West JJ, Smith SJ, Silva RA et al. Co-benefits of mitigating global greenhouse gas emissions for future air quality and human health. Nature Climate Change. 2013;3:885–889. (http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v3/n10/full/nclimate2009.htm)

Haines A, Wilkinson P, Tonne C, Roberts I. Aligning climate change and public health policies. Lancet. 2009;374(9707):2035-8. (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)61667-6/fulltext)

Campbell-Lendrum D, Bertollini R, Neira M, Ebi K, McMichael A. Health and climate change: a roadmap for applied research. Lancet. 2009;373(9676):1663-5. (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)60926-0/fulltext)

Hosking J, Mudu P, Dora C. Health Co-benefits of Climate Change Mitigation - Transport sector. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2011. (http://www.who.int/hia/green_economy/transport_sector_health_co-benefits_climate_change_mitigation/en/index.html)

Woodcock J, Edwards P, Tonne C et al. Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: urban land transport. Lancet. 2009;374(9705):1930-43. (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2809%2961714-1/fulltext)

Lindsay G, Macmillan A, Woodward A. Moving urban trips from cars to bicycles: impact on health and emissions. Aust NZ J Public Health, 2011;35(1):54-60. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1753-6405.2010.00621.x/full)

Woodcock J, Banister D, Edwards P, et al. Energy and transport. Lancet. 2007;370:1078-88.

Smith KR, Jerrett M, Anderson HR et al. Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: health implications of short-lived greenhouse pollutants. Lancet. 2009;374(9707):2091-103. (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)61716-5/fulltext)

Roberts I, Arnold E. Policy at the crossroads: climate change and injury control. Inj Prev. 2007;13:222-3.

Friel S, Dangour AD, Garnett T et al. Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: food and agriculture. Lancet. 2009;374(9706):2016-25. (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(09)61753-0/fulltext)

MacMillan T, Durrant R. Livestock Consumption and Climate Change: a framework for dialogue. WWF UK / Food Ethics Council, 2009. (http://www.wwf.org.uk/research_centre/?3308/Livestock-consumption-and-climate-change---A-framework-for-dialogue)

McMichael AJ, Powles JW, Butler CD, Uauy R. Food, livestock production,energy, climate change, and health. Lancet. 2007;370:1253–63.

Powles J. Why diets need to change to avert harm from global warming. Int J Epidemio.l 2000;38:1141-2. (http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/38/4/1141)

Wilson N, Nghiem N, Ni Mhurchu C, Eyles H, Baker MG, Blakely T. Foods and dietary patterns that are healthy, low-cost, and environmentally sustainable: a case study of optimization modeling for New Zealand. PLoS ONE 2013;8(3):e59648. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059648. (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0059648)

Edwards P, Roberts I. Population adiposity and climate change. Int J Epidemiol. 2009;38:1137-40. (http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/38/4/1137)

Howden-Chapman P, Matheson A, Viggers H et al. Retrofitting houses with insulation to reduce health inequalities: results of a clustered, randomised trial in a community setting. BMJ. 2007;334:460-464. (http://www.bmj.com/content/334/7591/460). Erratum in: BMJ. 2007;334(7607). (http://www.bmj.com/content/334/7607/0.3)

Chapman R, Howden-Chapman P, Viggers H, et al. Retrofitting houses with insulation: a cost-benefit analysis of a randomised community trial. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2009;63:271–7.

Wilkinson P, Smith KR, Davies M et al. Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: household energy. Lancet. 2009;374(9705):1917-29. (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2809%2961713-X/fulltext)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Digital Evolution: Scoop Independent News Launches "Operation Chrysalis"

From today Scoop is beginning a process of public consultation with the political, business and civil society groups it has served for the past 15 and a half years.

"It is hoped that in time - with new leadership and increased community engagement - the chrysalis will incubate a new kind of Scoop, one which can sustainably continue Scoop's Mission 'to be an agent of positive change'", says Scoop Founder, Editor and Publisher Alastair Thompson.

"As big publishing shrivels, public participation in contributing and spreading news has grown. Scoop has evolved with this wave by providing an independent platform, committed to upholding democracy, providing a voice to all, and providing the public easy access to information about decisions which affect them." More>>

 

Parliament Adjourns:

Greens: CAA Airport Door Report Conflicts With Brownlee’s Claims

The heavily redacted report into the incident shows conflicting versions of events as told by Gerry Brownlee and the Christchurch airport security staff. The report disputes Brownlee’s claim that he was allowed through, and states that he instead pushed his way through. More>>

ALSO:

TAIC: Final Report On Grounding Of MV Rena

Factors that directly contributed to the grounding included the crew:
- not following standard good practice for planning and executing the voyage
- not following standard good practice for navigation watchkeeping
- not following standard good practice when taking over control of the ship. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On The Pakistan Schoolchildren Killings

The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between sections of the Pakistan military/security establishment on one hand and sections of the Taliban of the other… More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire:
The Politician’s Song

am a perfect picture of the modern politic-i-an:
I don’t precisely have a plan so much as an ambition;
‘Say what will sound most pleasant to the public’ is my main dictum:
And when in doubt attack someone who already is a victim More>>

ALSO:

Flight: Review Into Phillip Smith’s Escape Submitted To Government

The review follows an earlier operational review by the Department of Corrections and interim measures put in place by the Department shortly after prisoner Smith’s escape, and will inform the Government Inquiry currently underway. More>>

ALSO:

Intelligence: Inspector-General Accepts Apology For Leak Of Report

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August 2011 to media prior to its publication. The Inspector-General will not take the matter any further. More>>

ALSO:

Drink: Alcohol Advertising Report Released

The report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship has been released today, with Ministers noting that further work will be required on the feasibility and impact of the proposals. More>>

ALSO:

Other Report:

Leaked Cabinet Papers: Treasury Calls For Health Cuts

Leaked Cabinet papers that show that Government has been advised to cut the health budget by around $200 million is ringing alarm bells throughout the nursing and midwifery community. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news