‘March Mammal Madness’ Brings Simulated Animal Fights to Huge Audiences

Ever idly wondered if a capybara could somehow take down an elephant in a beachfront brawl? That’s the kind of thinking behind March Mammal Madness (MMM), an annual social media event based on the March Madness NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament. Like its namesake, this educational project encourages viewers to fill out brackets predicting which teams would triumph in a hypothetical head-to-head showdown—with the “teams” in this version being specific mammals. The virtual fights, each set in a randomly chosen arena, unfold as Twitter threads posted by participating scientists—with each move backed up by very real research, planning and pedagogy. As an approach to science education, the project is paying off: A new paper put together by the nearly 40 co-organizers suggests that hundreds of thousands of students, in addition to younger and older participants, have participated in MMM since its creation.

March Mammal Madness combines biological facts with a running narrative of fictional action that encourages those following along at home to hit “reload” as the Twitter thread updates. “All of that drama, those emotions—this is what makes MMM a shared experience that facilitates long-term retention of information,” says the paper’s lead author Katie Hinde, the event’s creator and an associate professor at Arizona State University’s Center for Evolution and Medicine. “For example, in 2019 moose was battling tiger in the Elite Trait [the round featuring the final eight competitors], and we waited until that battle to remind everyone that moose drop their antlers in the fall. Moose fans were shook,” she explains, as they realized that their chosen fighter would lose one of its key advantages against its feline foe. Then her team reminded them of the fact that a moose would never have used antlers against a tiger in the first place, because it employs its headgear in competition against other males, not as a defense against predators. “This is part of the roller-coaster ride of a battle narration,” Hinde says. Other past confrontations have involved pygmy hippo versus coyote, manatee against tapir, and one epic bout between short-faced bear and honey badger.

The project’s efforts at engaging narratives are based on educational theory. “Humans are psychologically and cognitively adapted for fireside storytelling, shared experiences, artistic imagery and jokey-joke-joke-jokes,” Hinde says. She believes that adding drama to science communication helps lessons stick. “Too many scientists ignore the evidence and continue to talk facts and probabilities in a vacuum,” she says. “Folks remember the science that ended their pick’s hunt for the MMM championship. There are people who can now tell you that platypus venom is seasonal, who would never pick up Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B to read ‘Grant & Temple–Smith 1998.’”

Though MMM players might not read the scientific literature, the co-organizers do—and they take in a lot of it, citing over 1,000 scholarly works that justify the behavior and biology on display in their virtual fights. “It’s evident that the folks writing the battles put their heart and soul into this project,” says Sarah McAnulty, the executive director of a virtual science education nonprofit called Skype a Scientist, who is not involved with MMM but follows the event. “I’ve learned about all kinds of animals and adaptations, and the process of researching the animals to pick who you think will win is a great and fun way for kids to dig into the science. It’s a super engaging way to learn animal facts.”

Many teachers agree, and have encouraged their students to join in. The new paper estimates that about 1 percent of all high school students in the U.S. participate—a relatively large audience for a science communication initiative. “Even though it’s simulated, I love that it takes all of these biology concepts we’re learning and makes them real and cohesive and applicable,” says Linda Correll, the science supervisor for Fauquier County, Va., public schools. “All of a sudden understanding biomes, symbiotic relationships, and adaptations gives you an edge in trying to answer the question of who is going to win.” In addition to creating the contest, the MMM team provides free educational resources to help students with their research. “The narratives are exciting and educational, and I love when my students get upset that [an] unstoppable apex predator loses to something they find helpless or weak,” Correll says. “These are great teachable moments.”

March Mammal Madness has formal partnerships with science teachers around the country—and also reaches adults who have outgrown traditional science classes. “To see so much engagement with the content we create is really exciting,” says Eduardo Amorim of the University of Lausanne, a co-organizer and co-author. “Families play together at home. Adults, teenagers and kids, scientists and nonscientists—I never imagined this would be something that reached so many people.”

