Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Kiwis doctors will save you (by making you poor)...

Given their fine track record of having one of the few native peoples to ever get a treaty out of the British, I had high hopes for the rebellious spirit of our neighbours. Then I saw this article in the NZ Herald newspaper:

"Doctors attack climate change stance"

26 doctors have put their name to an article in the New Zealand medical journal calling for the government to rapidly halve the national greenhouse emissions. With a further 69 doctors listed in support of the article.

Given that the majority of New Zealand greenhouse emissions come from agriculture, I'm not convinced that the doctors writing the article have thought this through very well. Or have they:
The need to avoid global warming in it's own right justifies drastic action, they say, but mitigating climate change also presents "unrivalled opportunities" to improve public health. "Policies to reduce greenhouse gas emission could also bring about substantial reductions in heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, road deaths and injuries, and air pollution."

That sounds great on the surface, but since those disease are considered "diseases of affluence", one would expect that the way you reduce them is to be, well, poor. The authors suggest that this will be achieved by forcing people to use public transport and reducing consumption of animal products, fats and processed sugar. How they are going to make people stop is anyones guess. I suggest poverty is the best place to start, because if people haven't cut down on all of the above and signed up to ride their bike purely so they will be healthier and live longer, about the only way you will make this happen is to make those products unaffordable. Or take free-will out of the equation.

As usual:
"The authors urge health practitioners to...educate their patients on climate change action."

I've said it before, and before, and I'll say it again. Isn't this a little outside of our purview as doctor's? Should we give them religious advice as well, while we're at it?


  1. More paua to you, Paua.
    I've linked to your blog from mine.
    Thanks for the laughs!


    WV: mingal
    Sounds like some women's disorder!

  2. Great site.

    I like the sharpness.

    I've bookmarked it, and will revisit.

    Melbourne OZ


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