Mar 8, 2012

Behind the Seams: who’s asking questions about coal seam gas and health?

Almost a quarter of the disease burden and deaths in the world can be attributed to environmental factors, writes David Shearman and Marion Carey, of Doctors for the Environment Australia.

Almost a quarter of the disease burden and deaths in the world can be attributed to environmental factors. We need clean air and water, and safe food to maximise our health at the most basic level.

No matter how we try to deny it, damage to the environment often ends up being reflected in our health. Any major new development therefore should ensure human health is protected. But is this the case with a rapidly expanding coal seam gas industry?

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5 thoughts on “Behind the Seams: who’s asking questions about coal seam gas and health?

  1. Mike Flanagan

    Thanks to Crikey and the above authors for exposing some of the
    fallacies associated with this development.
    Whilst gathering science supported evidence of the threats and
    implications to the health of communities and their enviroment come
    to our attention there are other reports as to the efficacy of using this
    gas .
    Studies in the USA by their EPA and independend assessments in
    Australia question the ability of the companies involved to actually
    use this gas as an alternative energy source to resolve our GHG dilemmas.
    Many of these reports by respected bodies point to the inability of
    these companies to design and maintain a production system that
    meets this objective.
    Considering Methane is some 20 to 30 times more effective and longer
    lingering than CO2 as a hothouse gas and the evidence of inordinate
    escape or ‘migratory’ release of methane during well production,
    transport and processing, it is time we reflected on the
    efficacy of this industry

  2. [email protected]

    Thank you for an excellent report. I just hope that some of the key advisers to the Prime Minister and State Premiers take the time to read it and report back.

  3. Mark Duffett

    With these sorts of pieces, the number of times the concentration
    (as opposed to detection) of a chemical compound is mentioned is in
    direct proportion to the overall credibility of the article.

  4. Bohemian

    I have to say I err on the side of sinister intentions here but I can’t help noticing that this lockstep push bedevilling many Western countries is resulting in people being kicked off their land either through mining or fracking rights being granted on their or adjacent properties without their permission, denial of water allocation, importation of competitive produce or goods at subsidized rates destroying local enterprises, polluting of land with noise from wind turbines, polluting the air with foreign particulates and toxic chemicals from factories, poisoning water supplies and aquifers, buying out districts, destroying land values through mining encroachments or polluting fields with GM seeds. All these and other actions are leaving country people with little or no recourse as per Agenda 21 which does not recognise the right of private ownership of land.

    Agenda 21 (refer UN 1992) was drafted by international socialists and is in my view little more than a global strategy to steal the land from the people and then herd them into massive urban centres where they can be monitored 24/7, controlled physically, psychologically and intellectually until they are no longer capable of pushing back against the system under which they are being managed. Without “pushback” they will soon have no concept of the source of their food or the symbiotic relationship between man and the environment or with the earth in general.

    Agenda 21 folks and that phony “sustainable development” buzz word are spawned from the loins of what is increasingly a communist inspired United Nations. Read Agenda 21. It sounds high minded but it is Marxist latent totalitarian spin that even Gramsci would praise. It is structured to remove everything you thought you owned and placing it under the control of faceless technocrats.

    The policies of Agenda 21 call for government control over water and where it goes. US President Obama through a number of Executive Orders has charged the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) with restoring water quality and best farming conservation practices as well as a range of other actions. Their finest work can be seen in the San Joaquin Valley in California which was until recently a major food bowl offering up some of America’s richest farmland. When thousands of farms in the valley were denied water to irrigate their crops (any local examples coming to mind) after the EPA pressured Congress to pass legislation which diverted water from thousands of farms to the delta, the valley experienced the largest man made drought in the history of the US. A drought to make Mao or Stalin proud. In short, the technocrats at the EPA have turned the SJV into a dust bowl destroying the livelihoods of 40000 farmers, putting much of the valley to the wall and making most of its farmers dependent upon government welfare. Once independent and self sufficient these poor devils have lost control of their land and now take orders from the state as per Agenda 21.

    And anyway how the heck can sustainable development ever sanction fracking or poisoning of the waterways?

    If not for divine intervention, we would be seeing the Murray, Murrumbidgee and Lachlan Valleys go the same way. Agenda 21 is alive and well in Australia folks and every time you hear government apparatchiks mouth those sickening words “sustainable development” head for the hills. They are after you brother!

  5. Baska

    This is a very misleading story. “Almost a quarter of the disease burden and deaths in the world can be attributed to environmental factors” immediately under “coal seam gas and health”. Gasp, that’s terrible! this is terrible. But then look at the list of diseases that make up this “almost a quarter …” The top five (in the article the authors quote) are diarrhoea, lower respiratory tract (lung) infections, other unintentional injuries, malaria and road traffic injuries. Others include heart disease, drownings, AIDS, and malnutrition. What, pray tell, is the link between coal seam gas and these conditions?

    This is simple, unabashed scaremongering, and I am surprised that Crikey publishes it.

    (Oh and by the way the Walloon Coal Measures are part of the Clarence-Moreton basin, not the Great Artesian Basin)

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