Hinde is thrilled by how much March Mammal Madness has grown since she started it on her own in 2013. (Although the event is not directly affiliated with Arizona State University, and the current co-organizers come from a variety of institutions, ASU’s digital library still hosts MMM’s educational resources.) “I love this community brought together by our shared delight in the natural world,” she says. “Also, I love the trash talk. But really, the community, even in pandemic times, has been a refuge from despair.”

[Editor’s Note: The writer works part-time at a remote ASU-administered research center that has no relationship with the MMM program.]

The March Mammal Madness bracket will be released on February 26. Anyone wishing to participate can predict a winner for each listed match, then wait for the action to unfold on Twitter at preannounced times.

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Mick Fuller to sit on the ARL Commission? It’s madness


Indeed, it was only nine days ago that Fuller quit the board of Police Bank, a financial institution for the law enforcement community, “due to the increased commitment and workload of his role” as Commissioner. Surely that speaks for itself? This is a man whose dance card is already full.

Fuller’s job is so important that I’d be gobsmacked if any police commissioner in Australian history, across all states and territories, has ever taken on a secondary role of the ARL’s nature, so clearly unrelated to his day job. But the most screamingly obvious reason not to do it is because of the perceptions of conflict of interest.

As someone who has held those heavy reins of NSW police commissioner told me: “It is crazy to even take a step down this path. There is a clear conflict of interest in controlling the police and their prosecution effort and at the same time aiding abetting and sometimes trying to limit the damage to those NRL players who might be being prosecuted.”

Get it? If Commissioner Fuller takes the secondary gig, when he speaks in public and votes in private on such matters, is he speaking and voting on what’s good for league or what’s good for police? Are those interests exactly the same? Of course not. Huge men running hard at each other and public safety are entirely different beasts to begin with – and, when it comes to what those men all too frequently do on the sauce and after dark, they are polar opposites. And being absolutely honest, if you were a probationary constable and saw a league player behaving badly outside a nightclub, would you be more or less inclined to arrest him when you know your ultimate boss was a powerful league identity? Honestly, I said!

Ok, ok, ok, because it is you, we know it would make no difference. But again, the public perception is what counts, and if Fuller is on the ARLC it will forever place every police-player interaction under added scrutiny. How was the police treatment of the league player, and the league’s treatment of the police matter, affected by Fuller’s dual roles? Justice is meant to be blind, always acting without fear or favour, and so are justice’s foot soldiers, the police. If Fuller has the dual role, perceptions of fear or favour will always be part of the conversation. It will only be a matter of time before – and I mean this, because I trust Commissioner Fuller’s integrity – absolutely false stories will circulate of some late night league atrocity that was hushed up because Commissioner Fuller fixed it to protect the league. Such false stories damage public trust in an enormously important institution.

Even as we speak two NRL players have made serious claims of police harassment over recent issues. How complicated would it get when the Commissioner of Police, who is also a Commissioner of the ARLC, has to address and speak on that? Which hat is he wearing?

It is madness, Premier, and obvious madness.

Nelly and I say NO, did I mention?

Take two

You two? Let’s just call you for argument’s sake Mr and Mrs Sydney. You don’t have to be married, and, in fact, you can just be friends, but the point is to be comparable in age and ideally, physical ability, while being of opposite genders.

Here’s what I want you to do. Both of you get on all fours, side by side, about a metre apart. Now rest your chin on your upturned palms, while having something soft in front of you. And now the key – stand back everyone – I want you to put your arms behind you, like you were about to dive into a pool with your knees on the block,

And now watch what happens. She barely blinks. No problem. And he . . . teeters over and . . . face-plants! Why is it so, Julius?

My daughter pointed out to me a post on TikTok by @mgfletch with a video explaining that the reason is “men have a different centre of gravity”.

As a journalistic exercise, my daughter researched it. A possible reason that women’s centre of gravity is 8 to 15 per cent lower than men’s is evolution. Because the prime need for females “during pregnancy and infant carriage” is stability, it favoured those with a lower centre of gravity. Isn’t nature grand?

Joke of the Week

Q: How many magicians does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Into what?

Tweet of the Week

“Say what you like about Morrison he leapt immediately into action the moment the public found out.” – @PatrickFConlon2, on the Prime Minister’s reaction to the Brittany Higgins rape allegations.

