As there is no real forum for community-based discussion on the policymaking process, we focus, quite naturally, on ‘managing our own patch’. If we felt we MIGHT have a voice, this focus could conceivably change. BUT the reality is that our leaders – and/or powerful ‘others’ – can get away with ignoring the ‘big picture’ and distracting us with marketing antics and political spin. Are you hearing disappointed comments about the lack of an overarching view of where we are going as a nation in this election campaign? Where would YOU go to find out about the following?
Professor George Jelinek, Professor of Emergency Medicine, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and University of WA addressing the recent Profound Healing – Sustainable Wellbeing Conference spoke of the pharmaceutical industry seeing profit as more important than health, with the majority of its money being spent on marketing rather than research and development. Worryingly he maintains that:
“A few infamous court cases have thrown light on dubious marketing practices dressed up as research, and there is widespread concern among senior medical journal editors that journals are becoming little more than the marketing arms of drug companies.
Conflict of interest related to payments and gifts made to the medical profession is widespread.
These alarming facts make the question of whether to take a heavily promoted pharmaceutical for serious illness very difficult.”
Alan Dupont Director of the Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney writes about Labor being careless with its trump card – the environment. In summary he notes that amid all the posturing and spin on greenhouse gas policy:
“…what has been sadly lacking in the election campaign so far is any serious attempt by either party to identify the broader political, economic and security implications of climate change, and to articulate a strategy for managing them.”
The conclusion drawn is that we should be making the argument internationally that it is in everyone’s interests to commit to finite, achievable greenhouse gas emission targets without exception.
Scientific commentator and broadcaster Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is running for the Senate on the Climate Change Coalition ticket. He says clean coal technology is physically impossible and the major parties are lying when they claim carbon dioxide could be removed from the burning of coal and then compressed and stored underground or underwater. He says:
“It’s just not technologically possible.”
“If we tried really hard we could have all of the electricity in Australia made without carbon by 2020 using a mixture of renewable energies including hot rocks and the wind and the waves and the sun.”
Dr Kruszelnicki said Australia must decide where it wants to focus its energy prospects for the future.
“We’ve got two choices in 15 to 20 years from now. Either to make money, we sell dirt overseas, coal, or we sell the (renewable energy) technology without burning dirt.”