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West Midlands Health and Planning group

Background
In 2010, West Midlands PCT's and local authorities came together to prepare a joint public health response to the Local Transport Plan 3. Subsequent work with Centro has demonstrated how this response influenced the final Local Transport Plan and associated implementation plan.

In 2011 a wider group prepared a joint response to the National Planning Policy Framework. It was clear that there was a wide range of healthy urban environment work underway across the West Midlands and extensive local experience and learning. Working with the West Midlands Learning for Public Health Network (LfPHWM) a West Midlands Health and Planning group was established.

The objective of the group is to share learning and experience and coordinate joint work across the West Midlands. With the constraints on people’s time and capacity it was felt that the group needed to take a practical approach to sharing best practice and identify opportunities to undertake joint work across specific areas of practice. The underlying model for the work is the Marmot Review objective E – “To create and develop healthy and sustainable places and communities”.

WMHPG news, information and resources 30 November 2018

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

Contributions of diseases and injuries to widening life expectancy inequalities in England from 2001 to 2016: a population-based analysis of vital registration data: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(18)30214-7/fulltext “Recent trends in life expectancy in England have not only resulted in widened inequalities but the most deprived communities are now seeing no life expectancy gain. These inequalities are driven by a diverse group of diseases that can be effectively prevented and treated. Adoption of the principle of proportionate universalism to prevention and health and social care can postpone deaths into older ages for all communities and reduce life expectancy inequalities.”

The impact of NHS resource allocation policy on health inequalities in England 2001-11: longitudinal ecological study: https://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g3231 “Between 2001 and 2011, the NHS health inequalities policy of increasing the proportion of resources allocated to deprived areas compared with more affluent areas was associated with a reduction in absolute health inequalities from causes amenable to healthcare. Dropping this policy may widen inequalities.”

A vision for population health: Towards a healthier future: https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/vision-population-health “Population health is an approach that aims to improve physical and mental health outcomes, promote wellbeing and reduce health inequalities across an entire population. This report outlines The King’s Fund’s vision for population health, our reasoning for why such a vision is needed and the steps required to achieve it.”

Briefing: The nation's health as an asset: https://www.health.org.uk/sites/default/files/upload/publications/2018/The%20nation%27s%20health%20as%20an%20asset.pdf “Good health has a significant influence on overall wellbeing. It allows people to

participate in family life, the community and the workplace. It has value in its own right and it also creates value. Put simply, health should be viewed as an asset that is worth investing in for our society to prosper.”

Spending cuts breach UK's human rights obligations, says report: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/nov/28/spending-cuts-uk-human-rights-obligations-report “Cuts to public services and benefits that disproportionately affect the least well-off, single parents and disabled people put the government in breach of its human rights obligations, a study for the UK equalities watchdog has found.”

Healthy planning & environment

Planning 2020: Raynsford Review of Planning in England - Final Report: https://www.tcpa.org.uk/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=30864427-d8dc-4b0b-88ed-c6e0f08c0edd “Since 2010 the English planning system has gone

through a period of ‘radical’ reform and deregulation, but the outcomes for communities, the environment and the economy remain uncertain. Local government planning departments are under growing pressure to perform, but many report that they do not have sufficient resources, skills and capacity. Evidence suggests that Local Plans have downgraded or removed policy on affordable homes, climate change and social inclusion. All of this is contributing to an increasing level of concern over the kinds of places that are being delivered. Are we building the kinds of communities that the nation needs and deserves?”

Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking (Unconventional Gas and Oil Extraction): https://concernedhealthny.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Fracking_Science_Compendium_5FINAL.pdf “The Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking (the Compendium) is a fully referenced compilation of the evidence outlining the risks and harms of fracking.”

Chair of England’s nature watchdog says it’s not independent anymore: https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2018/11/22/natural-england-chair-not-independent/ “The frank interview by Natural England's outgoing chair comes as the government considers proposals for a new post-Brexit environmental regulator”

Permitted development rules are exacerbating affordable housing crisis, councils warn: https://www.localgov.co.uk/Permitted-development-rules-are-exacerbating-affordable-housing-crisis-councils-warn/46448 “Government rules to allow developers to convert offices into housing without planning permission has led to communities missing out on 10,000 affordable homes in the past three years, council leaders have warned.”

Housing

WHO Housing and health guidelines: http://www.who.int/sustainable-development/publications/housing-health-guidelines/en/ “The WHO Housing and health guidelines bring together the most recent evidence to provide practical recommendations to reduce the health burden due to unsafe and substandard housing.”

UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence - Cache Knowledge Exchange Fund: Applications Open: http://housingevidence.ac.uk/news/cache-knowledge-exchange-fund-applications-open/ “Funding of between £5,000 and £8,000 is available to undertake short, knowledge exchange projects that will help address challenges facing the UK housing policy and practice communities.”

Design Value At The Neighbourhood Scale: http://housingevidence.ac.uk/publications/design-value-at-the-neighbourhood-scale/ “Synthesising the UK-based academic refereed literature, grey literature and policy documents, this evidence review explores the various ways in which design value has been defined and measured, and promoted, before concluding with a working definition of design value that incorporates social, environmental and economic elements.”

Welsh Government turns to Scotland for a new approach to housing need: https://lichfields.uk/blog/2018/november/23/welsh-government-turns-to-scotland-for-a-new-approach-to-housing-need/ “On 22 November 2018, the Minister for Housing and Regeneration, Rebecca Evans AM, announced that the Welsh Government will adopt a tool developed by the Scottish Government to calculate national and regional estimates of need and will publish these figures by January 2019.”

Council house residents could be banned from smoking in their homes: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/08/council-house-residents-could-banned-smoking-homes/ “Professor John Middleton, president of the Faculty of Public Health, told the Sunday Times: "Housing associations and councils are looking at smoke-free housing buildings. Where children are involved I think there is a real case for it.”

Climate change & sustainability

Global Climate and Health Forum – Call To Action: https://www.globalclimateandhealthforum.org/call-to-action “The Call to Action on Climate and Health outlines a set of ten priority policy actions for health leadership to advance ambitious progress towards global climate and health goals (read the full Call to Action). We are seeking the endorsement of this Call to Action by health systems and organizations around the world at all levels – from local to global. Please join us in mobilizing stronger climate action for health and health action for climate.”

Event - 2018 Global Climate and Health Summit: http://www.climateandhealthalliance.org/events/summit-cop24 “On 8th December, 2018 the World Health Organization, together with the Global Climate and Health Alliance, the European Committee of the Regions, and the Pro Silesia Association, will host a half-day Summit on climate change and health, alongside the UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Katowice.”

Lancet Countdown – tracking progress on health and climate change – 2018 report: http://www.lancetcountdown.org/the-report “IMPACT: Present day changes in heat waves labour capacity, vector-borne disease, and food security provide early warning of compounded and overwhelming impacts expected if temperature continues to rise. DELAY: A lack of progress in reducing emissions and building adaptive capacity threatens both human lives and the viability of the national health systems they depend on, with the potential to disrupt core public health infrastructure and overwhelm health services. OPPORTUNITY: Despite these delays, trends in a number of sectors see the beginning of a low-carbon transition, and it is clear that the nature and scale of the response to climate change will be the determining factor in shaping the health of nations for centuries to come.”

Extreme weather reveals changing climate: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/2018/climate-extremes-report-supplement “A new report by the Met Office, published today, reveals further details about changes in the UK’s climate since the 1960s. By documenting temperature and rainfall climate extremes, including periods of warmth, cold and spells of wet or dry weather, the report reveals changes in some types of extreme weather.”

Potential shift from a carbon sink to a source in Amazonian peatlands under a changing climate: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/11/13/1801317115 “We find that warming accelerates peat carbon loss, while increasing precipitation slightly enhances peat carbon accumulation at millennial time scales. With these impacts, our simulations suggest that the basin might lose up to 0.4 PgC by AD 2100, with the largest loss from palm swamp. If this loss rate is true for all Amazonia peatlands, we project that these carbon-dense peatlands may switch from a current carbon sink into a future source in this century.”

Warm ice in Mount Everest’s glaciers makes them more sensitive to climate change – new research: https://theconversation.com/warm-ice-in-mount-everests-glaciers-makes-them-more-sensitive-to-climate-change-new-research-107325 “The main finding from this research was that the ice was warmer than we expected, with the coldest ice measuring –3.3°C. As the ice is formed on the flanks of Mount Everest, where the mean annual air temperature is –13°C at 7,000 metres elevation, we might have expected the ice to be at this temperature. Our borehole data reveal that this was not the case. Not only was the ice not this cold in our boreholes, but ice temperatures also increased towards the glacier terminus.”

UNEP: Limiting warming to 1.5C requires ‘fivefold’ increase in climate commitments: https://www.carbonbrief.org/unep-limiting-warming-to-1-5c-requires-fivefold-increase-in-climate-commitments “The world is far from being on track to meet its climate targets unless emission-reduction commitments are dramatically expanded, according to the latest UN Environment Programme (UNEP) emissions gap report.”

First sun-dimming experiment will test a way to cool Earth: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07533-4 “Researchers plan to spray sunlight-reflecting particles into the stratosphere, an approach that could ultimately be used to quickly lower the planet’s temperature.”

How to identify people open to evidence about climate change: https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2018/11/focus-on-those-with-an-open-mind/ “Sure, some people are itching for a fight, but myriad others have genuine questions, hold only tentative beliefs, or are in-sync with the mainstream science but not inclined to do anything about it. Gauging someone else’s underlying position can help focus one’s attention on whether – and how – to engage.”

Matthew and Sarah Elliott: How a UK Power Couple Links US Libertarians and Fossil Fuel Lobbyists to Brexit: https://www.desmog.co.uk/2018/11/18/matthew-sarah-elliott-uk-power-couple-linking-us-libertarians-and-fossil-fuel-lobbyists-brexit “A close look at the transatlantic connections of the London-based groups pushing for the most deregulated form of Brexit reveals strong ties to major US libertarian influencers. These include fossil fuel magnates the Koch brothers — known for funding climate science denial around the world — and the man who bankrolled Donald Trump’s campaign, Robert Mercer.”

Active travel & transport

Essential Evidence on a Page – No. 177: Knowledge Translation for evidence-informed road safety: https://travelwest.info/project/ee-no-177-knowledge-translation-for-evidence-informed-road-safety?preview_id=28290 “Top line: There are significant future road safety gains to be made by more effective use of Knowledge Translation & Exchange (KTE) through improved policy and practice.”

Cycling and Walking for Individual and Population Health Benefits: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/757756/Cycling_and_walking_for_individual_and_population_health_benefits.pdf “In 2018, Government ministers asked for a clearer summary of the population health benefits and impacts that are specific to walking and cycling. This was to strengthen the national narrative on the benefits of walking and cycling, and to make the health impact case more accessible to local and national system partners. This review has been produced in response.”

Transport spending in London still twice northern England's: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/nov/20/transport-spending-in-london-still-twice-northern-englands “...But an analysis of government figures released on Tuesday shows that in the four and a half years since the northern powerhouse agenda was set by the then chancellor, George Osborne, transport spending per person has gone up twice as much in London as in the north of England.”

Little evidence 20mph speed limit reduces casualties, says report: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/23/little-evidence-20mph-speed-limit-cuts-casualties-says-uk-report “There is insufficient evidence that a 20mph speed limit has led to a significant reduction in the number of crashes and casualties in UK residential areas, a government-commissioned study has found.”

Air quality & pollution

Guidance -Health matters: air pollution: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-matters-air-pollution/health-matters-air-pollution “This edition of Health matters focuses on the health impacts that air pollution can have across a person’s lifetime, the associated health inequalities, and the current and future outlook both in terms of new cases of disease and NHS and social care costs attributable to air pollution. It includes calls to action on reducing air pollution and exposure for the health service and healthcare professionals, local government, and the public.”

Study uncovers link between air pollution and intellectual disabilities in children: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-11/w-sul112018.php “British children with intellectual disabilities are more likely than their peers to live in areas with high outdoor air pollution, according to a new Journal of Intellectual Disability Research study funded by Public Health England. The findings come from an analysis of data extracted from the UK's Millennium Cohort Study, a nationally representative sample of more than 18,000 UK children born in 2000 to 2002.”

Health Bodies Call For Biggest Changes To Air Quality Legislation In Over 60 Years: http://www.ukhealthalliance.org/health-bodies-call-biggest-changes-air-quality-legislation-60-years/ “The UK Health Alliance on Climate Change (UKHACC) – the body of UK health professionals advocating for action on climate change to protect public health – is calling on government to implement the biggest shake up in air quality legislation since the middle of the last century.”

Health impacts and health costs of diesel emissions in the EU: https://epha.org/ce-delft-health-impacts-costs-diesel-emissions-eu/ “While the impact of diesel emissions on the environment is well known, there is little attention paid to its health impacts. This CE Delft study explores costs, implications and solutions.”

Plastic is now part of our planet’s fabric – a scientist and archaeologist discuss what happens next: https://theconversation.com/plastic-is-now-part-of-our-planets-fabric-a-scientist-and-archaeologist-discuss-what-happens-next-106019 “This is an article from Head to Head, a series in which academics from different disciplines chew over current debates.” – an archaeologist and an environmental scientist discuss plastic pollution.

Tyres and microplastics: time to reinvent the wheel? https://friendsoftheearth.uk/plastics/tyres-and-microplastics-time-reinvent-wheel “Vehicle tyres are probably the biggest source of plastic pollution in our rivers and seas according to a new report by research group Eunomia.”

Vehicle tyres and synthetic clothes are two of the leading causes of household microplastic pollution: https://meta.eeb.org/2018/11/22/tyres-and-clothes-are-major-causese-of-microplastic-pollution-report-finds/ “The UK study estimated that just four main sources delivered between 9,000 and 32,000 tonnes of microplastics into waterways every year. The two worst causes were tyre abrasion and the washing of synthetic clothes, such as fleeces.”

Food & food security

Opportunities for future research and innovation on food and nutrition security and agriculture: The InterAcademy Partnership's global perspective: http://www.interacademies.org/48898/Opportunities-for-future-research-and-innovation-on-food-and-nutrition-security-and-agriculture-The-InterAcademy-Partnerships-global-perspective “Global food systems are failing humanity and speeding up climate change: New report from 130 national academies issues wake-up call to leaders on eve of COP24. The current approach to food, nutrition, agriculture, and the environment is unsustainable and must change. There is no time to waste, say the 130 national academies of science and medicine across Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe that compose the InterAcademy Partnership.”

