Wednesday June 26, 2019
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Queensland in Australia to Combat Diseases And Deaths Caused by Climate-change

Forecasters say southeastern Australia can expect more unusually warm and dry conditions in the coming months

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Queensland, Australia, Hindu
FILE - A dead tree stands near a water tank in a drought-stricken paddock located on the outskirts of the southwestern Queensland town of Cunnamulla in outback Australia, Aug. 10, 2017. (VOA)

The Queensland state government in Australia is to fund a new program to help combat killer heatwaves and outbreaks of disease caused by climate change. Authorities are even discussing imposing tobacco-style taxes against carbon polluters. The initiative comes as the United Nation chief warned that if the world does not take serious action by 2020, it risks the fallout from “runaway climate change.”

The plan to tackle climate-related disease and deaths from heatwaves is part of the Queensland government’s efforts to cut the state’s carbon emissions to zero by 2050.

The strategy urges bureaucrats and executives to consider health impacts when assessing mining and energy projects. It also encourages the government not to subsidize “activities harmful to health and climate stability”.

It identifies heat stress among children and the elderly as the main concern for the future. Heatwaves are Australia’s biggest natural hazard, killing more people than droughts, floods and bush fires put together.

Other climate-driven health fears are “food and water insecurity, malnutrition, worsening [and] cardiovascular and respiratory” illnesses.

Fiona Armstrong, the head of the Climate and Health Alliance, which helped draw up the plan, said wild conditions can kill.

“You only need to look at the example of thunderstorm asthma in Melbourne a couple of years ago to see how these kinds of events, even though they might be predicted, can really take the sector and the community by surprise,” Armstrong said.

Australia
Tire tracks left by a truck can be seen in a drought-stricken paddock on Kahmoo Station property, located on the outskirts of the southwestern Queensland town of Cunnamulla in outback Australia, Aug. 10, 2017. (VOA)

Thunderstorm asthma can be triggered when storms play havoc with pollen, causing potentially fatal respiratory problems.

The Queensland plan also identifies the increased risk of mental illness among those affected by a worsening drought that has gripped much of eastern Australia, including much of Queensland and the entire state of New South Wales.

Queensland farmer Sid Plant said federal authorities are not doing enough.

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“Politicians do not seem to want to recognize that climate change is affecting Australia’s farmers. We are feeling the pain as early as anybody in the world. We are not living in the same climate that we were 20 years ago or 50 years ago,” said Plant.

Forecasters say southeastern Australia can expect more unusually warm and dry conditions in the coming months.

Some Australians doubt man’s influence on the climate, insisting that a shifting climate is part of a natural cycle. However, that remains a minority view. (VOA)

Next Story

Paris to Restrict Car Use as a Measure to Fight Against Surging Air Pollution

The other vehicles, mostly older and diesel cars, will be preventing from circulating in Paris following the unusual heatwave

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paris, air pollution
Only electric vehicles and those with clean air stickers 1 and 2 are allowed to enter the French capital on June 26 from 5:30 a.m. local time to midnight. Pixabay

Paris will restrict car use on Wednesday as a measure to fight against surging air pollution linked to intense heat wave that strikes most of French regions, the city’s police department announced on Tuesday.

Only electric vehicles and those with clean air stickers 1 and 2 are allowed to enter the French capital on June 26 from 5:30 a.m. local time to midnight, Paris police prefecture said.

Called also Crit’Air vignettes, the stickers have six colours that identify the emissions the vehicle produces according to the European emissions standard, the Xinhua news agency reported.

paris, air pollution
With polluted air raising health risks in a large part of Paris, the situation is critical to say the least. Pixabay

The other vehicles, mostly older and diesel cars, will be preventing from circulating in Paris following the unusual heatwave.

Amid expected high level of ozone pollution linked to rising temperatures, speed limits will also be cut by 20 kilometer per hour in Paris and Ile-de-France on Wednesday, while vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes will be asked to bypass the city centre and nearby surroundings completely.

Furthermore, Paris police department called on businesses that use polluting machinery to reduce operations, and avoid using solvent-based products, such as acetone, varnishes, glues or paints.

paris, air pollution
Called also Crit’Air vignettes, the stickers have six colours that identify the emissions the vehicle produces according to the European emissions standard, the Xinhua news agency reported. Pixabay

Like major Western European countries where unprecedented high temperatures will appear in at least the next six days, France is set to witness unseasonable temperatures which could even exceed 38 degrees Celsius in parts of eastern and southern regions in the coming days.

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For Wednesday, Meteo France predicts 34 degrees Celsius in the French capital. Temperature could reach up to 39 degrees by Friday afternoon.

Meteo France has put 65 departments, including Ile-de-France (Paris and its suburb), under orange alert due to intense heatwave and decided to maintain the alert system in these areas till Wednesday afternoon. (IANS)