Quotes of the Week

“Jenny and I spoke last night, and she said to me, ‘You have to think about this as a father first. What would you want to happen if it were our girls?’ – Jenny has a way of clarifying things, always has.” – Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a press-conference on Tuesday morning.

‘If Jen ever gives birth to an unemployed person it could be a gamechanger.’ – Neil McMahon, @NeilMcMahon.

“Today marks another important milestone; next week with the first vaccines marks an even more important milestone. With those milestones we give Australians hope and protection.” – Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announcing the first 142,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had landed in Australia.

“There’s no question – none – that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about it.” – Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader right after voting to acquit Trump on impeachment charges.

“We’re always talking with producers about how they might diversify their cast and crew. Rather than give them a flat-out no [if their project falls short of our guidelines], we’ll work with them on how they can improve [the diversity of their team]. There are really talented people from very diverse backgrounds out there – actors, crew, everyone – and we just need to make space for them in this industry and give them an opportunity.” – Sally Riley, head of ABC’s drama, comedy and Indigenous programming, saying that the new ABC guidelines would benefit all its viewers.

“Decisions relating to funding of local projects to improve community safety under the Safer Communities Fund were made consistent with the relevant rules and guidelines.” – Scott Morrison saying there’s nothing wrong with Peter Dutton defying the guidelines for the $180 million Safer Communities program by granting cash to projects that had failed the criteria for funding. Nothing to see here, folks.

“The fact this family has had to spend two years in detention, at a cost of $50 million to the Australian taxpayer, not to mention the expense to the family members’ health and mental wellbeing is a disgrace.” – Kristina Keneally, the Opposition spokeswoman for home affairs, regarding the Biloela family still stuck on Christmas Island.

“New Zealand, frankly, is tired of having Australia export its problems.” – New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as a New Zealand/Australian dual citizen was stripped of her Australian citizenship despite having spent most of her life in Australia.

“We feel extremely lucky to be doing our jobs at the moment because I know that some people can’t, so we’re not taking that for granted.” – Dylan Alcott after he and partner Heath Davidson won their fourth straight Australian Open quad wheelchair doubles championship.

“This was not a small operation. They were well organised and well financed. They were well set up and they were intent on delivering death and misery throughout the state and in this particular case, Albury was their town of choice.” – Drug and Firearms Squad Commander John Watson about Scott Miller, a silver medal at the 1996 Olympics, who was arrested on Tuesday following a police intercept several weeks ago of $2 million worth of ice.

“If you don’t wanna have the vaccine, you haven’t lived through what we’ve lived through, and you must be completely crackers.” – NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard encouraging people to have the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they can. (Call for you, Pete Evans, on Line 1.)

“We don’t allow anyone to share misinformation about COVID-19 that could lead to imminent physical harm or about COVID-19 vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts.” – A Facebook company spokesman about why the company shut down former celebrity TV chef Pete Evans’ Instagram account.

Twitter: @Peter_Fitz

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The seven minutes of madness that could cost the Wallabies Tri Nations glory

While they couldn’t crack the wall that was Argentina’s defence, they dominated every facet of play.

The attack – led by Reece Hodge, Jordan Petaia and Tom Wright – looked slick. Petaia was millimetres away from scoring one of the most sensational tries of the year in the first half.

The forwards – led by Matt Philip and Taniela Tupou – were dominant with ball in hand. Crashing over the gain line was no problem.

The decision to start Scott Sio in front of Angus Bell proved a Rennie masterstroke as it was the loosehead side of the scrum which caused Argentina serious problems.

Hunter Paisami runs in to the Argentina defence at Newcastle on Saturday night.Credit:Getty

The lineout was wayward – largely due to crooked Brandon Paenga-Amosa throws – but the Argentinians coughed up their fair share of ball in that department, too.

So when Hodge slotted his fifth penalty to put the Australians in front 15-6 with 23 minutes to play, it felt like the Wallabies would run away with the match.

Then came the seven minutes of madness that has almost certainly cost the Wallabies the Tri Nations trophy.

