Dear Beagle Editor,
I would like to thank Dr Michelle Hamrosi for her timely and excellent letter Join the conversation on Eurobodalla's declaration of a climate emergency [Beagle Online 7th August]. Dr Hamrosi elucidates the nexus between climate change, severe weather events and human physical/mental health, that climate change poses the greatest threat to human health.
Importantly thirty one councils across Australia understand the role of local government in highlighting and acting on the health impacts of climate change and have declared a climate emergency.
Government News reported recently that local councils across Australia are set to become the first to form an intra-governmental alliance to push for real action to curb the effects of climate change, announcing plans to form Climate Emergency Australia (CEA). In principal support for a Darebin City [Victoria] Council motion to form the alliance between non-government and government organizations was given and will also be supplemented by another alliance of nine hundred councils from across the world who have declared a climate emergency.
In his speech at the National Press Club this week ‘How to Fix Australia’s Mental Health Crisis’, John Mendoza Director of ConNetica, a mental health and suicide prevention enterprise spoke, amongst other things, about the causal link between climate change poor mental health and suicide, citing the Lancet Medical Journal “we know communities across Australia are being and will be hit harder and more frequently by the impacts of global warming, and they will be in the decades to come.”
Doctors for the Environment Australia stress the impact on children and future generations of climate change and the importance of acting now. Children are more vulnerable and will be disproportionally impacted, even though they have contributed the least. Reducing carbon dioxide emissions and drawing down on emissions already in the atmosphere – the main driver of climate change – is critical to “achieve a stable and healthy climate.”
Dr Hamrosi is right the negative outcomes of climate change on health are no longer someone else’s problem. Think global act local is a common principle that we can apply to the problem of climate change and our local communities. Joining the conversation on Eurobodalla’s declaration of a climate emergency has to be an important first step.
President ALP Eurobodalla Local Government Committee