Connecting food systems for co-benefits: How can food systems combine diet-related health with environmental and economic policy goals? https://www.eu2018.at/calendar-events/political-events/BMASGK-2018-11-22-EU-Food-Systems.html?platform=hootsuite (file link at the bottom of the conference web page) “Healthy and sustainable food systems are part of the solution to reduce diet-related diseases and environmental burdens. Healthy and sustainable food systems will not only contribute towards better health of European citizens but will also bring benefits for our natural environments, for our economy and will improve social wellbeing of European citizens. A systems’ approach is urgently needed.”

Mayor confirms ban on junk food advertising on London transport network: https://www.sustainweb.org/news/nov18_tfl_junk_ad_ban/ “Junk food advertising will be banned on the entire Transport for London (TfL) network from 25 February under groundbreaking measures to help tackle child obesity, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, confirmed today.”

The Real Junk Food Project: https://therealjunkfoodproject.org/ “We are a global movement aiming to abolish surplus food through a variety of Pay As You Feel concepts. We work with international and local partners to intercept food destined for landfill and redistribute it through a network of Pay As You Feel Sharehouses, cafes and school partnerships.”

WMHPG news, information and resources 16 November 2018

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

Much coverage, comment and discussion of a speech by the Secretary of State – Matt Hancock – who is promoting a move towards prevention in healthcare. The general consensus (if there is one…) is that the focus on prevention is welcome, but it must move away from a focus on individual behaviour and lifestyle choices to address the social determinants of health. Also, many commentators discussed how a move to prevention may not be supported by recent cuts to local authority funding, especially the public health grant.

The depths of the cuts: the uneven geography of local government austerity: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/the-uneven-geography-of-austerity/ “Drawing on spatial analysis of local authority budgets, Mia Gray and Anna Barford highlight the uneven impacts of UK austerity. They argue that it has actively reshaped the relationship between central and local government, shrinking the capacity of the local state, increasing inequality between local governments, and exacerbating territorial injustice.”

Sustainable Development Goals meant to transform the world for persons with disabilities: UN's Disability Department of Economic and Social Affairs: http://www.merinews.com/article/sustainable-development-goals-meant-to-transform-the-world-for-persons-with-disabilities-uns-disability-department-of-economic-and-social-affairs/15932582.shtml “The agency has issued an infographic that shows where disability is explicitly included in the 17 SDGs of the United Nations that are going to 'transform the world for persons with disabilities' and promised 'the world in 2030, fully inclusive of persons with disabilities'.”

Institute of Civil Engineers: uniting engineering for sustainable development:  https://www.energydigital.com/sustainability/institute-civil-engineers-uniting-engineering-sustainable-development “Following October’s Global Engineering Congress 2018, Professor Lord Robert Mair, President of ICE, discusses what engineering can do to support energy efficiency, combat climate change and align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

A Fair, Supportive Society: Summary Report: http://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/resources-reports/a-fair-supportive-society-summary-report “The IHE report A Fair, Supportive Society highlights that some of the most vulnerable people in society – those with learning disabilities – will die 15-20 years sooner on average than the general population – that’s 1,200 people every year.”

Healthy planning & environment

WWF Report Reveals Staggering Extent of Human Impact on Planet: https://www.worldwildlife.org/press-releases/wwf-report-reveals-staggering-extent-of-human-impact-on-planet “Populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians have, on average, declined in size by 60 percent in just over 40 years. The biggest drivers of current biodiversity loss are overexploitation and agriculture, both linked to continually increasing human consumption.”

Britain's Cuadrilla extracts first shale gas at English fracking site: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-fracking/britains-cuadrilla-extracts-first-shale-gas-at-english-fracking-site-idUSKCN1N71OF “Cuadrilla extracted its first shale gas from its site in northwest England, it said on Friday, after it began fracking operations there just over two weeks ago.“

Conservatives line up to criticise government's ‘downright bonkers’ fracking plans: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/fracking-conservatives-shale-gas-planning-mark-menzies-zac-goldsmith-a8613276.html “The government's plans to fast-track new fracking projects have been described as “ludicrous” and “downright bonkers”, by their own MPs. Politicians from all parties lined up at a parliamentary debate to criticise a proposal to reclassify exploratory fracking wells as permitted developments, under rules originally introduced to speed up projects like small property extensions.”

Government’s ‘deeply worrying’ post-Brexit environment plans fail to replace one-third of EU laws, MPs warn: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-latest-environment-air-pollution-wildlife-caroline-lucas-mary-creagh-eu-laws-a8619151.html “Committee says there is still uncertainty about air, water and chemical laws, as well as new body to ensure they are enforced”

Stop biodiversity loss or we could face our own extinction, warns UN: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/03/stop-biodiversity-loss-or-we-could-face-our-own-extinction-warns-un “The world has two years to secure a deal for nature to halt a ‘silent killer’ as dangerous as climate change, says biodiversity chief. The world must thrash out a new deal for nature in the next two years or humanity could be the first species to document our own extinction, warns the United Nation’s biodiversity chief.”

Calls For ‘Paris Agreement’ For Nature At Major Environmental Conference: https://meta.eeb.org/2018/11/07/calls-for-paris-agreement-for-nature-at-major-environmental-conference/ “A ‘global deal for nature’ comparable to the Paris climate agreement will be crucial to halt and reverse dangerous levels of habitat and wildlife loss around the globe. That was just one of the calls from a conference organised by the European Environmental Bureau this week to discuss the future of Europe ahead of next May’s European elections.”

Eu’s Financial Watchdog Calls Out Commission’s Toothless ‘Green’ Farming Plan: https://meta.eeb.org/2018/11/07/eus-financial-watchdog-calls-out-commissions-toothless-green-farming-plan/ “Protections for the climate and the environment will not increase under the European Commission’s plans for agricultural policy reform. That’s the damming assessment published today by the EU’s top financial watchdog.”

Bee diversity and richness decline as anthropogenic activity increases, confirm scientists: https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-11/pp-bda110118.php “Changes in land use negatively affect bee species richness and diversity, and cause major shifts in species composition, reports a recent study of native wild bees, conducted at the Sierra de Quila Flora and Fauna Protection Area and its influence zone in Mexico.”

Council chiefs blast Treasury decision to delay gambling reform: https://www.localgov.co.uk/Council-chiefs-blast-Treasury-decision-to-delay-gambling-reform-/46311 “Local government leaders have said the Government’s decision to delay implementing a planned reduction in the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals is ‘extremely concerning.’”

Housing

Tenants in rented homes to benefit from tighter health and safety standards: https://www.pbctoday.co.uk/news/health-safety-news/rented-homes-tenants-tighter-health-safety/48503/ “Housing Minister, Heather Wheeler MP has announced plans to update health and safety standards for rented homes. The plan will improve the quality of living for those currently living in unsatisfactory conditions in rented homes.”

Housing & health. Starter kit: https://gregfellpublichealth.wordpress.com/2018/02/10/housing-health-starter-kit/ “I still know relatively little about the housing sector. I do know it’s a huge area for health improvement and increasing efficiency in the health and social care sector. This blog builds on earlier one and sets out a few thoughts. I’d welcome input of those who know what they’re doing in this space to improve”

Sprinklers suppress 12 social housing fires (£wall): https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/news/sprinklers-suppress-12-social-housing-fires-58940

Climate change & sustainability

Wind Farms Can Act Like Apex Predators in Ecosystems, Study Finds: https://e360.yale.edu/digest/wind-farms-can-act-like-apex-predators-in-ecosystems-study-finds “The impact of wind farms on flying species has been well documented, with turbines reducing the number of birds and bats in an area and disrupting migration routes. But a new study finds that the impacts of turbines are more far-reaching than previously thought, acting almost like a new apex predator in an ecosystem.” – primary report here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-018-0707-z

Wind turbines aren’t quite ‘apex predators’, but the truth is far more interesting: https://theconversation.com/wind-turbines-arent-quite-apex-predators-but-the-truth-is-far-more-interesting-106480 “While it certainly is true that collision with turbines can cause direct mortality, what the new research actually shows is far more interesting and complex than this. The result of many years of data collection, the work shows that through the (direct or indirect) effects on birds of prey, wind turbines can have broader and more subtle effects on the wider ecosystem – including on some unexpected species.”

Co-use of existing scenario sets to extend and quantify the shared socioeconomic pathways: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-018-2318-8 “We propose here a new method to extend the SSPs that makes use of existing scenario studies, the (re)use of which has been underestimated so far. Our approach lies in a systematic matching of multiple scenario sets that facilitates enrichment of the global SSPs with regional and sectoral information, in terms of both storylines and quantitative projections.”

Scientists Develop Liquid Fuel That Can Store The Sun's Energy For Up to 18 Years: https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-develop-liquid-that-sucks-up-sun-s-energy “Scientists in Sweden have developed a specialised fluid, called a solar thermal fuel, that can store energy from the sun for well over a decade. "A solar thermal fuel is like a rechargeable battery, but instead of electricity, you put sunlight in and get heat out, triggered on demand," Jeffrey Grossman, an engineer works with these materials at MIT explained to NBC News. The fluid is actually a molecule in liquid form that scientists from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden have been working on improving for over a year.”

Britain's renewable electricity capacity overtakes fossil fuels – report: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-electricity-renewables/britains-renewable-electricity-capacity-overtakes-fossil-fuels-report-idUKKCN1NB1E3 “Britain’s renewable electricity capacity has overtaken that of fossil fuel generators such as gas and coal for the first time, a report said on Tuesday. Britain aims to increase its renewable output and close its coal-fired power plants by 2025 as part of efforts to meet climate targets.” – data available here: Energy Trends: renewables: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/energy-trends-section-6-renewables

Heat seems to make us stupider: https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2018/10/heat-seems-to-make-us-stupider/ “A recent study linked hotter indoor temperatures to a decline in cognitive function.”

UK heatwaves lasting twice as long as 50 years ago – Met Office: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/nov/02/uk-heatwaves-lasting-twice-as-long-as-50-years-ago-met-office “Heatwaves in the UK are lasting twice as long as they did 50 years ago, ice days are disappearing and tropical nights are starting to occur as far north as Middlesbrough, according to a Met Office report. The first study of climate extremes in the UK by the government agency shows the longer-term trend behind this summer’s prolonged spell of high temperatures and the weakening of winter frosts.”

The Carbon Brief Quiz 2018: https://www.carbonbrief.org/the-carbon-brief-quiz-2018 “The full quiz can be viewed below, but here’s an interactive taster of 10 questions. See how you get on.”

The Carbon Cycle: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/CarbonCycle “Carbon is the backbone of life on Earth. We are made of carbon, we eat carbon, and our civilizations—our economies, our homes, our means of transport—are built on carbon. We need carbon, but that need is also entwined with one of the most serious problems facing us today: global climate change.”

Energy cost of 'mining' bitcoin more than twice that of copper or gold: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/nov/05/energy-cost-of-mining-bitcoin-more-than-twice-that-of-copper-or-gold “New research reveals that cryptocurrencies require far more electricity per-dollar than it takes to mine most real metals”

Active travel & transport

Official Statistics: Wider Determinants of Health: November 2018 update commentary: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wider-determinants-of-health-november-2018-update/wider-determinants-of-health-november-2018-update-commentary “We have added 2 new indicators to the natural and built environment domain: percentage of adults cycling for travel at least 3 days per week, and percentage of adults walking for travel at least 3 days per week. Creating an environment where people actively choose to walk and cycle as part of everyday life can have a significant impact on public health and may reduce inequalities in health.”

Dockless bikes: Green revolution or public 'parasite'? http://www.thisisplace.org/i/?id=2a348bdc-57b4-43b3-9805-fbfa3a2f4f6e “While fans say they help free city centres from traffic and promote cycling, critics argue they have taken advantage of a lack of regulations and are riding roughshod over local communities to act as "parasites" on public space. "Urban space and public space is for the public – it's for us all to use. It's not for a private company to make profit off," said Morten Kabell of Danish firm Copenhagenize, which specialises in bike-focused urban planning.”

Air quality & pollution

Longitudinal associations of in utero and early life near-roadway air pollution with trajectories of childhood body mass index: https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12940-018-0409-7 “Higher exposure to early life NRAP increased the rate of change of childhood BMI and resulted in a higher attained BMI at age 10 years that were independent of later childhood exposures. These findings suggest that elevated early life NRAP (near-roadway air pollution) exposures contribute to increased obesity risk in children.”

Rogue chemicals threaten positive prognosis for ozone hole: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07269-1?utm_source=briefing-dy&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=briefing&utm_content=20181105 “Researchers hunt for the source of a mysterious rise in ozone-depleting chemicals in Earth’s atmosphere.”

  • More Evidence Points to China as Source of Ozone-Depleting Gas: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/03/climate/china-ozone-cfcs.html “An environmental group says it has new evidence showing that China is behind the resurgence of a banned industrial gas that not only destroys the planet’s protective ozone layer but also contributes to global warming.“

Air pollution linked to autism: study: https://phys.org/news/2018-11-air-pollution-linked-autism.html “The study of children in Shanghai, from birth to three years, found that exposure to fine particles (PM2.5) from vehicle exhausts, industrial emissions and other sources of outdoor pollution increased the risk of developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by up to 78%. The study included 124 ASD children and 1240 healthy children (as control) in stages over a nine-year period, examining the association between air pollution and ASD.

Budget ‘a missed opportunity’ on air quality: https://www.airqualitynews.com/2018/10/30/budget-a-missed-opportunity-on-air-quality/ “A freeze on fuel duty and a continued lack of clarity on red diesel have seen the budget labelled a ‘missed opportunity’ in supporting efforts to improve air quality.”

Londoners more worried about air pollution than rest of UK, survey claims: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/london-air-pollution-quality-uk-environment-survey-european-agency-a8614116.html “The survey, of 2,000 adults by Hyundai, found the effect air pollution is having on children is the biggest concern. Climate change, the effect of poor air quality on our personal health, and the damage it causes to the environment are among the other worries of those polled.”

Food & food security

Population impact of weight management services: https://gregfellpublichealth.wordpress.com/2018/10/30/population-impact-of-weight-management-services/amp/ “Here I am not saying weight management isn’t important, I’m going to suggest the population impact is limited. Further investment in weight management is welcome. But not if it as at the expense of more valuable things.”

Health on the High Street: Running on Empty 2018: https://www.rsph.org.uk/our-work/campaigns/health-on-the-high-street/2018.html “Our 2018 campaign updates and expands on the original high street analysis, reflecting the ever-changing face of Britain’s retail environment. The campaign offers practical guidance for local authorities and members of the public who want to make their high streets more health-promoting”

Hunger stalks Asia's booming cities - U.N. agencies: http://www.thisisplace.org/i/?id=d1304b2b-b373-4a76-8cbc-913ed4a21c49 “Hundreds of millions of children and adults in Asia's rapidly expanding cities are undernourished, and will remain so without "inclusive, sustainable and nutrition-sensitive" urban planning, United Nations officials said on Friday.”

Meat tax: why taxing sausages and bacon could save hundreds of thousands of lives every year: https://theconversation.com/meat-tax-why-taxing-sausages-and-bacon-could-save-hundreds-of-thousands-of-lives-every-year-106399 “...Given the negative health impacts, there have been calls for certain types of meat to be regulated similar to other carcinogens – such as tobacco or asbestos – or like other foods of public health concern – such as sugary drinks.”

WMHPG news, information and resources 9 November 2018

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

Much coverage, comment and discussion of a speech by the Secretary of State – Matt Hancock – who is promoting a move towards prevention in healthcare. The general consensus (if there is one…) is that the focus on prevention is welcome, but it must move away from a focus on individual behaviour and lifestyle choices to address the social determinants of health. Also, many commentators discussed how a move to prevention may not be supported by recent cuts to local authority funding, especially the public health grant.

The depths of the cuts: the uneven geography of local government austerity: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/the-uneven-geography-of-austerity/ “Drawing on spatial analysis of local authority budgets, Mia Gray and Anna Barford highlight the uneven impacts of UK austerity. They argue that it has actively reshaped the relationship between central and local government, shrinking the capacity of the local state, increasing inequality between local governments, and exacerbating territorial injustice.”

Sustainable Development Goals meant to transform the world for persons with disabilities: UN's Disability Department of Economic and Social Affairs: http://www.merinews.com/article/sustainable-development-goals-meant-to-transform-the-world-for-persons-with-disabilities-uns-disability-department-of-economic-and-social-affairs/15932582.shtml “The agency has issued an infographic that shows where disability is explicitly included in the 17 SDGs of the United Nations that are going to 'transform the world for persons with disabilities' and promised 'the world in 2030, fully inclusive of persons with disabilities'.”

Institute of Civil Engineers: uniting engineering for sustainable development:  https://www.energydigital.com/sustainability/institute-civil-engineers-uniting-engineering-sustainable-development “Following October’s Global Engineering Congress 2018, Professor Lord Robert Mair, President of ICE, discusses what engineering can do to support energy efficiency, combat climate change and align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

A Fair, Supportive Society: Summary Report: http://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/resources-reports/a-fair-supportive-society-summary-report “The IHE report A Fair, Supportive Society highlights that some of the most vulnerable people in society – those with learning disabilities – will die 15-20 years sooner on average than the general population – that’s 1,200 people every year.”

Healthy planning & environment

WWF Report Reveals Staggering Extent of Human Impact on Planet: https://www.worldwildlife.org/press-releases/wwf-report-reveals-staggering-extent-of-human-impact-on-planet “Populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians have, on average, declined in size by 60 percent in just over 40 years. The biggest drivers of current biodiversity loss are overexploitation and agriculture, both linked to continually increasing human consumption.”

Britain's Cuadrilla extracts first shale gas at English fracking site: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-fracking/britains-cuadrilla-extracts-first-shale-gas-at-english-fracking-site-idUSKCN1N71OF “Cuadrilla extracted its first shale gas from its site in northwest England, it said on Friday, after it began fracking operations there just over two weeks ago.“

Conservatives line up to criticise government's ‘downright bonkers’ fracking plans: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/fracking-conservatives-shale-gas-planning-mark-menzies-zac-goldsmith-a8613276.html “The government's plans to fast-track new fracking projects have been described as “ludicrous” and “downright bonkers”, by their own MPs. Politicians from all parties lined up at a parliamentary debate to criticise a proposal to reclassify exploratory fracking wells as permitted developments, under rules originally introduced to speed up projects like small property extensions.”

Government’s ‘deeply worrying’ post-Brexit environment plans fail to replace one-third of EU laws, MPs warn: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-latest-environment-air-pollution-wildlife-caroline-lucas-mary-creagh-eu-laws-a8619151.html “Committee says there is still uncertainty about air, water and chemical laws, as well as new body to ensure they are enforced”

Stop biodiversity loss or we could face our own extinction, warns UN: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/03/stop-biodiversity-loss-or-we-could-face-our-own-extinction-warns-un “The world has two years to secure a deal for nature to halt a ‘silent killer’ as dangerous as climate change, says biodiversity chief. The world must thrash out a new deal for nature in the next two years or humanity could be the first species to document our own extinction, warns the United Nation’s biodiversity chief.”

Calls For ‘Paris Agreement’ For Nature At Major Environmental Conference: https://meta.eeb.org/2018/11/07/calls-for-paris-agreement-for-nature-at-major-environmental-conference/ “A ‘global deal for nature’ comparable to the Paris climate agreement will be crucial to halt and reverse dangerous levels of habitat and wildlife loss around the globe. That was just one of the calls from a conference organised by the European Environmental Bureau this week to discuss the future of Europe ahead of next May’s European elections.”

Eu’s Financial Watchdog Calls Out Commission’s Toothless ‘Green’ Farming Plan: https://meta.eeb.org/2018/11/07/eus-financial-watchdog-calls-out-commissions-toothless-green-farming-plan/ “Protections for the climate and the environment will not increase under the European Commission’s plans for agricultural policy reform. That’s the damming assessment published today by the EU’s top financial watchdog.”

Bee diversity and richness decline as anthropogenic activity increases, confirm scientists: https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-11/pp-bda110118.php “Changes in land use negatively affect bee species richness and diversity, and cause major shifts in species composition, reports a recent study of native wild bees, conducted at the Sierra de Quila Flora and Fauna Protection Area and its influence zone in Mexico.”

Council chiefs blast Treasury decision to delay gambling reform: https://www.localgov.co.uk/Council-chiefs-blast-Treasury-decision-to-delay-gambling-reform-/46311 “Local government leaders have said the Government’s decision to delay implementing a planned reduction in the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals is ‘extremely concerning.’”

Housing

Tenants in rented homes to benefit from tighter health and safety standards: https://www.pbctoday.co.uk/news/health-safety-news/rented-homes-tenants-tighter-health-safety/48503/ “Housing Minister, Heather Wheeler MP has announced plans to update health and safety standards for rented homes. The plan will improve the quality of living for those currently living in unsatisfactory conditions in rented homes.”

Housing & health. Starter kit: https://gregfellpublichealth.wordpress.com/2018/02/10/housing-health-starter-kit/ “I still know relatively little about the housing sector. I do know it’s a huge area for health improvement and increasing efficiency in the health and social care sector. This blog builds on earlier one and sets out a few thoughts. I’d welcome input of those who know what they’re doing in this space to improve”

Sprinklers suppress 12 social housing fires (£wall): https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/news/sprinklers-suppress-12-social-housing-fires-58940

Climate change & sustainability

Wind Farms Can Act Like Apex Predators in Ecosystems, Study Finds: https://e360.yale.edu/digest/wind-farms-can-act-like-apex-predators-in-ecosystems-study-finds “The impact of wind farms on flying species has been well documented, with turbines reducing the number of birds and bats in an area and disrupting migration routes. But a new study finds that the impacts of turbines are more far-reaching than previously thought, acting almost like a new apex predator in an ecosystem.” – primary report here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-018-0707-z

Wind turbines aren’t quite ‘apex predators’, but the truth is far more interesting: https://theconversation.com/wind-turbines-arent-quite-apex-predators-but-the-truth-is-far-more-interesting-106480 “While it certainly is true that collision with turbines can cause direct mortality, what the new research actually shows is far more interesting and complex than this. The result of many years of data collection, the work shows that through the (direct or indirect) effects on birds of prey, wind turbines can have broader and more subtle effects on the wider ecosystem – including on some unexpected species.”

Co-use of existing scenario sets to extend and quantify the shared socioeconomic pathways: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-018-2318-8 “We propose here a new method to extend the SSPs that makes use of existing scenario studies, the (re)use of which has been underestimated so far. Our approach lies in a systematic matching of multiple scenario sets that facilitates enrichment of the global SSPs with regional and sectoral information, in terms of both storylines and quantitative projections.”

Scientists Develop Liquid Fuel That Can Store The Sun's Energy For Up to 18 Years: https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-develop-liquid-that-sucks-up-sun-s-energy “Scientists in Sweden have developed a specialised fluid, called a solar thermal fuel, that can store energy from the sun for well over a decade. "A solar thermal fuel is like a rechargeable battery, but instead of electricity, you put sunlight in and get heat out, triggered on demand," Jeffrey Grossman, an engineer works with these materials at MIT explained to NBC News. The fluid is actually a molecule in liquid form that scientists from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden have been working on improving for over a year.”

Britain's renewable electricity capacity overtakes fossil fuels – report: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-electricity-renewables/britains-renewable-electricity-capacity-overtakes-fossil-fuels-report-idUKKCN1NB1E3 “Britain’s renewable electricity capacity has overtaken that of fossil fuel generators such as gas and coal for the first time, a report said on Tuesday. Britain aims to increase its renewable output and close its coal-fired power plants by 2025 as part of efforts to meet climate targets.” – data available here: Energy Trends: renewables: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/energy-trends-section-6-renewables

Heat seems to make us stupider: https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2018/10/heat-seems-to-make-us-stupider/ “A recent study linked hotter indoor temperatures to a decline in cognitive function.”

UK heatwaves lasting twice as long as 50 years ago – Met Office: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/nov/02/uk-heatwaves-lasting-twice-as-long-as-50-years-ago-met-office “Heatwaves in the UK are lasting twice as long as they did 50 years ago, ice days are disappearing and tropical nights are starting to occur as far north as Middlesbrough, according to a Met Office report. The first study of climate extremes in the UK by the government agency shows the longer-term trend behind this summer’s prolonged spell of high temperatures and the weakening of winter frosts.”

The Carbon Brief Quiz 2018: https://www.carbonbrief.org/the-carbon-brief-quiz-2018 “The full quiz can be viewed below, but here’s an interactive taster of 10 questions. See how you get on.”

The Carbon Cycle: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/CarbonCycle “Carbon is the backbone of life on Earth. We are made of carbon, we eat carbon, and our civilizations—our economies, our homes, our means of transport—are built on carbon. We need carbon, but that need is also entwined with one of the most serious problems facing us today: global climate change.”

Energy cost of 'mining' bitcoin more than twice that of copper or gold: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/nov/05/energy-cost-of-mining-bitcoin-more-than-twice-that-of-copper-or-gold “New research reveals that cryptocurrencies require far more electricity per-dollar than it takes to mine most real metals”

Active travel & transport

Official Statistics: Wider Determinants of Health: November 2018 update commentary: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wider-determinants-of-health-november-2018-update/wider-determinants-of-health-november-2018-update-commentary “We have added 2 new indicators to the natural and built environment domain: percentage of adults cycling for travel at least 3 days per week, and percentage of adults walking for travel at least 3 days per week. Creating an environment where people actively choose to walk and cycle as part of everyday life can have a significant impact on public health and may reduce inequalities in health.”

Dockless bikes: Green revolution or public 'parasite'? http://www.thisisplace.org/i/?id=2a348bdc-57b4-43b3-9805-fbfa3a2f4f6e “While fans say they help free city centres from traffic and promote cycling, critics argue they have taken advantage of a lack of regulations and are riding roughshod over local communities to act as "parasites" on public space. "Urban space and public space is for the public – it's for us all to use. It's not for a private company to make profit off," said Morten Kabell of Danish firm Copenhagenize, which specialises in bike-focused urban planning.”

Air quality & pollution

Longitudinal associations of in utero and early life near-roadway air pollution with trajectories of childhood body mass index: https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12940-018-0409-7 “Higher exposure to early life NRAP increased the rate of change of childhood BMI and resulted in a higher attained BMI at age 10 years that were independent of later childhood exposures. These findings suggest that elevated early life NRAP (near-roadway air pollution) exposures contribute to increased obesity risk in children.”

Rogue chemicals threaten positive prognosis for ozone hole: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-07269-1?utm_source=briefing-dy&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=briefing&utm_content=20181105 “Researchers hunt for the source of a mysterious rise in ozone-depleting chemicals in Earth’s atmosphere.”

  • More Evidence Points to China as Source of Ozone-Depleting Gas: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/03/climate/china-ozone-cfcs.html “An environmental group says it has new evidence showing that China is behind the resurgence of a banned industrial gas that not only destroys the planet’s protective ozone layer but also contributes to global warming.“

Air pollution linked to autism: study: https://phys.org/news/2018-11-air-pollution-linked-autism.html “The study of children in Shanghai, from birth to three years, found that exposure to fine particles (PM2.5) from vehicle exhausts, industrial emissions and other sources of outdoor pollution increased the risk of developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by up to 78%. The study included 124 ASD children and 1240 healthy children (as control) in stages over a nine-year period, examining the association between air pollution and ASD.

Budget ‘a missed opportunity’ on air quality: https://www.airqualitynews.com/2018/10/30/budget-a-missed-opportunity-on-air-quality/ “A freeze on fuel duty and a continued lack of clarity on red diesel have seen the budget labelled a ‘missed opportunity’ in supporting efforts to improve air quality.”

Londoners more worried about air pollution than rest of UK, survey claims: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/london-air-pollution-quality-uk-environment-survey-european-agency-a8614116.html “The survey, of 2,000 adults by Hyundai, found the effect air pollution is having on children is the biggest concern. Climate change, the effect of poor air quality on our personal health, and the damage it causes to the environment are among the other worries of those polled.”

Food & food security

Population impact of weight management services: https://gregfellpublichealth.wordpress.com/2018/10/30/population-impact-of-weight-management-services/amp/ “Here I am not saying weight management isn’t important, I’m going to suggest the population impact is limited. Further investment in weight management is welcome. But not if it as at the expense of more valuable things.”