Nicolas Sanchez slotted three penalties between the 64th and 71st minute.

One penalty came from a scrum against Australia’s feed but the other two infringements were brainless.


The first came when Filipo Daugunu charged into a solid Argentinian line when he clearly should have kicked for territory. The other came when Matt Philip inexplicably picked up a Jake Gordon knock on from an offside position.

The Australians lost their heads and Rennie made that point after the match. It had every trademark of a team that does not yet know how to close out Tests.

The door has been opened for both New Zealand and Argentina.

If the All Blacks win with a bonus point on Saturday, they will have all but certainly secured the title.

But if the Pumas can repeat the dose from last weekend, they will have put one hand on the Tri Nations trophy.

The equation was much more simple for the Wallabies before the 15-all draw.

Now, they must sit back and hope New Zealand narrowly beat Argentina and then thump Mario Ledesma’s men at Bankwest.

That’s their only path to a fresh wave of optimism in 2021 – and the Tri Nations trophy.

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Whether Donald Trump wins or loses the US election, the madness of America will reverberate for Australia over the coming years

The desperate and dishonest ramblings of Donald Trump’s Friday press conference proved too much for America’s main television networks who took the extraordinary of stopping their broadcast and telling viewers they were doing so because what the President was saying untrue.

Around the same time Trump’s former top adviser, Steve Bannon, was being suspended from Twitter and had a YouTube clip removed after he called for the beheading of the United States’ chief infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci and the head of the FBI, Christopher Wray.

The madness of America, even as the continuing count suggested the cynical and self-serving presidency of Donald Trump would soon be history, is a story that will continue to reverberate over coming years, no matter what the final numbers — and not just because of threats of vigilante action or civil unrest.

We have seen, on what by comparison now seems a relatively stable level, how the Brexit debate has not just divided Britain but consumed its energy and its forward drive. Its standing with Europe remains unresolved. The energy of its politicians and public policy makers, beyond the pandemic, is chewed up by trying to clear an ungodly mess.

And that’s the risk now — at a global strategic level — in the implications of the 2020 election campaign and where it has taken politics — in the United States.

It’s not just that America has increasingly looked inward under Donald Trump, but that it will be consumed by itself and its culture wars, despite some sense of normality and the grown-up policy establishment returning with a Biden presidency.

A strategic and economic threat

This puts Australia’s economic and strategic position at the end of 2020 in stark relief.

For some weeks now, China has been ramping up its moves against our exports, and its language against Australia, obviously aware that the ally on whom we rely is out to lunch.

The China Daily shares some things in common with Donald Trump when it comes to how it uses language. And on Friday, it was going full tilt, warning “Australia will pay tremendously for its misjudgement” and that “with Australia mired in its worst recession in decades, it should steer clear of Washington’s brinkmanship with China before it is too late”.


Australia made a calculated decision to push back harder rhetorically against China earlier this year. The thinking was that some markers had to be laid down at some point against the growing belligerence.

But China’s trade threats now pose one more really big problem, not just strategically but also economically, which it knows only too well.

Our road to economic recovery is already constrained by the fact we will have neither the population growth that has driven so much activity in recent years, nor the annual influx of international students which has been one of our largest export earners.

Now China is threatening other exports across the board — from barley to rock lobsters to coal.

There is obvious relief at Victoria getting COVID under control and the state’s life getting back to some sort of normality. There is excitement about the prospect of state borders reopening imminently.

And the Government is encouraged by some jobs and confidence figures which suggest some pick up in activity.

But we also need to look, and really understand, the reality underlying two quite momentous statements made this week about the Australian economy’s prospects and government capacity to make things better.

A sombre economic outlook

The first statement was from the Reserve Bank, announcing a series of measures which, in short, were its last shots in the locker for influencing the economy.

While the experts can argue about the technicalities, the most significant message from the bank on Tuesday was that: “For its part, the Board will not increase the cash rate until actual inflation is sustainably within the 2 to 3 per cent target range … Given the outlook, the Board is not expecting to increase the cash rate for at least three years”.

What does that mean? It means people relying on savings have no prospect of improved incomes for three years, but people constrained by big borrowings can breathe a bit easier knowing they don’t face a risk of rates going up.

