Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Climate Change Major Public Health Threat


MEDIA RELEASE 14 March 2002 For immediate release

CHANGING CLIMATE MAJOR PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT

Government inaction on climate change could present a major threat to public health, warns the Pacific Institute of Resource Management (PIRM).

Rates of food poisoning associated with warmer weather could rise by an additional 179,000 cases per year by 2050. Water-borne infections could increase as a result of heavy rainfall events and tropical diseases such as dengue fever besides affecting the North Island could spread as far south as Dunedin. By 2100, most coastal areas of the South Island even south of Dunedin could be within the climatic tolerance limits of the mosquito which carries the disease.

Institute spokesperson, Kay Weir, says research carried out by the Wellington School of Medicine and the International Global Change Institute in Waikato indicates the impacts of climate change on human health will be significant. In addition to the substantial risk of diseases like malaria and dengue fever, never before present in New Zealand, health and nutrition could be adversely affected by the impacts of extreme weather events on agricultural production and water availability. "The health bill for New Zealand if global warming emissions are not heavily reduced is likely be enormous." The research findings are reported in an article in the March 2002 edition of Pacific Ecologist, published by PIRM.*

"Climate change should be considered a matter of both national and global security, just as much as terrorism," Weir says.

"The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that global temperatures are rising faster and higher than experts feared, with temperatures expected to rise by between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees centigrade by the end of this century. A change in temperature even by a degree or two is not a trivial matter as nature usually takes thousands of years to being that about."

Weir says the Institute is concerned pressure from businesses opposed to ratification of the Kyoto Protocol may result in the New Zealand Government backtracking on its commitments to effectively reduce global-warming emissions. The Institute strongly supports ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and is urging the government to introduce a strong package of measures to reduce New Zealand's growing greenhouse gas emissions. "Failure to do so will expose New Zealand and New Zealanders to enormous risks", she says.

The Government is due to announce its package of policy measures on climate change later this month.

ENDS

For more information, contact: Kay Weir, Pacific Institute of Resource Management Phone (04) 939 4553 or email pirmeditor@paradise.net.nz Fax 04. 9394551

The March 2002 edition of Pacific Ecologist of 76 pages focuses exclusively on climate change. It includes articles by ecologists Edward Goldsmith, Sharon Beder, and Peter Bunyard and NIWA scientists Jim Salinger, Martin Manning, David Wratt and Penehuro Fatu Lefale (NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research).

*The authors of the health effects article are Alistair Woodward, Simon Hales (Wellington School of Medicine) and Neil de Wet (International Global Change Institute, University of Waikato ).


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>


Statistics: Butter At Record $5.67/Block; High Vegetable Prices

Rising dairy prices have pushed food prices up 2.7 percent in the year to October 2017, Stats NZ said today. This followed a 3.0 percent increase in the year to September 2017. More>>

ALSO:

Science: New Research Finds Herbicides Cause Antibiotic Resistance

New University of Canterbury research confirms that the active ingredients of the commonly used herbicides, RoundUp, Kamba and 2,4-D (glyphosate, dicamba and 2,4-D, respectively), each alone cause antibiotic resistance at concentrations well below label application rates. More>>

ALSO:

CO2 And Water: Fonterra's Environment Plans

Federated Farmers support Fonterra’s bold push to get to zero emissions of CO2 on the manufacturing side of the Co-operative, both in New Zealand and across its global network. More>>

ALSO:

Fisheries: Decision To Delay Monitoring ‘Fatally Flawed’

Conservation group representatives say a decision by the new Minister of Fisheries, Stuart Nash, to delay implementation of camera monitoring of fishing efforts in New Zealand is ‘fatally flawed’. More>>

ALSO:

Kaikōura Quakes: One Year On

State Highway One and the railway were blocked by damage and slips and the Inland Road suffered significant damage. Farms, homes and businesses suffered building and land damage. Power and internet went down, drinking water systems, sewage systems and local roads were all badly affected... More>>

ALSO: