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Tas Doctors Call to End Native Forest Logging

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Media release – the undersigned, 3 November 2020 Tasmanian doctors call for an end to native forest logging to protect our health Today 250 Tasmanian doctors and medical students launched an open letter (included below) calling for an end to native forest logging to help address climate change induced harm to the health of their […]

Media release – the undersigned, 3 November 2020

Tasmanian doctors call for an end to native forest logging to protect our health

Today 250 Tasmanian doctors and medical students launched an open letter (included below) calling for an end to native forest logging to help address climate change induced harm to the health of their patients.

Addressed to the Tasmanian Premier and Minister for Climate Change Peter Gutwein, the letter reminds us how climate change, caused by carbon emissions, is a health emergency.

The letter highlights that eight medical colleges and the federal Australian Medical Association have declared that climate change is a health emergency.

These colleges represent doctors from across Australia, and include:
• The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM)
• The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)
• The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
• The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP)
• The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM)
• The Australian and New Zealand college of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)
• The Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ)
• The College of Intensive Care Medicine (CICM)

Today’s open letter to Premier Gutwein has been signed by doctors from diverse specialties, including Emergency, General, Public Health and Palliative Care Physicians, General Practitioners, Surgeons, Psychiatrists, Anaesthetists, Paediatricians and junior medical staff.

Spokesperson North-West General Practitioner and Emergency Doctor Darren Briggs says: “As doctors we have a moral and ethical obligation to speak out about issues affecting health, just as we have in the past for tobacco, alcohol and more recently COVID-19.”

Hobart Emergency Registrar Dr Lydia Birch says: “Native forests provide significant carbon offsets which must be urgently protected by ceasing logging. Tasmania’s performance in the 2018 Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report demonstrates that native forestry retention has a significant role to play as we act to constrain carbon emissions responsible for climate change.”

Dr Darren Briggs says: “As doctors we care about the health of all. As we transition towards a low carbon emissions future, many sectors of society and industry will need to make adjustments. It is the role of government and industry to ensure a smooth transition and that fair support is provided to workers while the changes that are needed for the health of all are implemented.”

Dr Darren Briggs says: “Climate change is a significant cause of ill health now and, without action, will be the cause of ever-increasing health costs. Ceasing native forest logging to reduce our carbon emissions now, would show our children that we are serious about their future and their health.”

“As doctors our prescription to you Premier Gutwein, is to act upon the medical and scientific evidence on the climate health emergency. For the health, wellbeing, and prosperity of both current Tasmanians and future generations, you must end native forest logging.”

Open Letter from Tasmanian Doctors to the Premier:
End Native Forest Logging to Protect Our Health

Dear Premier,

We write to you as a concerned group of doctors who understand climate change is not just an environmental crisis, but also a serious threat to people’s lives and health.

The following medical organisations have all declared climate change, primarily due to carbon dioxide emissions, is a health emergency:

The Australian Medical Association (AMA)
The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM)
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP)
The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM)
The Australian and New Zealand college of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)
The Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ)
The College of Intensive Care Medicine (CICM)

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It is great to see Tasmania has recorded net zero carbon dioxide emissions for the fourth year in a row, as detailed in the State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories 2018 released in June.

It is critical, however, to recognise how this has been achieved. The data reveals Tasmania’s forests are the critical factor in our state’s favourable emissions profile. This achievement mainly resulted from a reduction in native forest logging since 2005. Given Tasmania’s privileged position of not relying on fossil fuels for energy generation, the most important climate action we can take in the interest of human health is to protect native forests.

Logging native forests not only contributes to accelerating climate change, it also raises health and safety risks for local communities. As the climate continues to heat, the frequency and severity of bushfires increases. Scientific research shows that logging native forests further intensifies bushfires.

Bushfires are a direct threat to lives and cause substantial deaths from smoke pollution. They result in significant ill health, exacerbating many lung and heart diseases, as well as depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.

The continued destruction of forest carbon stores through logging, and the release of tonnes of carbon dioxide and smoke-related particulate pollutants during burns poses significant risks to the health of our patients.

As doctors, we were pleased to see Tasmania’s COVID-19 response has been driven by the epidemiological and medical evidence. We are concerned the government’s response to the climate crisis is not similarly listening to expert health advice. On the evidence, an end to native forest logging is the strongest action we can take to safeguard Tasmania’s climate and our health.

Tasmania’s economy needs to be driven by climate and health solutions, not environmental damage with its risks to health, safety and wellbeing.

Right now in Tasmania we are at a crossroads, with a critical decision to make.

We call on you, as Premier and Minister for Climate Change, to act on the medical and scientific evidence. For the health, wellbeing, and prosperity of both current Tasmanians and future generations, you must protect Tasmania’s forests and end native forest logging.

Signed,

Dr Jennifer Allen, General Practitioner
Mr Sven Anders, General Surgeon
Mr Daniel Anderson, Student
Dr Nicole Anderson, General Practitioner
Dr Jessie Andrewartha, General Practitioner
Dr Tim Andrewartha, General Practitioner / Palliative Care
Dr Peter Arvier, Academic
Dr Sally Attrill, retired General Practitioner
Dr Kerryn Atwell, Paediatrician
Mr Ahmed Awad. Medical Student
Dr Astrid Baker, General Practitioner
Dr Clare Ballingall, General Practitioner
Dr Kristine Barnden, Obstetrician
Dr Elizabeth Bates, General Practitioner
Dr Katherine Beales, General Practitioner
Dr Fiona Beer, Medical Intern
Ms Charlotte Bell, Medical Student
Dr Katherine Bendall, General Practitioner
Dr Jim Berryman, General Practitioner Ms Hannah Birch, Medical Student
Dr Lydia Birch, Emergency Medicine Registrar
Dr Alison Bleaney, General Practitioner
Dr Freya Bleathman, Paediatric Resident
Mr Rob Bohmer, General Surgeon
Dr Roger Booth, General Practitioner
Dr Geoffrey Bradshaw, Psychiatrist
Dr Domhnall Brannigan, Emergency and Aeromedical Retrieval Physician
Dr Darren Briggs, General Practitioner and Emergency Doctor
Dr Craig Brown, General Practitioner
Ms Gosia Buck, Social Work Assistant
Dr Natalie Burch, Rural Generalist/ Medical Educator
Dr Eliza Burke-Polden, Registrar
Ms Abbey Campton, Medical Student
Dr Beverley Cannon, Emergency Physician
Ms Olivia Carr, Medical Student
Dr Jessica Carter, Emergency Medicine Registrar
Dr Marianne Catchpole, General Practitioner
Dr Scott Chamberlen, Consultant Physician – Geriatric Medicine
Dr Abby Chapman, General Practitioner
Mr Nathan Chin, Medical Student
Ms Wynona Chin, Medical Student
Mr Zi Long Chow, Medical Student
Ms Montana Chugg, Medical Student
Mr Patrick Chung, Medical Student
Dr Rohan Church, Emergency medicine
Dr Katarzyna Clarke, Medical Practitioner
Dr Lisa Clarke, General Practitioner
Dr Tom Clemens, Paediatrician
Dr Moira Conley, General Practitioner
Dr Kirsten Connan, O&G Specialist
Dr, Nick Cooling, General Practitioner
Dr Lori Coulson, Emergency Medicine Registrar
Dr Geoff Couser, Emergency Physician
Ms Sarah Crawford, Medical Student
Mr Jordan Cser, Medical Student
Dr Frances Daily, General Practitioner
Dr Reza Davari, General Physician
Dr Lynne Davies, General Practitioner
Dr Agnes De Boer, Emergency Medicine Registrar
Ms Kaye de Ville, Psychotherapist
Dr Stefan Delitzsch, General Practitioner
Dr Zeik Devereaux-McLean, Junior Medical Officer
Ms Elena Devlin, Medical Student
Dr Shantha Dewage, General Physician
Ms Renee Di Benedetto, Medical Student
Dr Trudi Disney, Anaesthetist
Miss Ashley Draper, Medical Student
Dr Philip Driver, Basic Physician trainee
Ms Isobel Dunbabin, Medical Student
Dr Merran Dyer, General Practitioner
Dr Laura Edwards, General Practitioner and Public Health Physician
Mr Henry Ellingsen, Medical Student
Ms Michelle Els, Medical Student
Dr Stanley Emmett, General Practitioner
Ms Claire Finlay, Medical Student
Dr Kristy FitzGerald, General Practitioner
Dr Margaret Fitzpatrick, Emergency Doctor
Dr Jean Flanagan,Surgical Registrar
Dr Olivia Fleming, Junior Medical Officer
Dr Andrew Flies, Immunology
Dr Hannah Forde, Medical Intern
Dr Michael Fox, General Practitioner
Dr Alexandra Frain, Obstetrics and Gynaecology Registrar
Dr Toby Gardner, General Practitioner
Dr Sarah Gelbart, General Practitioner
Dr Steven George, General Practitioner
Dr Maxine Glanger, Palliative Care Specialist
Ms Sarah Grace, Medical Student
Mr Connor Greatbatch, Medical Student
Ms Emma Greenwood, Medical Student
Ms Allanah Greer, Medical Student
Dr Annette Hackett, General Practitioner/ Retrievalist
Dr Natasha Hamilton, Paediatrician
Dr Miranda Hann, Emergency Medicine Registrar
Dr Madelaine Hanson, General Practitioner
Dr Ingrid Harder, General Practitioner
Dr Natasha Harney, General Practitioner Registrar
Dr Aaron Hawkins, Rural and Remote Medicine Registrar
Dr Elizabeth Haworth, Public Health Physician
Dr Vern Heidegger, Rural Generalist and General Practitioner
Ms Greeshma Herur, Medical Student
Professor Alex Hewitt, Ophthalmologist
Ms Molly Hickmott, Medical Student
Dr Diane Hopper, General Practitioner
Dr Anna How, General Practitioner
Dr Christopher Hughes, General Practitioner
Mr Chester James-Smith, Medical Student
Dr Alexander John, General Practitioner
Dr Alex Johnson, Medical Intern
Ms Billie Johnson, Medical Student
Dr Marita Jones, General Practitioner
Dr Tim Jones, General Practitioner
Ms Sophie Jones, Medical Student
Ms Jasveen Kaur, Medical Student
Dr Camille Kay, Medical Intern
Ms Alexandra Kear, Medical Student
Dr Arella Keir, General Practitioner
Ms Heather Kelly, Medical Student
Dr Nerida Kelly, General Practitioner
Dr Nisha Kendall, General Practitioner
Dr Rohan Kerr, General Practitioner
Ms Vaibhavee Khandelwal, Medical Student
Dr William Kimpton, Resident Medical Officer – Emergency Medicine
Miss Olivia Kingston, Medical Student
Dr Irene Kirczenow, General Practitioner
Dr Tilo Klinger, Anaesthetist
Dr Jessica Kneebone, General Practitioner
Ms Anna Koerner, Medical Student
Ms Jean Kong, Medical Student
Dr Tara Kurrajong, General Practitioner
Dr Daniel Lack, General Practitioner
Dr Hannah Lake, Psychiatrist
Dr Ross Lamplugh, General Practitioner
Dr Josie Larby, Respiratory Physician
Dr John Laughlin, General Practitioner
Ms Amelia Lawrence, Medical Student
Mr Jiwoo Lee, Medical Student
Dr Conor Lees, Medical Intern
Ms Irene Legg, Medical Student
Ms Ruo Li, Medical Student
Dr Jacqueline Lim, Resident Medical Officer
Dr Jessie Ling, Emergency Medicine Registrar
Dr Zoe. Ling, Emergency Medicine Registrar
Dr Jonathan Lipton, Cardiologist and Director of Arrhythmia Service
Dr Lisa Loubser, Intensive Care Registrar
Dr Eleanor Loughhead, Emergency Physician
Dr Sam Lovibond, Cardiologist
Dr Paul Luckman, General Practitioner
Dr Karen Magraith, General Practitioner
Dr Nitya Malhotra, General Practitioner
Mr Ollie Markey, Medical Student
Dr James Markos, Respiratory Physician
Dr Cameron Marshall, Medical Intern
Dr Anna Maynard, General Practitioner
Dr Simon McCluskey, General Practitioner
Dr Jennifer Misson, General Practitioner
Dr Simon Morphett, Specialist Anaesthetist
Dr Martin Morrissey, Psychiatrist
Dr Columbine Mullins, General Practitioner