And hopefully it boosts a bit of confidence for new borrowers to enter the market to back new investment.

But what it really does is paint a very sombre picture of the economic outlook, not just for the next few months, but of the reality of the next few years as they currently seem likely to unfold: the RBA is not expecting the economy to pick up very significantly for a long time.

Former RBA board member Warwick McKibbin said this week, the full set of announcements “does everything the RBA could do”.

“The RBA policy change alone does not provide anywhere near the stimulus to the economy that is needed,” he said.

“It is essential insurance to stabilise the economy while implementing the real policy inventions that will be required to kick start the Australian economy. The most critical role of the RBA is to maintain the stability of the financial system.”

Pedestrian walks past Reserve Bank building in Sydney
The first statement was from the Reserve Bank, announcing a series of measures which, in short, were its last shots in the locker for influencing the economy.(Reuters/file)

A sign of the times

The second momentous statement this week came in a speech from Treasury Secretary Dr Steven Kennedy.

Kennedy noted that, with interest rates already so low, monetary policy is simply not in the position to provide the support to recovery that it has in the past.

And there was an extraordinary admission too: that the Budget’s spending measures, which some might describe as scattergun, were designed partly because “uncertainty around the effectiveness of individual policy measures at stimulating demand and reducing unemployment in the current environment”.

A man in a suit with glasses looks serious
Dr Kennedy noted that, with interest rates already so low, monetary policy is simply not in the position to provide the support to recovery that it has in the past.(ABC News: Tamara Penniket)

That is, they don’t know which if any of them will work.

“Given the lack of conventional monetary support available,” Kennedy said, “the recovery could falter without a strong fiscal policy response leading to years of anaemic growth.

“More and more unemployment would become entrenched reducing the productive capacity of the economy. Lower growth also means that inflation and wages would likely remain lower for longer.”

That would have implications for the budget too but, as Kennedy says, “this means that the real driver of increased debt is the shock itself, not the discretionary fiscal policy response”.

The Treasury Secretary said the current constraints on policy raised “fundamental issues” for how economic policy “including the appropriate role of fiscal policy as a cyclical stabilisation tool”.

He argued that while budget measures had traditionally responded to large shocks “there is now a question about whether the threshold for intervention should be lowered”.

In other words, we are going to have to consider governments using budgets really creatively — ie spending money — instead of interest rates a lot more in future as a way of trying to influence the level of economic activity.

Kennedy’s remarks take the debate about budgets and debt way beyond the culture wars about size of government. They make clear that there will be little choice open to government in prospect.

They were as far removed from desperate ramblings as you could really get just now. But they are another sign of how scary the times have become.

Laura Tingle is 7.30’s chief political correspondent.

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Fact-checking Donald Trump’s unfounded claims the Democrats are trying to steal the election.

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Iker Casillas on Real Madrid, Spain and the ‘Madness’ of It All

It was no wonder, then, that by 2015, Casillas was ready for a change of scenery. His relationship with Real Madrid had changed; he admitted to feeling “alone” at one point, as he was ostracized first by Mourinho and then, later, cut adrift by the club’s president, Florentino Pérez. He saw, in Porto, the chance to find “some peace.”

“I needed to be calm to enjoy it again,” he said. “I didn’t like seeing myself in the press every day, or in the middle of certain arguments. The best option was to leave, even if it was the place where I grew up, the place that was my home, the place where many people suffered with me. I didn’t want that angst. I wanted less fear.”

The stress and the strain, though, do not change the memories. That is what Casillas cherishes from his career: not so much all of the acclaim — praised by no less an authority than Gianluigi Buffon as one of the best goalkeepers of all time — or all of the trophies he won, but all of the things he remembers, and is remembered for.

Soccer, to Casillas, is about memory: not the score lines, necessarily, but the sensations. The players he holds in the highest esteem are the ones who played the most games, lasted the longest — he mentions Paul Scholes and Francesco Totti — the ones who burned themselves into the history of a club.

He likes those moments when fans tell him where they were when Spain won the World Cup, or what they were doing when he came off the bench, barely out of his teens, to win his second Champions League.