Health on the High Street: Running on Empty 2018: https://www.rsph.org.uk/our-work/campaigns/health-on-the-high-street/2018.html “Our 2018 campaign updates and expands on the original high street analysis, reflecting the ever-changing face of Britain’s retail environment. The campaign offers practical guidance for local authorities and members of the public who want to make their high streets more health-promoting”

Hunger stalks Asia's booming cities - U.N. agencies: http://www.thisisplace.org/i/?id=d1304b2b-b373-4a76-8cbc-913ed4a21c49 “Hundreds of millions of children and adults in Asia's rapidly expanding cities are undernourished, and will remain so without "inclusive, sustainable and nutrition-sensitive" urban planning, United Nations officials said on Friday.”

Meat tax: why taxing sausages and bacon could save hundreds of thousands of lives every year: https://theconversation.com/meat-tax-why-taxing-sausages-and-bacon-could-save-hundreds-of-thousands-of-lives-every-year-106399 “...Given the negative health impacts, there have been calls for certain types of meat to be regulated similar to other carcinogens – such as tobacco or asbestos – or like other foods of public health concern – such as sugary drinks.”

WMHPG news, information and resources 19 October 2018

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

The Lancet Commission on global mental health and sustainable development: https://www.thelancet.com/commissions/global-mental-health “The Commission proposes that the global mental agenda should be expanded from a focus on reducing the treatment gap to improving the mental health of whole populations and reducing the global burden of mental disorders by addressing gaps in prevention and quality of care. The Commission outlines a blueprint for action to promote mental wellbeing, prevent mental health problems, and enable recovery from mental disorders.”

A water walk in New York City: https://www.globalsistersreport.org/column/environment-equality/water-walk-new-york-city-55501 “One child under five dies every two minutes from diarrhea caused by dirty water, poor sanitation and bad hygiene — yet based on current progress, the world will fail to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 6 — To bring safe water and toilets to everyone, everywhere by 2030. Goal 6 of the 2030 agenda is dedicated to action to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”

Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 Years On: https://www.health.org.uk/news/health-equity-england-marmot-review-10-years “The Health Foundation and the Institute of Health Equity (IHE) are working on an analysis of health inequalities in England and update of the Marmot Review to be published in February 2020, on the 10-year anniversary of the Marmot Review. The new report, Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 Years on, will examine progress in addressing health inequalities in England and propose recommendations for future action.”

Get Rich Or Die Trying: The Case For A New Politics Of Time: https://neweconomics.org/2018/10/get-rich-or-die-trying-the-case-for-a-new-politics-of-time “Earlier this month the Green Party announced it would make free time a key measure of UK wellbeing – replacing GDP as a barometer of economic progress. Could such an approach change how we understand the economy?”

Has Britain’s long overdue pay recovery finally arrived? https://www.resolutionfoundation.org/media/blog/has-britains-long-overdue-pay-recovery-finally-arrived/ “Since 2009 we’ve grown quite tired of waiting for signs that pay growth could be – at least approaching – pre-crisis norms. Today, perhaps, the wait may be over.”

Healthy planning & environment

Built and natural environment planning principles for promoting health: an umbrella review: https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-018-5870-2 “This umbrella review aimed to assess relationships between the built and natural environment and health, concentrating on five topic areas: neighbourhood design, housing, food environment, natural and sustainable environment, and transport.”

Co-creating urban green infrastructure connecting people and nature: A guiding framework and approach: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479718310934?via%3Dihub “Urban green infrastructure (UGI) and nature-based solutions are increasingly recognized as instruments to address urban sustainability challenges, yet rely on a good understanding of complex social-ecological system (SES) to function adequately.”

Green infrastructure and health – yet more evidence: http://www.cmscoms.com/?p=15408 “An expert paper from the EU PERFECT (Planning for Environment and Resource efficiency in European Cities and Towns) project helps to make an economic case for the multiple benefits of green infrastructure based on the jobs and growth agenda.”

Journal of Urban Design and Mental Health – Edition 5: Urban Play: https://www.urbandesignmentalhealth.com/edition-5.html “Play and mental health, school design, suicide prevention, Las Vegas insight”

A timeline of the events around the re-starting of fracking in England.

And some further coverage of fracking;

‘Hyperalarming’ study shows massive insect loss: https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2018/10/15/hyperalarming-study-shows-massive-insect-loss/?utm_term=.36afefeef1f0 “In 2014, an international team of biologists estimated that, in the past 35 years, the abundance of invertebrates such as beetles and bees had decreased by 45 percent. In places where long-term insect data are available, mainly in Europe, insect numbers are plummeting. A study last year showed a 76 percent decrease in flying insects in the past few decades in German nature preserves.”

Housing

Housing costs: How we measure them and why: https://blog.ons.gov.uk/2018/10/15/housing-costs-how-we-measure-them-and-why/ “The various housing costs people face have been a hot topic for a number of years. Here Chris Jenkins looks at the various sorts of costs, how ONS goes about measuring them and what they show.”

TCPA - Planning for Affordable Housing: https://www.tcpa.org.uk/planning-for-affordable-housing-report “The research, funded by the Nationwide Foundation, finds that councils rely substantially on the planning system to create new affordable housing but many areas see almost none delivered through it. Councils where residents were among the lowest earners in the country said that they are being 'left behind' by the current system because high-value areas are the only ones which are able to meet developers' profit margins and therefore attract investment.”

Social Housing In Northern Ireland: Challenges And Policy Options: http://housingevidence.ac.uk/publications/social-housing-in-northern-ireland-challenges-and-policy-options/ “The paper sets out the current issues facing social housing in Northern Ireland and outlines a range of potential policy initiatives to address them. The paper provides a profile of the social housing sector in Northern Ireland (which differs to the rest of the UK) and draws on evidence from a range of sources, including government statistics and research, academic papers and more recently qualitative evidence based on discussions with a number of key players in Northern Ireland.”

retrofitting the UK’s old, cold homes to meet climate targets: http://www.sciencemediacentre.org/retrofitting-the-uks-old-cold-homes-to-meet-climate-targets/ “Energy used in our homes accounts for about 20% of UK greenhouse gas emissions, and most of that comes from heating and hot water. If we are to meet our climate goals we need to start decarbonising domestic energy.  But efficient new builds won’t be enough on their own, as 80% of the homes we will inhabit in 2050 have already been built.”

Renting rights: what England can learn from fairer systems around the world: https://theconversation.com/renting-rights-what-england-can-learn-from-fairer-systems-around-the-world-103779 “Britain is becoming a country of (reluctant) tenants. But the law does not keep the balance fairly between landlord’s interests and tenant’s rights.”

Climate change & sustainability

European Commission’s Environmental Action Plan Is Severely Lacking In Both Ambition And Resources, EESC Warns: https://meta.eeb.org/2018/10/11/european-commissions-environmental-action-plan-is-severely-lacking-in-both-ambition-and-resources-eesc-warns/ “The European Commission’s action plan shows a serious lack of ambition and resources to tackle the poor implementation of European environmental law, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has said in a recent opinion.”

From Bill Gates - Can you beat my score on this climate change quiz? https://www.gatesnotes.com/Energy/Climate-change-quiz?WT.mc_id=10_17_2018_06_EnergyClimateChangePlanQuiz_BG-EM_&WT.tsrc=BGEM “I’ve learned a lot about where emissions come from since the launch of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition two years ago—and a lot of what I’ve learned has surprised me. I asked my team to put together this short quiz to test my knowledge, and then I took it (I knew three answers for sure but had to guess on two). Now it’s your turn. Can you beat my score?” – I got 3 out of 5.

Q&A: How ‘integrated assessment models’ are used to study climate change: https://www.carbonbrief.org/qa-how-integrated-assessment-models-are-used-to-study-climate-change “...scientists and economists have developed a suite of tools known as “integrated assessment models” (IAMs). These models are used to answer central questions about climate change, from how the world could avoid 1.5C of global warming at the lowest cost, through to the implications of countries’ current pledges to cut emissions.”

How extreme weather can harm children's mental health: https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2018/10/extreme-weather-can-harm-kids-mental-health/ “Psychologists have found that extreme weather events put children at risk of PTSD, depression, and anxiety. So mental health impacts can linger long after the floodwaters are gone.”

Decreases in global beer supply due to extreme drought and heat: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41477-018-0263-1 “We find that these extreme events may cause substantial decreases in barley yields worldwide. Average yield losses range from 3% to 17% depending on the severity of the conditions. Decreases in the global supply of barley lead to proportionally larger decreases in barley used to make beer and ultimately result in dramatic regional decreases in beer consumption…”

Not surprisingly, this prompted a range of media coverage;

Mapped: The Mediterranean world heritage sites at risk from sea level rise: https://www.carbonbrief.org/mapped-the-mediterranean-world-heritage-sites-at-risk-from-sea-level-rise “Using data taken from the study, Carbon Brief has produced an interactive map showing the flood risk faced by 49 world heritage sites found in southern Europe and northern Africa at different levels of sea level rise.”

Cultural heritage has a lot to teach us about climate change: https://theconversation.com/cultural-heritage-has-a-lot-to-teach-us-about-climate-change-103266 “Museums, archaeological sites and historical buildings are rarely included in conversations about climate change, which tend to focus on the wider impact and global threats to our contemporary world. Yet these threats impact everything, from local cultural practices to iconic sites of outstanding universal value. In light of this, it’s worth exploring the relationship between our heritage and the changing global climate in more detail.”

Editorials: Where UK newspapers stand on climate change and energy: https://www.carbonbrief.org/editorials-where-uk-newspapers-stand-on-climate-change-and-energy “Latest update: 11/10/2018”

Revealed: How the average Briton's carbon footprint is the smallest it's been since 1859: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/10/16/british-carbon-footprint-shrinks-smallest-since-1859/ “A decade after the UK legislated to tackle climate change the Government’s official figures have revealed that the UK is on track to rely on coal for less than 5pc of its electricity for the first time since Industrial Revolution.”

Exclusive: BBC One to show first primetime film on climate change since 2007: https://www.carbonbrief.org/exclusive-bbc-one-show-first-primetime-film-climate-change-since-2007 “Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s director of content, said in a speech last night that the new film will be called “Two Degrees”. She added: “We want it to be the definitive film on climate change. To cut through the confusion, tell audiences the facts without any other agenda, explore what a dangerous level of climate change could really mean. It will be unflinching about the potential catastrophe that’s unfolding. And offer the facts about what can still be done.” “Because, for all the uncomfortable truth, the message…is, ultimately, a positive one: we have the power to do something. We hold the future in our hands.””

Active travel & transport

HS2 Phase 2b: Crewe to Manchester, West Midlands to Leeds – including information on consultation events and further information: http://www.hs2.org.uk/building-hs2/building-the-line/phase-2b/ “We are now carrying out 2 route-wide consultations on our emerging proposals for the new railway. The consultations start on 11 October 2018 and will close at 23:45 on 21 December 2018.”

The effectiveness of a 20 mph speed limit intervention on vehicle speeds in Bristol, UK: A non-randomised stepped wedge design: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328191462_The_effectiveness_of_a_20_mph_speed_limit_intervention_on_vehicle_speeds_in_Bristol_UK_A_non-randomised_stepped_wedge_design “The findings indicate that the sign-only 20 mph intervention was successful in lowering individual vehicle speeds. Policy makers are encouraged to implement a careful monitoring of the effects of 20 mph speed limit interventions on vehicle speeds in order to enable a meaningful evaluation of potential public health benefits. ”

Essential evidence on a page No. 174: Traffic & environmental impacts of Urban Freight Consolidation Centres (UCCs) “Top line: Research indicates that UCC have the ability to improve the efficiency of freight transport operations & thereby reduce congestion & environmental impacts of this activity.”

World’s first Global Active Cities announced: http://activewellbeing.org/2018/09/29/worlds-first-global-active-cities-announced/?j=4249282&e “The names of the world’s first Global Active Cities have been revealed today, to mark World Heart Day. The cities – Buenos Aires, Argentina; Hamburg, Germany; Lillehammer, Norway; Liverpool, UK; Ljubljana, Slovenia; and Richmond, British Columbia, Canada – have worked hard to offer all their residents the opportunity to choose active and healthy lifestyles and improve their well-being.”

How Can Housing And Planning Policy Help To Tackle Transport-Related Barriers To Work? http://housingevidence.ac.uk/how-can-housing-and-planning-policy-help-to-tackle-transport-related-barriers-to-work/ “Following the launch of the recent report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, guest author, Dr Richard Crisp from Sheffield Hallam University highlights the actions that need to be taken to ensure public transport enables rather than constrains people who are returning to work.”

Google Maps Will Soon Show Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: https://www.howtogeek.com/fyi/google-maps-will-soon-show-electric-vehicle-charging-stations/ “Starting today, if you need to search for an EV charging station to get all juiced up, Google Maps app will include support for keywords that’ll point you in the right direction. Simply search for keywords like “ev charging” or “EV charging stations” from the Google Maps app and the nearest supported stations will pop up.”

Air quality & pollution

Lethal but legal: Air pollution from domestic burning: https://www.ippr.org/research/publications/lethal-but-legal “The government’s recent clean air strategy highlights the wider contributors to air pollution in the UK beyond transport and provides policy measures to tackle it. The government has therefore made some welcome progress particularly in regard to emissions from domestic combustion. But, with approximately 1.9 million households still using solid fuels including wood in their homes, this report argues that the health cost is too high for policy to not go further and faster.”

Wide media coverage of the government announcing that subsidies for electric and hybrid cars will be scrapped – especially after statements made following the publication of the recent IPCC report.

How to beat air pollution? Stop burning the fields: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/16/how-new-tech-is-helping-india-farmers-tackle-air-pollution-smog “Instead of contributing to smog by burning stubble, farmers are learning that waste products can be turned into profit”

Food & food security

Options for keeping the food system within environmental limits: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0594-0 “We analyse several options for reducing the environmental effects of the food system, including dietary changes towards healthier, more plant-based diets, improvements in technologies and management, and reductions in food loss and waste. We find that no single measure is enough to keep these effects within all planetary boundaries simultaneously, and that a synergistic combination of measures will be needed to sufficiently mitigate the projected increase in environmental pressures.”

Voluntary policies on checkout foods and healthfulness of foods displayed at, or near, supermarket checkout areas: a cross-sectional survey: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/public-health-nutrition/article/voluntary-policies-on-checkout-foods-and-healthfulness-of-foods-displayed-at-or-near-supermarket-checkout-areas-a-crosssectional-survey/2D0C6D8350D46C9C0C4AAC02E01C6884 “Conclusions: Supermarket checkout food policies were associated with lower odds of checkout foods but not foods near, but not at, checkouts being less healthy. Further research is required to explore impacts on purchasing and consumption.”

