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WMHPG news, information and resources 28 September 2019

We do not accept responsibility for the availability, reliability or content of these news items and do not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them.

Sustainable development goals

What does the next 25 years hold for global health? https://rstmh.org/sites/default/files/files/GlobalHealthReport.pdf Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene – “Perhaps surprisingly, considering the dominant negative narrative that grips us globally at the moment, many respondents believe that in terms of global health, the future is bright. 52.5% said they were very or somewhat optimistic about the future of global healthcare. Respondents from the African continent were most optimistic, with 62.5% reporting being very/ somewhat optimistic. In comparison, respondents from Europe were among the least optimistic (42%). Men were also more optimistic than women, with 58.6% of men reporting being very/ somewhat optimistic compared to 46.8% of women. This gender effect remained after controlling for continent of residence.”

Immediate impact of minimum unit pricing on alcohol purchases in Scotland: controlled interrupted time series analysis for 2015-18: https://www.bmj.com/content/366/bmj.l5274 “In terms of immediate impact, the introduction of minimum unit pricing appears to have been successful in reducing the amount of alcohol purchased by households in Scotland. The action was targeted, in that reductions of purchased alcohol only occurred in the households that bought the most alcohol.”

What arguments and from whom are most influential in shaping public health policy: thematic content analysis of responses to a public consultation on the regulation of television food advertising to children in the UK: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/8/e028221.full “Public health policy making appears to be considered as a balance between commercial and public health interests. Tactics such as the questioning and reframing of scientific evidence may be used. In this example, exploring the development of policy regulating television food advertising to children, commercial considerations appear to have led to a watering down of initial regulatory proposals, with proposed packages not including the measures public health advocates considered to be the most effective. This seems likely to have compromised the ultimate public health effectiveness of the regulations eventually implemented.”

PHE Strategy 2020-25: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/831562/PHE_Strategy_2020-25.pdf “When we think about good health, the vast majority of us think about our

NHS and the care we get through hospitals and GPs. But the NHS of itself cannot improve the health of the nation. This depends more substantially on a prosperous economy and the choices that we make as individuals and families. The most important contributors to a life in good health, including mental health, are to have a job that provides a sufficient income, a decent and safe home and a support network. More simply put – a job, a home and a friend.”

Turning the tables: global poverty conference to be held in a slum: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/sep/25/global-poverty-conference-to-be-held-in-slum “The inaugural World Poverty Forum will be announced on Wednesday in New York at the Decade of Action event taking place during UN general assembly week. It is already being dubbed as “Davos with the poor”. Social entrepreneur Kennedy Odede, who was raised in the slum of Kibera, in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, has founded the event to bring world leaders and policymakers together to “change the dynamic” of the way the big global issues are discussed. He said it was about making “worlds collide”.”

For the sake of life on Earth, we must put a limit on wealth: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/19/life-earth-wealth-megarich-spending-power-environmental-damage “It’s not just the megarich: increased spending power leads us all to inflict environmental damage. It’s time for a radical plan”

Cuts to youth services to reach breaking point during critical time for youth community support: https://www.ymca.org.uk/latest-news/cuts-to-youth-services-to-reach-breaking-point-during-critical-time-for-youth-community-support “Figures released today by YMCA show that spending on youth services across England looks set to reach its lowest ever point in a generation. An analysis of 84 local authorities across England reveals that while the average spend on youth services per local authority in 2010 was £7.79m, planned average spend for 2019/20 is just £2.45m – a 69% decline.”

U.S. joins 19 nations, including Saudi Arabia and Russia: ‘There is no international right to an abortion’: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2019/09/24/us-joins-nations-including-saudi-arabia-russia-there-is-no-international-right-an-abortion/ “The Trump administration declared there’s no “international right to abortion” at a United Nations meeting in New York this week, calling on other countries to join a coalition pushing the elimination of what it calls “ambiguous” terms and expressions, such as sexual and reproductive health, from U.N. documents.”