“It happens when you go to the park, go to a restaurant, meet someone Spanish when you’re abroad,” he said. “They remember where they were: getting married, or watching it with their son. These moments mark everyone. It is lovely to know that you are remembered.”

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‘Absolute madness’: professor blasts public funding of aged care for those who can afford it | Australia news

It is “absolute madness” to have the taxpayer fund aged care for those who can afford to pay for their own care through their assets, a professor of health economics has told the aged care royal commission.

Prof Michael Woods gave evidence on Tuesday as the commission turned its attention to transparency around funding of the aged care sector, and how that money is spent.

Woods, from the University of Technology’s centre for health economics research and evaluation in Sydney, said taxpayers currently paid most of the cost of subsidised aged care, but this was unsustainable given the ageing population.

Those elderly who could afford it should be required to pay more for some of the subsidised services that they consumed, he told the commission.

In his witness statement, Woods described how the family home had largely been protected from aged care support means tests, but he told the commission there were fair and equitable ways for Australians who owned their own home to contribute more to the cost of their aged care.

“It’s absolute madness to have the taxpayer, just because a person has got old, suddenly paying for all of these things,” Woods told the commission.

Asked by counsel assisting the commission, Peter Gray QC, if there would be merit in establishing a social security scheme to fund aged care, which people would contribute to throughout their working life, similar to compulsory super, Woods said there were too many uncertainties with such a scheme and little net gain.

“I mean, who knows what state of health a 20-year-old will be in when they’re 85 and whether they might be needing some of these services, or what services will be available by then,” he said.

“What if they still have a partner who can help them? Who pays for those who can’t make the mandatory payment – is it the taxpayer? You are not only are paying your contribution now as a working person, but also paying taxes for [others]. I just think there are too many uncertainties and that there is no net gain.”

Woods also told the commission there needed to be greater transparency around the commonwealth home support program (CHSP), a government-subsidised service to help senior Australians access support services to live independently at home. There was no way to know how many people were waiting for or had missed out on the program, he said.

“There are waiting lists for CHSP … but we don’t know what they are,” he said. “They’re just people who don’t get the service they want or any service at all. And they get something else instead.”

On Monday, the former prime minister Paul Keating told the commission he supported people funding their own care through their assets because superannuation was no longer enough as Australians lived longer.

Keating proposed a “post-paid” funding model where the commonwealth would provide aged care loans that would be repaid through people’s assets after their deaths, including through the sales of property and shares and through any unused superannuation.

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Contentious koala protection policy sends NSW govt into a state of “madness”

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Mail-Vote Madness in Pennsylvania – WSJ

Pennsylvania has already suffered one interminable mail-vote delay in 2020, and a repeat in November could draw the entire country into a legal brawl, while putting the result of the presidential election into serious doubt. How about heading off this too-predictable debacle before it happens?

A week after the June 2 primary, about half the counties in the Keystone State were still tallying ballots. On June 11, Philadelphia alone had 42,255 votes uncounted. President Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 by 44,292.

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The madness of a gas-led recovery and what you can do about it

The Government’s reliance on the gasoline industry is killing our world, but professional medical industry experts are increasing consciousness, create Drs Graeme McLeay and Ingo Weber.

Even with A SLOWING of emissions globally all through the pandemic, it is anticipated by scientists that they will bounce back immediately when economies return to normal. The implications for Australia of a heating local weather ought to now be crystal clear to all following the ongoing drought and the devastating heatwaves and bushfires of last summer — a harbinger of points to come.

Australia is particularly vulnerable to some of the worst impacts of local weather alter with intense heat, drought, drying rivers, coastal erosion and switching designs of sickness, threatening wellness, livelihoods and the social fabric. The hurt to human wellbeing from these impacts has been explained by the Australian Professional medical Affiliation and other major health care institutions as a well being emergency. 

Whilst spending lip company to the urgency and science underpinning the Paris Arrangement to keep typical worldwide temperatures to under 1.5 levels over pre-industrial periods, Australia is embarking zealously on a system to encourage and profit from the export and use of fossil fuels, most lately with phone calls for a gas-led restoration.