FEAT – Food Environment Assessment Tool: http://www.cedar.iph.cam.ac.uk/feat/ “Feat uses data visualisation methods to allow user-friendly, detailed exploration of the geography of food retail access in England. Feat is underpinned by a growing body of scientific evidence that the food we can access in our neighbourhoods is closely related to which foods we buy and eat, and whether we maintain a balanced diet and healthy body weight.”

Folic acid 'to be added to flour' to reduce serious birth defects in UK: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/folic-acid-birth-defect-spina-bifida-supplement-vitamin-folate-a8584481.html “The UK is set to begin fortifying bread flour with folic acid in a bid to cut potentially serious birth defects which affect an estimated two children born every week, reports suggest.”

Rise of the ‘megafarms’: how UK agriculture is being sold off and consolidated: https://theconversation.com/rise-of-the-megafarms-how-uk-agriculture-is-being-sold-off-and-consolidated-104019 “There has been a rapid increase in the number of these farms in recent years – for both animals and crops. Britain’s first intensive poultry farm was approved in 2003 – and there are now more than 1,400 permits for these operations, the largest of which can “process” more than a million chickens per week. Similarly, the number of high-intensity horticulture operations is increasing, with government grants supporting efforts to produce vegetables without soil.”

Stop measuring obesity with a ruler: we’ve discovered a far better predictor of health: https://theconversation.com/stop-measuring-obesity-with-a-ruler-weve-discovered-a-far-better-predictor-of-health-104496 “A better predictor of future health can be gleaned from a drop of blood. Our latest research, published in Cell Metabolism, shows that measuring metabolites (substances involved in metabolism) in a blood sample can predict a person’s risk of becoming obese (and unhealthy) with an accuracy of 80-90%. They can also predict health outcomes, including heart disease, diabetes, kidney problems, visceral fat and biological age.”

WMHPG news, information and resources 12 October 2018

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.

I attended an excellent event this week hosted by Ashden https://www.ashden.org/. Ashden support and promote sustainable energy projects from around the world and present Ashden Awards to projects internationally. Their previous winners provide a wide ranging, and extensive collection of case studies for what actually works in promoting sustainability - https://www.ashden.org/winners/awards-winners . Ashden are looking for projects to apply for their 2019 awards – an excellent opportunity to gain recognition for sustainability projects. Details are available here: https://www.ashden.org/awards/ashden-awards

Sustainable development goals

The Lancet Commission on global mental health and sustainable development: https://www.thelancet.com/commissions/global-mental-health “A decade on from the 2007 Lancet Series on global mental health, which sought to transform the way policy makers thought about global health, a Lancet Commission aims to seize the opportunity offered by the Sustainable Development

Goals to consider future directions for global mental health.”

Government launches landmark review into UK business action on SDGs: https://www.edie.net/news/11/Government-launches-landmark-review-on-how-UK-business-is-contributing-to-SDG-progress/ “The UK Government has this week launched its first voluntary review into how the nation's business community is contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

Income-based policies in Scotland: how would they affect health and health inequalities? https://www.scotpho.org.uk/publications/reports-and-papers/income-based-policies-in-scotland-how-would-they-affect-health-and-health-inequalities/ “The briefing paper presents the projected policy impacts on premature mortality (death under 75 years) in Scotland after five years. The effects of a wider range of income-based policies on health and health inequalities can be modelled for different geographies, health outcomes and time periods using the interactive spreadsheet tool. The supplementary information provides more detailed information on the methods.”

Too Little, Too Much: How Poverty and Wealth Affect Our Minds: https://www.npr.org/2018/10/04/651468312/too-little-too-much-how-poverty-and-wealth-affect-our-minds?t=1539207420675 “Have you ever noticed that when something important is missing in your life, your brain can only seem to focus on that missing thing? Two researchers have dubbed this phenomenon scarcity, and they compare it to tunnel vision, blinding you to the big picture. When you're hungry, it can be hard to think of anything other than food. When you're desperately poor, you may constantly worry about making ends meet. When you're lonely, you might obsess about making friends. Today we'll explore why, when you're in a hole, you sometimes dig yourself even deeper.”

Healthy planning & environment

Cities for global health: https://www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k3794 “In the first of a new series of articles on the role of cities in health, Majid Ezzati and colleagues call for greater action to reduce health inequalities within cities”

Mapped: Where ‘afforestation’ is taking place around the world: https://www.carbonbrief.org/mapped-where-afforestation-is-taking-place-around-the-world

Fracking has been receiving more media coverage this week.

Housing

The End Of Council Borrowing Caps? http://housingevidence.ac.uk/the-end-of-council-borrowing-caps/ “In her speech to the Conservative party conference, the Prime Minister announced a plan to finally scrap the English council borrowing cap. The cap was an arbitrary limit on council borrowing specifically for council housing (it did not apply to other seemingly higher-risk financing projects for e.g. commercial property)… Only now are they, apparently, willing to countenance ending the thing altogether (though there may still be inter-departmental battles to come).”

Shoebox Britain: how shrinking homes are affecting our health and happiness: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/oct/10/shrinking-homes-affect-health-shoebox-britain “The slicing and dicing of housing is redefining the idea of home. Those forced to live in ever smaller spaces describe how this changes their lives”

Welfare Reform And Access To Social Housing: http://housingevidence.ac.uk/welfare-reform-and-access-to-social-housing/ “In a speech last month, the Prime Minister promised to “help more people on to the housing ladder – and ensure that those who cannot afford to own their own home also have a decent place to live“. This renewed focus on access to decent housing for renters is a welcome development. Unfortunately policies intended to provide decent housing for renters often conflict with welfare reforms.”

St Mungo’s has launched a long-term housing campaign for the homeless: https://www.bigissue.com/latest/st-mungos-has-launched-a-long-term-housing-campaign-for-the-homeless/ “Homeless charity St Mungo's has written an open letter to the government asking for long-term housing and support for homeless people trying to rebuild their lives”

Climate change & sustainability

With the publication of the latest IPCC report, this weeks update will focus on the content and coverage of this report. I have tried to capture a representative sample of the analysis and coverage.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – Global Warming of 1.5C: http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/ “an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.”

Analysis of the report;

UK media coverage

Media coverage from around the world

And in other news…

Public acceptance of resource-efficiency strategies to mitigate climate change: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-018-0298-3 “Here, using consumption-based emissions modelling and deliberative public workshops, we find considerable public support for a range of resource-efficiency strategies that combined could reduce the carbon footprint in the United Kingdom…”

Economists who changed thinking on climate change win Nobel Prize: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06755-w “Two US economists, William Nordhaus and Paul Romer, share the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for integrating climate change and technological change into macroeconomics, which deals with the behaviour of an economy as a whole.”

Climate and Health: The Heart of the Health Policy Nexus: https://www.globalhealthnow.org/2018-10/climate-and-health-heart-health-policy-nexus “The new Lancet Commission, launched last month, embodies this approach, examining the synergies between universal health coverage, health security, and health promotion. These 3 parallel global health policy agendas reflect the sector’s diverse problems, fragmentation, and even competition for attention and resources.”

Court orders Dutch government to do more against climate change: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-netherlands-climatechange/court-orders-dutch-government-to-do-more-against-climate-change-idUSKCN1MJ0SH “A Dutch appeals court on Tuesday ordered the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions faster than planned, to ensure they are at least 25 percent below 1990 levels by the end of 2020.”

Active travel & transport

Electric car prices to soar as axe falls on green subsidies: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/07/electric-car-prices-to-soar-low-emission-vehicles--subsidies-philip-hammond-budget “Thousands of pounds will be added to the price of some electric and hybrid vehicles as one of the government’s main green initiatives falls victim to cuts, the Observer can reveal.”

£20 million for the West Midlands to develop alternatives to owning a car: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/20-million-west-midlands-develop-15220195 “The cash was announced by the region’s mayor, Andy Street, as he spoke at the Conservative conference in Birmingham’s ICC. Experts believe people will be less likely to own a car in the future. Instead, they will be more likely to join car-sharing schemes or to hire cars om a short term basis, in a similar way to the cycle-hire schemes currently operating in the West Midlands and London. The cash was announced by the region’s mayor, Andy Street, as he spoke at the Conservative conference in Birmingham’s ICC.”

Denmark embraces electric car revolution with petrol and diesel ban plan: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-denmark-autos/denmark-embraces-electric-car-revolution-with-petrol-and-diesel-ban-plan-idUKKCN1MC151 “Denmark has proposed a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 and hybrid from 2035, joining international efforts to promote electric-only vehicles to reduce air pollution and combat climate change.”

Experts believe people will be less likely to own a car in the future. Instead, they will be more likely to join car-sharing schemes or to hire cars om a short term basis, in a similar way to the cycle-hire schemes currently operating in the West Midlands and London.

Increasing the speed limit won’t get traffic moving faster: https://theconversation.com/increasing-the-speed-limit-wont-get-traffic-moving-faster-104365 “The UK should raise its motorway speed limit for cars and vans to 80mph as a way of increasing national productivity, a government minister recently suggested. It’s a perennial political idea that has already been proposed and then ruled out by the government at least once in the past decade.”

Air quality & pollution

Association between ambient air pollution and daily hospital admissions for ischemic stroke: A nationwide time-series analysis: https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002668 “As the first national study in China to systematically examine the associations between short-term exposure to ambient air pollution and ischemic stroke, our findings indicate that transient increase in air pollution levels may increase the risk of ischemic stroke, which may have significant public health implications for the reduction of ischemic stroke burden in China.”

Air pollution linked to greater risk of mouth cancer, finds study: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/09/air-pollution-linked-to-greater-risk-of-mouth-cancer-finds-study “Writing in the Journal of Investigative Medicine, researchers in Taiwan describe how they discovered the association by looking at air pollution data from 66 air quality monitoring stations around the country collected in 2009, and combing this with data from the health records of more than 480,000 men aged 40 and over from 2012/13.”

Five Things We Learnt When 20,000 Belgians Became Air Pollution Scientists: https://meta.eeb.org/2018/10/04/five-things-we-learnt-when-20000-belgians-became-air-pollution-scientists/ “The biggest ever citizens’ investigation into air pollution has produced some interesting results about air quality in Europe. Here, META brings you five things we’ve learnt from this groundbreaking project which we first reported about back in May.”

Climate action could prevent one million air pollution-related deaths: https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/climate-action-could-prevent-one-million-air-pollution-related-deaths “New research from C40 Cities, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and the New Climate Institute shows that climate action, such as doubling bus network coverage and frequency in cities, could prevent the premature deaths of over one million people per year from air pollution and traffic accidents.”

New pollution plan reveals toxic air in England worse than feared: https://www.clientearth.org/new-pollution-plan-reveals-toxic-air-in-england-worse-than-feared/ “A new government air pollution plan, which was ordered by the High Court earlier this year, has revealed air pollution to be much worse than previously feared. ClientEarth, which brought the successful legal case against the government said the shocking revelation showed how the ministers’ plan to pass the buck to local authorities had failed.”

Gas stations vent far more toxic fumes than previously thought: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181004110021.htm “A study examined the release of vapors from gas station vent pipes, finding emissions were 10 times higher than estimates used in setback regulations used to determine how close schools, playgrounds, and parks can be situated to the facilities.”

Plastic-fighting bubbles and AI-powered bins: The best green innovations of the week: https://www.edie.net/news/16/Plastic-fighting--bubbles--and-bins-powered-by-AI-green-innovations-/?adfesuccess=1 “A number of eye-catching and potentially transformational innovations have emerged that could help businesses and nations accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient economy. Here, edie rounds-up six of the best.”

Food & food security

Effectiveness of the Healthy Lifestyles Programme (HeLP) to prevent obesity in UK primary-school children: a cluster randomised controlled trial: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanchi/article/PIIS2352-4642(17)30151-7/fulltext#.W7i9V4sQNP0.twitter “Despite a theoretically informed and extensively piloted intervention that achieved high levels of engagement, follow-up, and fidelity of delivery, we found no effect of the intervention on preventing overweight or obesity. Although schools are an ideal setting in which to deliver population-based interventions, school-based interventions might not be sufficiently intense to affect both the school and the family environment, and hence the weight status of children. Future research should focus on more upstream determinants of obesity and use whole-systems approaches.”

Obesity and Healthy Weight Nutrition article collection and Call for Papers: https://www.elsevier.com/health/journals/obesity-and-healthy-weight-nutrition-article-collection-and-call-for-papers “Elsevier and the editors of the following journals would like to make these specially selected articles on Obesity and Healthy Weight Nutrition available free through December 15, 2018.”

Universal Credit and Foodbanks: https://www.trusselltrust.org/what-we-do/research-advocacy/universal-credit-and-foodbank-use/ “Universal Credit is not the only benefit people at foodbanks are experiencing issues with, but it is a significant factor in many areas. Analysis of foodbanks that have been in full UC rollout areas for a year or more shows that these projects experienced an average increase of 52% in the twelve months after the full rollout date in their area. Comparative analysis of random samples of foodbanks taken from 247 projects either not in full UC areas, or only in full rollout areas for up to three months, showed an average increase of 13%.”

Revealed: the millionaires hoarding UK fishing rights: https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2018/10/11/fishing-quota-uk-defra-michael-gove/ “A painstaking five-month long investigation shows that a small group of wealthy families control huge swathes of the country’s fishing quota”

Food in the time of climate change: https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/376309-food-in-the-time-of-climate-change “Climate change is no more an abstract notion, but something whose effects are becoming more evident day by day. Climate change is threatening food security and we will struggle to meet the requirements of food consumption sustainably.”

WMHPG news, information and resources 28 September 2018

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.

Brexit, trade and the public’s health – FPH needs you! https://betterhealthforall.org/2018/09/26/brexit-trade-and-the-publics-health-fph-needs-you/ “Over the summer, FPH’s Brexit Project Group started work on the third of our Brexit policy ‘calls’ – to secure health focused post-Brexit trade agreements. We met with twenty key stakeholders from across the wider health community, legal experts, civil servants and the business community, including the Brexit Health Alliance, Cancer Research UK and Department for International Trade. We wanted to understand their priorities and aspirations for the public’s health as the Government develops the UK’s post-Brexit trade policy.”

Sustainable development goals

Wide media coverage of the latest National Life Tables data from the Office of National Statistics – showing that increases in UK life expectancy have stalled for the first time in over 100 years.