Healthy planning & environment

Creating healthy places: perspectives from NHS England’s Healthy New Towns programme: https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/creating-healthy-places “Creating healthy places: perspectives from NHS England’s Healthy New Towns programme provides personal insights from those involved in the programme, illustrating how powerful a coherent local approach to improving population health can be. It highlights the importance of a number of themes, including the value of taking a place-based approach to population health, the need for specific action on health inequalities, the importance of working closely with communities and the potential to use new places as a test bed for integrated care.”

Independent review calls for radical plan for England’s National Parks: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/independent-review-calls-for-radical-plan-for-englands-national-parks “Major review calls for biggest shakeup of the running of England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty since they were founded 70 years ago.”


New Research Resource – UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence Data Navigator: https://cache-web-live.cf.ac.uk/ “The CaCHE Data Navigator is a web application that enhances a researcher’s ability to search, discover and download housing data related to the UK. The aim is to signal key data sources from the public and private sectors in an easy to use single location.”

8.4 million people in need of a suitable home – briefing and resources: https://www.housing.org.uk/resource-library/browse/8.4-million-people-in-need-of-a-suitable-home-briefing-and-resources/ “For the first time, our new research reveals the true extent of the housing crisis in England. It shows that 8.4 million people – that’s one in every seven people – are directly affected by the housing crisis.”

Housing to 2040: https://www.gov.scot/publications/housing-to-2040/ “This document is designed to support a conversation about how we can together plan for what we want our homes and communities to look and feel like in 2040. It sets out the Scottish Government’s draft vision and principles for 2040 and how you can get involved.”

Mass Sell Off Of Public Land Fails To Deliver Social Housing: https://neweconomics.org/2019/09/mass-sell-off-of-public-land-fails-to-deliver-social-housing?mc_cid=1786c8e691&mc_eid=a15a43d447 “With over one million households on the waiting list for social housing, public land could play a major role in meeting this urgent need for affordable homes. But new NEF research has found that just 6% of the houses built on former public land, will be available for social rent. This represents a massive missed opportunity.”

Homes on the right tracks: Greening the Green Belt to solve the housing crisis: https://www.centreforcities.org/publication/homes-on-the-right-tracks/ “This report, authored by academics from the LSE and UCL and published by Centre for Cities sets out detailed plans to release green belt around more than one thousand existing commuter rail stations and build more than two million new homes with fast connections into many of Britain’s largest cities.”

Social housing crisis builds as government passes the buck: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/sep/25/social-housing-crisis-builds-government-passes-buck “Thousands of homeless children are growing up in cheaply converted shipping containers and cramped rooms in former office blocks; 130,000 families in England are being crammed into one-bedroom flats; and social housing residents of a block of flats in east London engulfed in flames say they are being forced to move back despite safety fears.”

Identifying the health care system benefits of housing with care: https://www.housinglin.org.uk/blogs/Identifying-the-health-care-system-benefits-of-housing-with-care/ “The expression of these basic needs provides a clear insight into where the benefits of housing with care can positively impact the health and social care system in a way that could provide modern- day solutions to the crisis in care for older people. The new Housing LIN report shines a light on the need for the re-allocation of public funding to reflect older peoples own aspirations.”

Millennials aren’t the only ones struggling – older renters share their challenges finding decent housing: https://theconversation.com/millennials-arent-the-only-ones-struggling-older-renters-share-their-challenges-finding-decent-housing-123950 “Much attention has been given to the plight of millennials – aka “generation rent” – who research indicates are much less likely to own their own home than previous generations. Yet the number of older renters is also increasing – and much less is known about their experiences.”

Climate change & sustainability

IPPC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate: https://www.ipcc.ch/srocc/home/ “Global warming has already reached 1°C above the pre-industrial level, due to past and current greenhouse gas emissions. There is overwhelming evidence that this is resulting in profound consequences for ecosystems and people. The ocean is warmer, more acidic and less productive. Melting glaciers and ice sheets are causing sea level rise, and coastal extreme events are becoming more severe. The IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, approved on 24 September 2019 by the 195 IPCC member governments, provides new evidence for the benefits of limiting global warming to the lowest possible level – in line with the goal that governments set themselves in the 2015 Paris Agreement. Urgently reducing greenhouse gas emissions limits the scale of ocean and cryosphere changes. Ecosystems and the livelihoods that depend on them can be preserved.”