Health care team Medical practitioners for the Ecosystem Australia (DEA) has this week introduced a video concept, warning that a fuel-led pandemic financial restoration would be hazardous to wellness and cost life. DEA is urging the general public to add their voice to the video clip message – aimed at Key Minister Scott Morrison – by way of an on the net petition

Fuel is remaining pushed as a changeover gas which may well have been an acceptable place 20 many years ago but is no for a longer period tenable. Methane, 84 times more effective as a greenhouse gas more than a 20-calendar year time frame, is soaring steeply and experts now know that a main supply of this methane is the oil and fuel business.

Australia’s substantial creation and export of LNG is not only driving up emissions in Australia but overseas. Generating much more carbon dioxide and methane, now at ranges not found in a million decades, is fuelling the weather crisis which is also a health-related crisis. The argument that fuel is a changeover gas is disingenuous. It is like giving a diabetic concentrated sugar to offer with their disorder.

Unconventional fuel extraction is also leading to health and fitness fears in area communities. There is now a substantial human body of proof from the U.S. which dispels the myth of “clean” gasoline.  Unconventional fuel (fracking) extraction is linked with air pollution of air, soil and h2o and exactly where that is near to communities, likely health issues.

Some pollutants from the marketplace, this kind of as benzene are recognized carcinogens, although for other individuals there is no extended-expression details. A array of wellbeing outcomes, which includes respiratory and sinus troubles have been joined to proximity to fuel wells, as have congenital problems of the heart and anxious technique.

At the coronary heart of this obsession with fuel is the frame of mind of “more”.

More vitality, far more advancement, more inhabitants, far more growth of the GDP pays homage to the “markets”. But “more” is a giant Ponzi scheme which is doomed to end in tears since we are presently at the planetary boundaries past which lies chaos for mother nature and for us as a species. Victims of our good results, we have arrived at the limits for the land, the oceans, the rivers and the environment, imagining that it can keep on without end. In short, we are dismantling our lifestyle aid techniques for brief-expression gains.


It is not that businesses are by character evil, while some source businesses have behaved dishonestly and criminally. Several of us know someone doing work in coal, oil or gas — the industries which energy our economies of “more”. The CEOs of these businesses have an overriding intent in head which is to make financial gain for the shareholders. No amount of money of greenwashing can adjust that and CEOs who fall short to do that really do not previous very long.

They should really not, nonetheless, be in the business enterprise of formulating government plan, nor should they be exerting influence on federal government. Nonetheless, modern developments have shown that that is what is taking place and with some accomplishment. There are problems that the Countrywide COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC), established up by the Morrison Authorities to direct its economic response to the pandemic, is advocating for an expansion of the gasoline market whilst featuring associates with links to oil and gasoline businesses.

It has been accepted science for decades that the entire world is warming and that humans are causing it. 

Renewable electrical power systems are booming and are quickly accessible to us. Australia is blessed with the finest wind and photo voltaic disorders to consider full advantage of these low-cost energies. Additionally, they will make up to a few moments as quite a few positions as individuals in the fossil gas sector.

Irrespective of the enormous strengths offered by cleanse power, far more fossil fuels are currently being burnt than at any time just before. Additional hurt than good is the consequence and we are now in the age of effects.

There is a very long-standing theory in drugs of primum non nocere — or “first, do no harm”. It conveys the thought that a procedure for a individual ought to not be carried out if it is probably to do more damage than excellent. Medical practitioners who flout this unwritten rule shortly entice the opprobrium of their colleagues or are deregistered.

Our politicians, way too, must be held to account for their choices.

To enable our political leaders know you that you want them to #TurnOffTheGas for our health’s sake, please add your voice listed here.

Dr Graeme McLeay is a retired anaesthetist and a member of Medical practitioners for the Natural environment Australia.

Dr Ingo Weber is a certified rural GP who took up anaesthetics whilst overseas and now operates as a entire-time anaesthetist at the Lyell McEwin Medical center. He lectures at both equally South Australian medical educational facilities on the well being impacts of weather improve.

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