Harmful use of alcohol kills more than 3 million people each year, most of them men: http://www.who.int/news-room/detail/21-09-2018-harmful-use-of-alcohol-kills-more-than-3-million-people-each-year-most-of-them-men “WHO’s Global status report on alcohol and health 2018 presents a comprehensive picture of alcohol consumption and the disease burden attributable to alcohol worldwide. It also describes what countries are doing to reduce this burden.”

Unemployment in the UK is now so low it's in danger of exposing the lie used to create the numbers: http://uk.businessinsider.com/unemployment-in-the-uk-is-now-so-low-its-in-danger-of-exposing-the-lie-used-to-create-the-numbers-2017-7 “The problem with this record is that the statistical definition of "unemployment" relies on a fiction that economists tell themselves about the nature of work. As the rate gets lower and lower, it tests that lie. Because — as anyone who has studied basic economics knows — the official definition of unemployment disguises the true rate. In reality, about 21.5% of all working-age people (defined as ages 16 to 64) are without jobs, or 8.83 million people, according to the Office for National Statistics.”

Reducing Health Inequalities Through New Models of Care: A Resource for New Care Models: http://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/resources-reports/reducing-health-inequalities-through-new-models-of-care-a-resource-for-new-care-models “ This report urges the development of an ambitious local health system – which focusses on population health needs and good health for all as well as provision of treatment and services.”

Welfare spending for UK's poorest shrinks by £37bn: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/sep/23/welfare-spending-uk-poorest-austerity-frank-field “Spending on welfare benefits for the UK’s poorest families will have shrunk by nearly a quarter after a decade of austerity, according to new figures highlighting the plunge in living standards experienced by the worst-off.”

The EU needs a stability and wellbeing pact, not more growth: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/sep/16/the-eu-needs-a-stability-and-wellbeing-pact-not-more-growth “238 academics call on the European Union and its member states to plan for a post-growth future in which human and ecological wellbeing is prioritised over GDP”

Post-growth conference debates the economy of the future: https://metamag.org/2018/09/20/post-growth-conference-debates-the-economy-of-the-future/ “This week the European Parliament played host to international experts to discuss “Post-Growth”, a concept that challenges the use of growth as the primary goal of the economy.”

While economic growth continues we’ll never kick our fossil fuels habit: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/26/economic-growth-fossil-fuels-habit-oil-industry “...So how come oil production, for the first time in history, is about to hit 100m barrels a day? How come the oil industry expects demand to climb until the 2030s? How is it that in Germany, whose energy transition (Energiewende) was supposed to be a model for the world, protesters are being beaten up by police as they try to defend the 12,000-year-old Hambacher forest from an opencast mine extracting lignite – the dirtiest form of coal? Why have investments in Canadian tar sands – the dirtiest source of oil – doubled in a year?”

Healthy planning & environment

A Peoples Manifesto for Wildlife: http://www.chrispackham.co.uk/a-peoples-manifesto-for-wildlife THIS MANIFESTO . . . Was conceived to publish a set of informed ideas from a parliament of strong, independent voices. Ideas which, if implemented today, would make a huge difference for wildlife tomorrow… Presents a series of essays by 18 Ministers highlighting some of the most critical concerns affecting the UK landscape and its species, each accompanied by ten commandments – ‘no-brainer’ solutions to the problems.”

TCPA - Green Infrastructure Resource Library: https://www.tcpa.org.uk/green-infrastructure-research-database “The Green Infrastructure Resource Library (GIRL) is a unique database of documents, case-studies, videos, tools and other information about Green Infrastructure and its benefits and is free to use.”

Assessing and addressing energy vulnerability at the community scale: an interpretive case study: https://extra.shu.ac.uk/ppp-online/assessing-and-addressing-energy-vulnerability-at-the-community-scale-an-interpretive-case-study/# “The paper adopts a whole systems framework to identify and track efforts by local government and community organisations to address issues of energy vulnerability among residents in an urban borough. When viewed through the lens of energy justice these activities appear to disappoint or not to reach all types of people they are intended to benefit. Problems arise in part because the system is fractured, lacking coordination and complementarity, and also because of a failure to account for the multiple and dynamic features of energy vulnerable clients.”

Public hits back at 'hostile architecture' in European cities: http://www.thisisplace.org/i/?id=10d8a56e-2235-4cf8-bf6e-77d08d4f141f “Artists and citizens are fighting back against so-called "hostile architecture" in a battle to make cities more people-friendly”

Housing

Will the new policy framework deliver homes for those in the greatest need? https://www.tcpa.org.uk/blog/will-the-new-policy-framework-deliver-homes-for-those-in-the-greatest-need “Projects and Policy Manager Henry Smith examines whether new government policies will have a significant impact on the delivery of genuinely affordable homes, as part of a project supported by the Nationwide Foundation.”

International Evidence Review On Housing Taxation: http://housingevidence.ac.uk/publications/international-evidence-review-on-housing-taxation/ “This report examines three different aspects of housing taxation, in terms of their neutrality, fairness, transparency, efficiency and practicality. The first area is a property transfer tax (for example, Stamp Duty Land Tax); the second is capital gains tax on residential property; the third is the interaction between taxation and the quality of the private rented sector. The report concludes with some key areas for further research.”

Climate change & sustainability

Evaluating climate geoengineering proposals in the context of the Paris Agreement temperature goals: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-05938-3 “Based on present knowledge, climate geoengineering techniques cannot be relied on to significantly contribute to meeting the Paris Agreement temperature goals.”

Don’t deploy negative emissions technologies without ethical analysis: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06695-5 “Climate policy advice is being undermined by value-laden choices over risky mitigation strategies, warn Dominic Lenzi and colleagues.”

Our Near-Term Future: What Current Arctic Sea-Ice Melt and Export Patterns Tell Us: https://paulbeckwith.net/2018/09/08/our-near-term-future-what-current-arctic-sea-ice-melt-and-export-patterns-tell-us “Following up on my previous video, posted September 5th 2018 as Arctic Sea Ice Melt Patterns and Analysis, the summer melting characteristics for Arctic Sea-Ice are definitely changing.”

Climate Change Influences on the Global Potential Distribution of the Mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus, Vector of West Nile Virus and Lymphatic Filariasis: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0163863 “ – more here - West Nile Virus: How Climate Change May Be Contributing To Its Spread: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2018/09/16/west-nile-virus-how-climate-change-may-be-contributing-to-its-spread/#7eb24ae03784

Mapped: How every part of the world has warmed – and could continue to warm: https://www.carbonbrief.org/mapped-how-every-part-of-the-world-has-warmed-and-could-continue-to-warm “Carbon Brief has combined observed temperature changes with future climate model projections to show how the climate has changed up to present day, but also how it might change in the future for every different part of the world.”

Art with an Ocean View - Contemporary artists visualize our oceans in peril: https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/pgJSP5j8b2P7KA “The world's oceans are home to many of the Earth's creatures and are a critical source of food for humanity. The health of our oceans has been adversely affected by plastic pollution, noise pollution, overfishing, climate change, and other human impacts. In this exhibit by Art Works for Change, ten contemporary artists consider the impact of humanity on our oceans and the critical importance of conservation efforts.”

Warming oceans are changing the world's rainfall: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/sep/12/warming-oceans-are-changing-the-worlds-rainfall “We estimated the potential distribution of Cx. quinquefasciatus under both current and future climate conditions.”

Health system report shows big reductions in carbon and water: https://www.sduhealth.org.uk/news/626/health-system-report-shows-big-reductions-in-carbon-water-and-road-miles-/ “A new SDU report has been released called 'Reducing the use of natural resources in health and social care'. It shows that local organisations across the health service are saving money by making more efficient use of resources, as well as benefiting the environment.”

Organic solar cells set 'remarkable' energy record: https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/science-environment-45132427 “Chinese researchers have taken what they say is a major step forward for the development of a new generation of solar cells.

Manufacturers have long used silicon to make solar panels because the material was the most efficient at converting sunlight into electricity. But organic photovoltaics, made from carbon and plastic, promise a cheaper way of generating electricity.”

Scientists weigh public's emotional responses to climate risks: https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2018/09/scientists-on-emotional-responses-to-climate-risks/ “Funneling public's climate change emotions and anxieties into 'solutions' can help 'build emotional resiliency' to risks in a warming world.”

Cities from New York to London end growth in climate-changing emissions: http://www.thisisplace.org/i/?id=fc174044-5a12-406f-901b-4d5eb5fabab6 “More than two dozen of the world's largest cities are no longer increasing their planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, they announced at a global climate summit in San Francisco. The 27 cities, from New York to London, said they had reached the milestone even as their populations and economies grew.”

Tata Steel unveils technology that could halve emissions from steel production: https://www.edie.net/news/8/Tata-Steel-unveils-technology-that-could-have-emissions-from-steel-production--/ “Tata Steel has implemented the new technology at its Ijmuiden site in the Netherlands. Called HIsarna, the technology injects iron ore at the top of a reactor. The ore is then liquefied in a high-temperature cyclone and drips to the bottom where powder coal is injected.”

Report: 90 Percent of World’s Largest 200 Industrial Firms Are Using Trade Associations to Oppose Climate Policy: https://www.desmog.co.uk/2018/09/12/report-90-percent-world-s-largest-200-industrial-companies-are-using-trade-associations-oppose-climate-policy “Analysis by InfluenceMap, a UK-based think tank, examined the lobbying activities of 200 of the world’s biggest companies and 75 of the most powerful trade groups and the links between them since December 2015. It found that 30 percent of all companies analysed have directly lobbied against climate policy in the last three years and that 90 percent of them retain membership to trade associations which have actively opposed climate policy around the world.”

Active travel & transport

Essential evidence on a page No. 173 - Future Streets: Knowledge exchange and researcher-practitioner collaboration: https://travelwest.info/project/ee-173-future-streets-knowledge-exchange-and-researcher-practitioner-collaboration “Top Line: Collaborative projects using participatory design processes to retrofit suburban streets to support active travel are challenging. A uniting feature of collaboration may be a shared commitment to deliver an enhanced street environment for a community.”

London is proposing 20mph speed limits – here’s the evidence on their effect on city life: https://theconversation.com/london-is-proposing-20mph-speed-limits-heres-the-evidence-on-their-effect-on-city-life-102129 “Yet plans for the 20mph limit in London have been controversial. Some question the impact it will have on increased traffic congestion and air pollution. Retailers are concerned it will discourage customers from visiting the city centre due to increased congestion. Others question the need for a 20mph limit in areas where congestion means it is rarely possible to go any faster than that. So what’s the evidence on 20mph limits so far?”

The road to prosperity? Why extending the m4 is not the way: https://neweconomics.org/2018/09/the-road-to-prosperity “NEF Consulting were asked to assess the proposal for an extension to the M4 motorway around Newport, and the potential alternatives, against the criteria of the Well-being of Future Generations Act. The Future Generations Commissioner wanted to ensure that the preferred option, termed ​‘the Black Route’, represents the best value towards achieving the seven wellbeing goals set out for Wales.”

How to Fix Traffic Forever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4PW66_g6XA&feature=youtu.be

People maintain increases in physical activity three years after receiving pedometers: https://discover.dc.nihr.ac.uk/content/signal-00594/people-maintain-increases-in-physical-activity-three-years-after-receiving-pedometers “Middle-aged to older adults given pedometers and a walking programme as part of two NIHR trials continued to be active three years later. In one trial they were walking around 650 extra steps a day. In both trials, they spent about 30 minutes per week extra in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity compared to controls.”

Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1·9 million participants: http://www.globalpanet.com/knowledge-base/population/low-ses/883-worldwide-trends-in-insufficient-physical-activity-from-2001-to-2016-a-pooled-analysis-of-358-population-based-surveys-with-1-9-million-participants “In this article, Guthold et al from the WHO estimated the 2016 prevalence and trends of insufficient physical activity based on data from 358 surveys across 168 countries, including nearly 2 million people. This study provides the most comprehensive global physical activity surveillance data thus far. Findings suggest that more than a quarter of the world’s population is not sufficiently active.”

Air quality & pollution

NICE - Air pollution: outdoor air quality and health: Quality standard consultation: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/indevelopment/gid-qs10067/consultation/html-content-2 “This briefing paper presents a structured overview of potential quality improvement areas for air pollution: outdoor air quality and health. It provides the committee with a basis for discussing and prioritising quality improvement areas for development into draft quality statements and measures for public consultation”

Are noise and air pollution related to the incidence of dementia? A cohort study in London, England: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/8/9/e022404 “Conclusions - We have found evidence of a positive association between residential levels of air pollution across London and being diagnosed with dementia, which is unexplained by known confounding factors.”

GI (green infrastructure) and air quality in urban areas: a critical review: https://www.interregeurope.eu/perfect/news/news-article/3578/gi-and-air-quality-in-urban-areas-a-critical-review “Green infrastructure delivers multiple social, environmental and economic benefits. Green environments create pleasant and attractive places and scientific research has documented substantial evidence that there is a clear and positive link between ‘living in a green environment’ and ‘health’ and ‘wellbeing’... Paradoxically, and less well known amongst policy makers and the general public, is that at a local level urban greenery can also have a negative impact on air quality, for example, city trees can obstruct the wind flow in busy streets, thereby reducing natural ventilation.”

Microplastics are getting into mosquitoes and contaminating new food chains: https://theconversation.com/microplastics-are-getting-into-mosquitoes-and-contaminating-new-food-chains-103406 “...Much plastic pollution is in the form of microplastics, tiny fragments less than five micrometres in size and invisible to the naked eye. Our new research shows that these microplastics are even getting into tiny flying insects such as mosquitoes. And this means the plastic can eventually contaminate animals in a more unlikely environment: the air.”

Lord Deben: Businesses must avoid 'knee-jerk' plastic phase-outs: https://www.edie.net/news/5/Lord-Deben-and-Sainsbury-s-urge-business-to-avoid--knee-jerk--plastic-phase-outs “Committee on Climate Change (CCC) chairman Lord Deben has urged companies to avoid making "knee-jerk" decisions on plastics packaging, warning that "reactionary" choices to consumer demands could lead to unintended environmental consequences.”

Food & food security

UK Health Forum calls for the Agriculture Bill and future food system policy to prioritise human health along with the environment: http://www.ukhealthforum.org.uk/EasysiteWeb/getresource.axd?AssetID=59385&servicetype=Attachment%20 “The UK Health Forum is today calling on The Government to ensure that the Agriculture Bill and future food policy support human health improvements alongside environment objectives. The call comes as a three-part report, Fresh Start: A framework for healthy and sustainable diets, has found that the whole of the UK’s current food system, from farm- to- fork, is failing to support the Government’s own Eatwell Guide healthy eating goals.”