UN Climate Summit

If nothing else – watch this 4 min clip of Greta Thunberg at the UN Summit: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/video/2019/sep/23/greta-thunberg-to-world-leaders-how-dare-you-you-have-stolen-my-dreams-and-my-childhood-video

Climate change report card: These countries are reaching targets: https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/environment-and-conservation/2019/09/climate-change-report-card-these-countries-are-reaching “Following the UN Climate Change Conference, we take a look at which nations are on track to meet climate goals – and which are tanking.”

Estimating the Health‐Related Costs of 10 Climate‐Sensitive U.S. Events During 2012: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2019GH000202 “We estimated a total of $10.0 billion (2018 dollars) in health‐related costs from these 10 events, with mortality costs ($8.4 billion) exceeding illness costs and lost wages ($1.6 billion combined). The high health‐related costs of climate‐sensitive events highlight the need to mitigate climate change and adapt to its unavoidable impacts.”

EVENT - ONS Forum – SDGs: The Social Impact of Climate Change: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ons-forum-sdgs-the-social-impact-of-climate-change-tickets-73944583239 “The Office for National Statistics (ONS) are holding a policy forum on SDGs: The Social Impact of Climate Change. The forum will explore how we can measure the impact of climate change using the Sustainable Development Goals framework. It will look at some of the recognised links between climate, health, ageing and inequalities, and how those links can be used to highlight the impacts of climate change on different groups in society.” 10 October, am, London.

Heathrow CEO: Aviation sector must set net-zero plan 'as soon as possible': https://www.edie.net/registration/regwall.asp?mid=123852&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eedie%2Enet%2Fnews%2F9%2FHeathrow%2DCEO%2D%2DAviation%2Dsector%2Dmust%2Dset%2Dnet%2Dzero%2Dplan%2D%2Das%2Dsoon%2Das%2Dpossible%2D%2F&title=Heathrow+CEO%3A+Aviation+sector+must+set+net%2Dzero+plan+%27as+soon+as+possible%27 “Heathrow Airport's chief executive John Holland-Kaye has joined the growing calls for the aviation sector to implement a net-zero strategy, claiming that "imposing punitive costs" will not deter people from flying less.”

Nuclear energy too slow, too expensive to save climate: report: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-energy-nuclearpower/nuclear-energy-too-slow-too-expensive-to-save-climate-report-idUSKBN1W909J “Nuclear power is losing ground to renewables in terms of both cost and capacity as its reactors are increasingly seen as less economical and slower to reverse carbon emissions, an industry report said.” – report here: https://www.worldnuclearreport.org/

Hinkley Point C nuclear plant to run £2.9bn over budget: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49823305 “French power company EDF said the new nuclear plant it is building at Hinkley Point C will cost up to £2.9bn more than thought. It raised its estimate for the project, in Somerset, to between £21.5bn and £22.5bn, blaming "challenging ground conditions". It also said the risk of the project being 15 months late had risen.”

How extreme weather threatens people with disabilities: https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2019/09/how-extreme-weather-threatens-people-with-disabilities “According to the CDC, one in four American adults, or 61 million people, live with a disability. For many, high temperatures can be a major challenge. Alex Ghenis, a policy and research specialist at the World Institute on Disability, manages New Earth Disability, a project addressing the ways that climate change affects people with disabilities.”

Not convinced on the need for urgent climate action? Here’s what happens to our planet between 1.5°C and 2°C of global warming: https://theconversation.com/not-convinced-on-the-need-for-urgent-climate-action-heres-what-happens-to-our-planet-between-1-5-c-and-2-c-of-global-warming-123817 “Many numbers are bandied around in climate emergency discussions. Of them, 1.5°C is perhaps the most important. At the Paris Agreement in 2015, governments agreed to limit global warming to well below 2°C and to aim for 1.5°C. By 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change… had made worryingly clear in a special report how much graver the consequences of the higher number would be. Together with the University of Queensland’s Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and colleagues around the world, we’ve explored in newly published work just how much sticking to 1.5°C matters.” – original paper here: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6459/eaaw6974

There’s evidence that climate activism could be swaying public opinion in the US: https://theconversation.com/theres-evidence-that-climate-activism-could-be-swaying-public-opinion-in-the-us-123740 “I’m a scholar of environmental communication who examines how people become engaged with solving dilemmas such as climate change, and how activism motivates others to take action. A new study I worked on suggests that large rallies, such as this youth-led Climate Strike, could be influencing public opinion.”