Dr Dariel Roper, Resident Medical Officer
Dr Frances Rose, General Practitioner
Dr Konya Roy, Psychiatrist
Dr Saminda Rubasinghe, General Practitioner
Dr Marielle Ruigrok, Emergency Physician
Dr Maureen Ryan, General Practitioner
Dr Emily Scott, Medical intern
Ms Serina Seah, Medical Student
Dr Anna Seth, General Practitioner
Dr Thomas Geoffrey Shannon,Paedietrician and General Practitioner
Dr Namit Sharma, Surgical Registrar
Dr Sue Shearman, General Practitioner
Mr Fin Shelton, Medical Student
Dr Ray Siauw, Emergency Physician
Ms Rosie Smail, Medical Student
Dr Anna Spinaze, Rural Health
Dr Genevieve Stather, Medical intern
Ms Hannah Steele,Medical Student
Dr Meredith Stewart, General Practitioner
Dr Gretchen Stone, General Practitioner
Dr Alice Stoneman,General Practitioner
Dr David Strong, Specialist Paediatrician
Dr Brady Tassicker, Emergency specialist
Ms Eve Taylor, Medical Student
Dr Bronwyn Tidey General Practitioner Registrar
Dr Naomi Tomlinson, Paediatrician
Dr Jo Topp, Child Psychiatrist
Dr Michelle Towle, Healthy Lifestyles Consultant
Dr Nick Towle, Medical Educator
Mr Jeremy Tse, Medical Student
Mr James Tucker, Medical Student
Dr Claire van Breda, Emergency Medicine Registrar
Dr Mel Venn, Emergency Physician
Ms Laura Verasdonck, Medical Student
Dr Arjun von Caemmerer, General Practitioner
Dr Dora Von Conrady, General Practitioner
Dr Nathan Warner, Emergency Medicine Registrar
Dr Lachlan Webber, Resident Medical Officer
Associate Professor Heinrich Weber, Paediatrician
Ms Matilda Wiggins, Medical Student
Dr Abigail Williams, Emergency Specialist
Dr Bradley Williams, Specialist General Practitioner
Dr Katherine Wilson, General Medicine Advanced Trainee
Ms Georgina Winter, Medical Student
Dr Anna Wittert, General Practitioner
Mr Michael Wong, Medical Student
Dr Georgina Woolveridge, General Medical Registrar
Dr Liz Wyatt, Emergency Medicine Registrar
Dr Samantha Wyton, General Practitioner
Dr Marcus Yong, Emergency Physician
Ms Charlotte Young, Medical Student
Mr Michael Young, Medical Student
Dr Noanne Young, General Practitioner
Dr Suellen Young, General Practitioner
Dr Majnun Zain, Retired General Practitioner
Dr Nisat Zaman, Emergency Medicine Registrar

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Disclosure: one of the listed signatories is the regular doctor of the current owner of Tasmanian Times.


Media Release – Bob Brown Foundation, 3 November 2020

Tasmania’s native forests protection backed by hundreds of Doctors

The Bob Brown Foundation has welcomed 250 doctors appealing to Premier Gutwein for protection of Tasmania’s forests in the face of the global biodiversity and climate crisis.

“We say thank you to the two hundred and fifty doctors who have taken a stand, putting their patient’s futures ahead of the profits of the woodchip barons”, said takayna/Tarkine Campaigner Scott Jordan.

“If only the Premier would take health advice and immediately declare protection of Tasmania’s biodiverse and carbon rich native forests, and a permanent end to native forest logging.  We concur with the Doctors that protecting native forests will make a historical contribution to constrain carbon emissions responsible for climate change and protect our health”,

“After all, it’s just what the doctor ordered”.

Source: Tasmanian Times https://www.tasmaniantimes.com/2020/11/tas-doctors-call-to-end-native-forest-logging/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=tas-doctors-call-to-end-native-forest-logging

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