Food and Brexit: will our cupboards be bare? https://www.theguardian.com/food/2018/sep/15/food-and-brexit-will-the-cupboard-be-bare-jay-rayner “From farmers and poultry producers to professors of food policy, those on the frontline have been sounding the alarm. So how will the UK cope after 29 March 2019?”

There's a Serious Problem With The Way We Measure Global Food Security: https://www.sciencealert.com/insufficient-measure-global-food-distribution-masks-hidden-hunger “The way that we currently measure food security severely underestimates the enormous scale of global hunger. A new study suggests that if we truly want to put an end to malnutrition by 2030, as per the aim of United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, then we need to consider a more holistic approach to food systems.”

World Bank - Famine Action Mechanism (FAM): http://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/famine-early-action-mechanism “The World Bank, United Nations, ICRC and other global partners are developing the Famine Action Mechanism (FAM)—the first global mechanism dedicated to supporting upstream interventions in famine prevention, preparedness and early action. The FAM seeks to formalize links between early warnings, financing and implementation arrangements.”

Death And Decomposition Are Essential to Food Security Reveals Study: https://interestingengineering.com/death-and-decomposition-are-essential-to-food-security-reveals-study “A team of biologists set out to uncover just how crucial the process is for maintaining balance in virtually every biological sphere. Their work looked at groups of animals which make up what they term as decomposer communities.”

Calorie labelling could be extended to eating out in England: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/sep/14/calorie-labelling-could-be-extended-to-eating-out-in-england “Calorie labels for food and drink in restaurants, cafes and takeaways could be introduced after the government announced it would launch a public consultation on the matter. The plans could see the number of calories listed alongside meal descriptions in outlets and online across England, although small businesses and street vendors could be exempt from the measure.”

WMHPG news, information and resources 21 September 2018

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

How to keep up progress on global health: https://www.gatesnotes.com/Development/Goalkeepers-Report?WT.mc_id=09_18_2018_10_Goalkeepers2018Report_BG-EM_&WT.tsrc=BGEM “…decades of stunning progress in the fight against poverty and disease may be on the verge of stalling. This is because the poorest parts of the world are growing faster than everywhere else; more babies are being born in the places where it’s hardest to lead a healthy and productive life. If current trends continue, the number of poor people in the world will stop falling—and could even start to rise.”

Lancet Commission Stresses Need for High-Quality Health Systems for SDGs: http://sdg.iisd.org/news/lancet-commission-stresses-need-for-high-quality-health-systems-for-sdgs/ “The Lancet Global Health Commission on High-Quality Health Systems in the SDG Era, a group of 30 academics, health system experts and policymakers from 18 countries, published findings on the need for a “revolution” to achieve high-quality health systems to reach the SDGs. The Commission emphasizes that health systems should focus on four values: they are for people, and they are efficient, equitable and resilient.”

Why Growth Can’t Be Green: https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/09/12/why-growth-cant-be-green “Many policymakers have responded by pushing for what has come to be called “green growth.” All we need to do, they argue, is invest in more efficient technology and introduce the right incentives, and we’ll be able to keep growing while simultaneously reducing our impact on the natural world, which is already at an unsustainable level… It sounds like an elegant solution to an otherwise catastrophic problem. There’s just one hitch: New evidence suggests that green growth isn’t the panacea everyone has been hoping for. In fact, it isn’t even possible.”

Inequalities in mental health and well-being in a time of austerity: Follow-up findings from the Stockton-on-Tees cohort study: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352827318301010?via%3Dihub “The main findings are that the significant gap in mental health between the two areas remained constant over the 18-month study period, whilst there were no changes in the underlying determinants. These results may reflect our relatively short follow-up period or the fact that the cohort sample were older than the general population and pensioners in the UK have largely been protected from austerity. The study therefore potentially provides further empirical evidence to support assertions that social safety nets matter - particularly in times of economic upheaval.”

Five doodles that help to make sense of UK poverty: https://www.jrf.org.uk/blog/five-doodles-help-make-sense-uk-poverty “It’s all very well having robust, reliable evidence of what causes poverty in the UK – but facts and figures alone aren’t enough to build support for solving it, says Paul Brook.”

Social Metrics Commission launches a new measure of UK poverty: http://socialmetricscommission.org.uk/social-metrics-commission-launches-a-new-measure-of-uk-poverty/ “For the first time, as well as looking at incomes, the new metric accounts for a range of inescapable costs that reduce people’s spending power, and the positive impact of people’s liquid assets on alleviating immediate poverty. These inescapable costs include rent or mortgage payments, childcare and the extra costs of disability. Liquid assets include savings, stocks and shares. The new metric reflects more accurately the realities and experiences of living in poverty than previous measures.”  Full report here: http://socialmetricscommission.org.uk/MEASURING-POVERTY-FULL_REPORT.pdf

Healthy planning & environment

The role of cities in improving population health: international insights: https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/cities-population-health “Drawing on international case studies, this report explores the role of cities in improving population health and the conditions needed for success. It is based on 50 interviews with leaders from 14 cities and includes an extended case study on London that examines the lessons the city might learn from elsewhere.”

What’s the point of community land trusts? https://neweconomics.org/2018/09/whats-the-point-of-community-land-trusts “Community land trusts are a form of community-led housing which hold land collectively in a not-for-profit trust. They allow land to be put to community use by ensuring affordability in perpetuity, which they do by tethering the cost of houses to local income, rather than to the dysfunctional property market.”

Councils should benefit from land value ‘uplift’, MPs say: https://www.localgov.co.uk/Councils-should-benefit-from-land-value-uplift-MPs-say-/46007 “Increases in land value that result from public policy decisions should be shared with local communities and should not just go into the pockets of private developers, MPs say.” – full report available here: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmcomloc/766/76602.htm

No Kids Allowed: How Our Street Design Is Killing Play: https://www.citylab.com/amp/article/365286/ “Somehow, we find ourselves living in a world where children playing on the street are considered a nuisance, and where parents feel timid about letting their children outdoors. More than a quarter of the 1,000 United Kingdom parents polled in a recent survey -- 28 percent -- said they feared letting their kids play outside because of “intolerant attitudes” displayed by their neighbors.”

Most of countryside now devoid of hedgehogs, study finds: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/06/most-of-countryside-now-devoid-of-hedgehogs-study-finds “A “perfect storm” of intensive farming and rising badger populations has left most of the countryside in England and Wales devoid of hedgehogs, according to the first systematic national survey.”

Housing

Wide media coverage of an announcement by the Prime Minister of £2bn over 10 years to boost social housing. Comment on the announcement is still emerging – more next week…

Strategic Housing Action Partnership (SHAP) - Research 2018: https://shap.uk.com/research “The West Midlands Housing Officers Group provided grant funding to SHAP to carry out three linked pieces of research that are intended to assist West Midlands Local Authorities and Housing Associations to improve outcomes from investment in housing stock and to improve long-term outcomes from investment.”

The Habitable Homes Bill and its potential to transform lives: https://industrytoday.co.uk/fm_and_building_maintenance/the-habitable-homes-bill-and-its-potential-to-transform-lives “The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill has been deemed an opportunity for social and private tenants to avoid renting property from rogue landlords, and it would give them the opportunity to go to court if the home is ruled unsafe. First debated in January, the bill has the potential to transform the lives of residents in England.”

Scottish Housing - Our regulation of social housing in Scotland: a discussion paper - January 2018: https://www.scottishhousingregulator.gov.uk/publications/our-regulation-social-housing-scotland-discussion-paper-january-2018 “The Framework explains how we regulate both RSLs and the housing and homelessness services provided by local authorities. For both types of landlord, we have a statutory duty to monitor, assess, report and intervene (as appropriate) in relation to their performance of housing activities.”

LGiU - Briefing: Housing and planning round-up September 2018: https://www.lgiu.org.uk/briefing/housing-and-planning-round-up-september-2018/ “Our monthly housing and planning round up includes government announcements, latest housing and planning news, major reports and ongoing consultation documents. This month’s ‘big issue’ is regulation.”

Calls for ‘Right to Buy’ policy to be suspended in Greater Manchester - after 5,000 council houses were sold off and no replacements built: https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/calls-right-buy-policy-suspended-15154742 “The findings from Greater Manchester’s housing commission, part of the combined authority, reveal that despite government promising ‘one for one’ replacements for any home sold off over the last five years, nothing has in fact been built with the £27m generated from those sales due to heavy Whitehall restrictions on councils.“

Climate change & sustainability

The Royal Society - Greenhouse gas removal: https://royalsociety.org/topics-policy/projects/greenhouse-gas-removal/ “The Royal Society, in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering, has produced a report and associated summary to outline methods of greenhouse gas removal and how other influences like legislation, the environment, economics or social factors will affect their deployment. The report also considers how they might plausibly be used in the UK and globally to meet climate goals.”

Path-dependent reductions in CO2 emission budgets caused by permafrost carbon release: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-018-0227-0 “We found that permafrost carbon release makes emission budgets path dependent (that is, budgets also depend on the pathway followed to reach the target). The median remaining budget for the 2 °C target reduces by 8% (1–25%) if the target is avoided and net negative emissions prove feasible, by 13% (2–34%) if they do not prove feasible, by 16% (3–44%) if the target is overshot by 0.5 °C and by 25% (5–63%) if it is overshot by 1 °C.”

Here’s how climate change is fueling Hurricane Florence: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/how-climate-change-fueling-hurricane-florence “Real-time storm forecasts continuously update as new data become available. But what would happen if, from a single starting point — in this case, the state of the atmosphere on September 11 — Florence roared ahead in two parallel worlds: one with and one without the influence of human-caused climate change?” – Original paper here: https://cpb-us-e1.wpmucdn.com/you.stonybrook.edu/dist/4/945/files/2018/09/climate_change_Florence_0911201800Z_final-262u19i.pdf

Global investors launch campaign to tackle climate change: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/09/12/global-investors-launch-campaign-tackle-climate-change/ “Some of the world's biggest investment houses controlling $30 trillion (£23 trillion) worth of funds have agreed to join forces to put pressure on governments to tackle climate change. Investors such as Aviva, Schroders and Legal & General Investment Management will lobby governments around the world to adhere to the promises they made to tackle pollution in the Paris Agreement on climate change.”

Bangkok climate talks: key outcomes on the Paris Agreement ‘rulebook’: https://www.carbonbrief.org/bangkok-climate-talks-key-outcomes-on-the-paris-agreement-rulebook “Negotiators meeting in Bangkok have just concluded another round of climate talks. The key aim was to whittle down a series of lengthy documents into a set of clear options for politicians to choose from when they meet later this year.”

Australia has no climate-change policy — again: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06675-9 ““They’ve walked away from Paris without saying it, hoping no one would notice,” says Lesley Hughes, a climate-change scientist at Macquarie University in Sydney. Without a policy to cut carbon dioxide pollution, the government is dropping its international commitment by default, she says.”

Coal comeback pushes up UK’s carbon emissions: https://www.drax.com/energy-policy/electric-insights-coal-comeback-pushes-up-uk-carbon-emissions/ “10-year high gas prices1 have prompted a resurgence in coal-fired power across Britain – and with it a 15% increase in carbon emissions from electricity generation. If coal-fired electricity remains cheaper than gas-fired (as analysts predict), we could see the first year-on-year rise in carbon emissions from Britain’s power sector in six years. This highlights the importance of retaining a strong carbon price if we are to ensure the successful decarbonisation of the power system is not reversed.”

UK heatwave caused hundreds of extra deaths this summer, figures suggest: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-heatwave-deaths-ons-climate-change-weather-temperatures-mortality-figures-a8541106.html “Hundreds of extra deaths were recorded in England as a result of a heatwave during spring and early summer, official statistics show. In the last week of June, when temperatures rose above 30C, 382 more deaths occurred than the average. During an earlier period of unseasonably warm spring temperatures in April, 243 more deaths were observed than the five-year average.”

Q&A: Why cement emissions matter for climate change: https://www.carbonbrief.org/qa-why-cement-emissions-matter-for-climate-change “If the cement industry were a country, it would be the third largest emitter in the world. In 2015, it generated around 2.8bn tonnes of CO2, equivalent to 8% of the global total – a greater share than any country other than China or the US.”

Climate change conflicts are here – and ‘scallop wars’ are just the beginning: https://theconversation.com/climate-change-conflicts-are-here-and-scallop-wars-are-just-the-beginning-102928 “These disputes over resources such as food will become more frequent and intense as climate change alters the habitats and material conditions of life on Earth.”

'New growth story': Report identifies $26trn climate action opportunity: https://www.edie.net/news/9/-New-growth-story---Report-highlights--26trn-climate-action-opportunity/ “Businesses and governments could deliver economic growth worth at least $26trn by 2030 through strong action on climate change. “

Rise for Climate: Protesters take to streets across the planet to demand action on environment: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/rise-for-climate-protests-environment-action-sydney-vietnam-durham-uk-a8528786.html “Hundreds of thousands of climate change protestors are gathering at some 850 events across 90 countries – and seven continents – in what is one of the biggest ever days of global action highlighting the issue. They are marching in cities from Kathmandu to Copenhagen, Lagos to Lisbon, Bogota to Berlin.”

High ice and hard truth: the poets taking on climate change: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/12/high-ice-hard-truth-a-poetry-expedition-to-greenlands-melting-glaciers-bill-mckibben “Greenland poet Aka Niviana’s way of life is disappearing as her country thaws, while the subsequent meltwater threatens Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner and her fellow Marshall Islanders thousands of miles away. Their joint trip to the melting glaciers inspired a climate call to arms”

Active travel & transport

JLR boss warns Brexit could 'destroy' company's electric vision: https://www.edie.net/news/6/JLR-boss-warns-Brexit-could--destroy--company-s-electric-vision “Jaguar Land Rover's (JLR) chief executive has issued a stark warning to Theresa May that a hard Brexit could cost his firm more than £1.2bn a year and "destroy" investment in electric vehicle (EV) production.”