'The devil's excrement': How did oil become so important? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49499443 “It was 27 August 1859, and a crucial message had been sent. Entrepreneur Edwin Drake's last financial backer had finally lost patience. Pay off your debts, give up and come home, the message read. Drake had been hoping to find "rock oil", a brownish unrefined "crude" oil that sometimes bubbled near the surface of western Pennsylvania. He planned to refine it into kerosene, for lamps - a substitute for increasingly expensive whale oil. There would also be less useful by-products, such as gasoline, but if he couldn't find a buyer for that he could always pour it away.”

Active travel & transport

Correlates of Walking for Travel in Seven European Cities: The PASTA Project: https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/10.1289/EHP4603 “Living in high-density residential areas with richness of facilities and density of public transport stations was associated with increased walking for travel, whereas the same characteristics at the work/study area were less strongly associated with the outcome when the residential and work/study environments were entered in the model jointly. A walk-friendly social environment was associated with walking for travel. All three factors describing different opinions about walking (ranging from good to bad) were associated with increased minutes of walking per week, although the importance given to certain criteria to choose a mode of transport provided different results according to the criteria.”

90% back ‘School Streets’ in their area: https://airqualitynews.com/2019/09/23/90-back-school-streets-in-their-area/ “90% of parents and residents would back a School Streets scheme in their area, according to a Sustrans poll.”

Air quality & pollution

Deadly red haze shrouds Indonesia as rainforest burns after palm oil clearances: https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/red-haze-air-pollution-indonesia-rainforest-fires-slash-and-burn-palm-oil-climate-change-a9116696.html “Fires burning since July have destroyed over 800,000 hectares of rainforest in Indonesia, blanketing the islands in thick toxic smoke which has turned the sky a violent red. The gigantic conflagrations are causing respiratory problems and there are numerous reports of deaths, including at least six farmers and two children. Air pollution has reached hazardous levels in neighbouring Singapore, where smoke has shrouded the city state.”

MPs call on government to enshrine WHO PM2.5 guidelines in law: https://airqualitynews.com/2019/09/19/mps-call-on-government-to-enshrine-who-pm2-5-mps-call-on-government-to-enshrine-who-pm2-5-guidelines-in-law/ “MPs have again called on the government to enshrine in law World Health Organisation (WHO) guideline limits for particulate matter (PM2.5) in its upcoming Environment Bill.”

LNG lorries pollute up to five times more than diesel, suggests study: https://airqualitynews.com/2019/09/20/lng-lorries-pollute-up-to-five-times-more-than-diesel-suggests-study/ “Lorries that are powered by liquified natural gas (LNG) emit up to five times more nitrogen oxide (NOx) than diesel, according to on-road tests commissioned by the Dutch government.”

Food & food security

The problem with environmental food policies that are blind to food inequality: http://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/2019/09/ending-hunger-doesnt-have-to-cost-the-earth “To end world hunger, we’ll need to dramatically increase food production…right? Not so, says a group of researchers who have found that if we fight hunger by addressing food inequality, we’d only require a tiny 3% increase in global food production. On the other hand, simply producing more food – often seen as the default response to ending hunger – would cause an unnecessary 20% surge in global production, leading to profound environmental damage, the researchers reveal.”

Mitigation efforts will not fully alleviate the increase in water scarcity occurrence probability in wheat-producing areas: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/9/eaau2406 “Our projections show that, without climate change mitigation (representative concentration pathway 8.5), up to 60% of the current wheat-growing area will face simultaneous SWS events by the end of this century, compared to 15% today. Climate change stabilization in line with the Paris Agreement would substantially reduce the negative effects, but they would still double between 2041 and 2070 compared to current conditions.”

And finally….

Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2019 finalists – in pictures: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2019/sep/13/comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-2019-finalists-in-pictures - when in doubt, resort to pictures of animals….

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