School of Population Health

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Blog - climate emergency

No one will win from an unwilling response to the climate emergency

Beset by climate change induced storms and floods and facing a tsunami of advertisements for unhealthy food and alcohol at every turn, the theme for this World Health Day of Our Planet, Our Health is timely. Our elected governments seem unwilling to make important decisions for the health of the community, or the planet, with continued investments in fossil fuels, reluctance to take on big business, and a focus on shifting responsibility to individuals rather than pushing forward with the widespread system change that we so sorely need for survival.  In the face of an unprecedented climate emergency – one that has come with ample warning and a plethora of opportunities for consensus and action – the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released this week is a clear signal that we are at a crossroads – and the choice is ours, between a catastrophic future or acting now, ‘towards a fairer, more sustainable world’. The recent and continuing storms and floods raging on the east coast of Australia, following horrendous bushfires in 2020, are a continued reminder... more
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Unaccountable spin and a malevolent distrust of science

Health political scientist, Professor Evelyne de Leeuw is Director of the Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation at UNSW School of Population Health. Professor Evelyne De Leeuw is also Director of HUE (Health Urban Environments) Collaboratory, Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Health Promotion International and the Oxford Open journal Infrastructure and Health that will launch next year. She also edits (with Professor Patrick Fafard) the Palgrave Studies in Public Health Policy Research. Here Professor de Leeuw writes how the Australian COP26 drama is one of baffled disappointment and is a symptom of the lack of will to lead.  As a health political scientist, my most profound response to the Australian COP26 drama is one of baffled disappointment. For a country that regularly claims to punch above its weight, to meeting and beating targets, and to be in front of the queue, the level of unaccountable spin is inexorable. Australia is a migration country, with a significant proportion of citizens and residents having overseas roots (which in itself raises significant... more
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Chaos of my mind – I don’t think I can blame COVID

Associate Professor Faye McMillian AM from UNSW School of Population Health reflects on how the luxury of time is both a blessing and a curse as it highlights the racism that is across every facet of life, from the footy to the fashion industry and beyond, and the pain it causes. Associate Professor McMillian is Deputy National Rural Health Commissioner.   As I sit to write this in the comfort of my rural life, that sees me living in Country (Wiradjuri), I’m challenged with the luxury of being able to write and the struggle that comes with finding the right words to convey the feelings about the luxury of time and the issues that weigh heavily on my mind - the oscillation between chaotic thoughts and the desire to use my voice to share my own truths.   Time it has been said, can be a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing to have time when you feel that you have something to contribute within that time.  Yet, time can be a curse when you struggle with value, sense of purpose and belonging.  The impact of COVID-19 on the psychological and social emotional well-being of almost every... more