 

'For me, this is paradise': life in the Spanish city that banned cars: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/sep/18/paradise-life-spanish-city-banned-cars-pontevedra “The benefits are numerous. On the same streets where 30 people died in traffic accidents from 1996 to 2006, only three died in the subsequent 10 years, and none since 2009. CO2 emissions are down 70%, nearly three-quarters of what were car journeys are now made on foot or by bicycle, and, while other towns in the region are shrinking, central Pontevedra has gained 12,000 new inhabitants. Also, withholding planning permission for big shopping centres has meant that small businesses – which elsewhere have been unable to withstand Spain’s prolonged economic crisis – have managed to stay afloat.“

 

Air quality & pollution

First evidence that soot from polluted air may be reaching placenta: https://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/2018/smd/first-evidence-that-soot-from-polluted-air-may-be-reaching-placenta.html “Evidence of tiny particles of carbon, typically created by burning fossil fuels, has been found in placentas for the first time, in early research involving a small number of people, presented today by researchers from Queen Mary University of London.”

Study: Genetic Profile Influences Asthmatic Response to Pollution: https://www.mdmag.com/medical-news/study-genetic-profile-influences-asthmatic-response-to-pollution “Asthma patients with specific genetic profiles were found to have more severe asthmatic symptoms from the air pollution of nearby roadway traffic, in a novel investigation illustrating how precision medicine may be able to incorporate both genetic and environmental factors.”

Air pollution: ‘Toxic’ school run poses health risk to thousands of children, experts warn: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/children-air-pollution-school-run-playground-health-toxic-vehicle-emission-a8542736.html “Children are most exposed to dangerous air pollution on the school run and in the playground, experts have warned. While children only spend 40 per cent of their time on the school run and at school, they receive 60 per cent of their exposure to tiny particles of black carbon during those times, a study has found.”

Even low levels of traffic pollution tied to heart damage: https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-health-heart-pollution/even-low-levels-of-traffic-pollution-tied-to-heart-damage-idUKKCN1LU2PW “People exposed to even low levels of air pollution are more likely to develop structural changes in the heart that can be a precursor to heart failure, a UK study suggests.”

Newborn Thyroid Function Tied to In Utero Air Pollution Exposure: https://www.medpagetoday.com/endocrinology/thyroid/75104 “Fetal exposure to environmental pollutants was associated with thyroid functioning in newborns, researchers found. In an analysis of infants born in Los Angeles, those exposed in utero to greater amount of ambient pollution had higher levels of total thyroxine (TT4) levels as newborns, reported Carrie Breton, ScD, of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, and colleagues in JAMA Network Open.”

Birmingham agrees to submit CAZ proposal: https://www.airqualitynews.com/2018/09/12/birmingham-agrees-to-submit-caz-plan/ “Proposals have been drawn up which would involve the introduction of a charging zone applying to the ‘most polluting vehicles, including buses, coaches, lorries, taxis and private hire vehicles, vans and private cars.”

Could Birmingham's clean air zone lead to more pollution in the Black Country? https://www.expressandstar.com/news/health/2018/09/15/could-birminghams-clean-air-zone-lead-to-more-pollution-in-the-black-country/ “Roger Lawrence, the Labour leader of Wolverhampton Council and West Midlands Combined Authority transport lead, said: "We have serious concerns over how traffic that is diverted out of Birmingham city centre will be managed. "What we don't want to see is a situation where buses and lorries that are diverted away from the clean air zone end up in the Black Country, worsening our air quality as a result."”

80 % decrease in black carbon on Brussels car-free day: https://ecf.com/news-and-events/news/80-decrease-black-carbon-brussels-car-free-day “Cars in Brussels were banned yesterday between 9 am and 7 pm… Almost immediately after 9 am, when the car ban takes effect, the concentration of black carbon decreases to about 1/5 of a normal Sunday. After 7 pm, when cars return, the concentration increases almost immediately to ‘normal’ levels. For NO2, the other main air pollutant caused by cars, the improvement is also significant albeit less dramatic. NO2 concentration dropped by about 30 % compared to a normal Sunday.”

Thousands of children evacuated over disastrous air pollution crisis in northern Crimea: https://www.dailysabah.com/europe/2018/09/16/thousands-of-children-evacuated-over-disastrous-air-pollution-crisis-in-northern-crimea “Thousands of children have been evacuated after air pollution levels reached a critical level near the Ukraine-Crimea border, leaving many children struggling to breathe. The pollution crisis that has left many metal items like swings in the park to rust and fields to turn black has ecologists and doctors blaming the abundance of industrial pollution in the air.”

Single use plastic bottles banned from half marathon in London: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/12/single-use-plastic-bottles-banned-from-half-marathon-in-london “Single use plastic bottles are banned from the course. But runners will be able to rehydrate themselves at water stations along the 13.1 mile course with Ooho, water in biodegradable sachets made from a seaweed-based membrane. Participants can either nip the edge and drink the water or consume the entire capsule.”

Plastic-eating fungus offers answer to world’s waste crisis: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/plastic-eating-fungus-offers-answer-to-world-s-waste-crisis-b789kcm06?shareToken=8ac8c88a8eb38e9cf00253b5f7d09d24 “A plastic-eating fungus discovered on a rubbish dump in Pakistan could be adapted to destroy waste on land and oceans.The possibility of breaking down plastic waste within weeks rather than hundreds of years will be highlighted today when the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew publishes its first report on the world’s fungi.”

Conscious consumption replaces decadent waste society as Britain is on the brink of a food revolution: https://www.thoughtworks.com/news/groceryretail2030 “New nationwide research from ThoughtWorks suggests recycling, food waste, scarcity of supply and ethics are set to become the big issues for consumers in the years ahead” – more here - Plastic waste set to beat price as UK shoppers' top concern – study: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/10/plastic-waste-set-to-beat-price-as-uk-shoppers-top-concern-study

Food & food security

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018: Building climate resilience for food security and nutrition [EN/AR/RU]: https://reliefweb.int/report/world/state-food-security-and-nutrition-world-2018-building-climate-resilience-food-security “New evidence continues to signal that the number of hungry people in the world is growing, reaching 821 million in 2017 or one in every nine people, according to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018 released today. Limited progress is also being made in addressing the multiple forms of malnutrition, ranging from child stunting to adult obesity, putting the health of hundreds of millions of people at risk.”

  • One in nine going hungry globally as climate change increases food insecurity: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/one-nine-going-hungry-globally-climate-change-increases-food/ “The number of people going hungry has increased for the third consecutive year, a major report reveals. Figures show 821 million people – or one in nine – were undernourished in 2017, as climate extremes have contributed to global food insecurity. Women, babies and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to the worsening trend, which raises concerns that the goal of eradicating hunger by 2030 will not be met.”

Social class determines how the unemployed talk about food insecurity: https://phys.org/news/2018-09-social-class-unemployed-food-insecurity.html “study by University of Missouri researchers that began as a survey of unemployment following the recession, led researchers to discover that participants used food to describe their circumstances.”

Food security: vertical farming sounds fantastic until you consider its energy use: https://theconversation.com/food-security-vertical-farming-sounds-fantastic-until-you-consider-its-energy-use-102657 “The energy demand associated with vertical farming, however, is much higher than other methods of food production. For example, lettuces grown in traditionally heated greenhouses in the UK need an estimated 250kWh of energy a year for every square metre of growing area. In comparison, lettuces grown in a purpose built vertical farm need an estimated 3,500kWh a year for each square metre of growing area. Notably, 98% of this energy use is due to artificial lighting and climate control.”

Seeing food wasted makes us mad – but should it? https://theconversation.com/seeing-food-wasted-makes-us-mad-but-should-it-102742 “Food stores and restaurants are easy targets for campaigners, but the fact is that in countries like France and Britain, it is estimated that only 11% of food waste is from retail. The reality remains that in terms of volume, the real issues lie elsewhere. As a matter of practical policy, efforts to reduce this 11% of food waste are misguided. The FAO itself admits that throwing away food is often cheaper for end users than using or reusing.”

The unpalatable truth about your favourite foods: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23731630-400-the-unpalatable-truth-about-your-favourite-foods “Marion Nestle has been fighting food industry giants for decades. Now she wants to expose the way they skew scientific research for their own gain”

WMHPG news, information and resources 14 September 2018

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
Understanding the Ocean and Sustaining our Future: Preparing the UN-Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development:https://unssc.org/news-and-insights/blog/understanding-ocean-and-sustaining-our-future-preparing-un-decade-ocean/ “The ambition of the Decade of Ocean Science is to mobilize the scientific community, policy-makers, business, and civil society around a program of joint research, innovation, and engagement.”
 
How longitudinal analysis helps us understand why the younger generation’s living standards are faltering:http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/how-longitudinal-analysis-helps-us-understand-why-the-younger-generations-living-standards-are-faltering/ “Younger generations are currently experiencing work uncertainty, slower pay progression, and are finding it more difficult to own a house compared to their predecessors. Lord David Willetts explains how longitudinal analysis helps us expand our understanding of intergenerational differences and where policy to address these might focus.”
 
Current and future state of nation’s health revealed: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/current-and-future-state-of-nations-health-revealed “PHE has published a new Health Profile for England report giving the most comprehensive picture of the health of England today and into the future.”
 
A recipe for action: using wider evidence for a healthier UK: https://www.health.org.uk/publication/recipe-action-using-wider-evidence-healthier-uk “A recipe for action: using wider evidence for a healthier UK, presents a selection of essays written by individuals from a diverse range of industries and specialisms. They are reflecting on the case study of child obesity.”
 
The UK government’s imaginative use of evidence to make policy: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41293-017-0068-2 “It is easy to show that the UK Government rarely conducts ‘evidence-based policymaking’, but not to describe a politically feasible use of evidence in Westminster politics. Rather, we need to understand developments from a policymaker’s perspective before we can offer advice to which they will pay attention. ‘Policy-based evidence’ (PBE) is a dramatic political slogan, not a way to promote pragmatic discussion.”
 
Healthy planning & environment
Health and the natural environment: A review of evidence, policy, practice and opportunities for the future for Defra:https://beyondgreenspace.net/2018/09/07/defra_health_review/ “The study focused on the interconnections between the natural environment and health, and the ways in which these are, or could be harnessed in policy and practice. The majority of the work was undertaken in 2015-2016 and informed the development of the 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment.”
 
Winners of RTPI research awards focus on design and quality of development: https://www.rtpi.org.uk/briefing-room/news-releases/2018/september/winners-of-rtpi-research-awards-focus-on-design-and-quality-of-development/ “Winners of the 2018 RTPI Research Excellence Awards were announced last night. A common theme for many is the design and quality of places and their relationship with well-being and health outcomes.”
 
Campaign to Protect Rural England – Green Clean: https://takeaction.cpre.org.uk/page/28220/subscribe/1?ea.tracking.id=campaigns-update-enews “CPRE’s Green Clean is a litter pick to clean up the countryside throughout September – and we need your help. Following the great news of environment secretary Michael Gove’s announcement that England will have a deposit return system for bottles and cans, the Government is currently looking into how this system will work, so now is the time to clean up the countryside and show what it could look like with an effective deposit system.”
 
Which bird species have gone extinct? A novel quantitative classification approach:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320718308012 “We estimate a revised total of 187 extinctions since 1500, of which 90% have been of insular species. The major drivers were invasive alien species (46%) and hunting/trapping (26%).” – more here: Eight bird species are first confirmed avian extinctions this decade: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/04/first-eight-bird-extinctions-of-the-21st-century-confirmed
 
Nearly half of England’s ‘most important wildlife sites’ at risk after not being monitored for years:https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2018/09/07/half-england-sssi-sites-not-monitored/ “The government is failing to monitor almost half of England’s “most important wildlife sites”, putting them at risk of fly tipping, pollution, water contamination, invasive species, and the unchecked impacts of a changing climate. Of the 4,126 sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) currently in existence, 47% have not been examined in the last six years, as is required by national monitoring guidelines, according to data released by the environment department this summer.”
 
Housing
The evolving private rented sector: its contribution and potential: https://www.york.ac.uk/chp/news/2018/review-reveals-millions-private-housing-failed/ “The review, The Evolving Private Rented Sector: its Contribution and Potential, reveals that changes to welfare reform are creating a ‘slum tenure’ at the bottom end of the market. The authors suggest the introduction of a 'Property MOT' - operating in a similar way to that which exists for cars - in which all properties let for residential purposes would be required to undergo an annual standardised inspection.
 
An alternative view from the market - Not again! Another charity slams private rental sector over S21:https://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2018/8/here-we-go-again--another-charity-slams-private-rental-sector?source=newsticker “Last week Shelter and the National Housing Federation took a swipe at lettings agents, and now Citizens Advice has joined the party claiming that any tenant who formally complains about their housing conditions faces a one-in-two chance of being evicted.”
 
Climate change & sustainability
Unlocking the Inclusive Growth Story of the 21st Century: Accelerating Climate Action in Urgent Times:https://newclimateeconomy.report/2018/ “The growth story of the 21st century can unlock unprecedented opportunities of a strong, sustainable, inclusive economy. The benefits of climate action are greater than ever before, while the costs of inaction continue to mount. It is time for a decisive shift to a new climate economy.”
 
Wind and solar power plants in Sahara could turn desert green: https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/wind-solar-power-sahara-desert-green-climate-change-renewable-energy-a8526361.html “Installing massive fields of wind turbines or solar panels in the Sahara desert could turn parts of the arid landscape green, according to a new study. Scientists have predicted that shifts in the local environment triggered by these structures could bring rain to the desert and improve conditions in some of the world’s most inhospitable regions.”
 
Groundbreaking 'spinning' wind turbine wins UK Dyson award: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/05/groundbreaking-spinning-wind-turbine-wins-uk-dyson-award “The O-Wind Turbine captures wind from any direction and, unlike traditional turbines, could be effective in cities” – see it in operation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8O6CugLTww&feature=youtu.be
 
One of the biggest tsunamis ever recorded was set off three years ago by a melting glacier: https://www.washingtonpost.com/energy-environment/2018/09/06/one-biggest-tsunamis-ever-recorded-was-set-off-three-years-ago-by-melting-glacier/ “A rare and extreme tsunami ripped across an Alaskan fjord three years ago after 180 million tons of mountain rock fell into the water, driving a devastating wave that stripped shorelines of trees and reached heights greater than 600 feet, a large team of scientists documented on Thursday.”
 
Climate change science comeback strategies: 'In it for the money': https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2018/09/climate-change-science-comeback-strategies-in-it-for-the-money-part2/ “With climate change, ad-hominem attacks on scientists are intended to shake public trust in the scientific evidence that underpin the whole issue. After all, who could be more villainous than the world’s climate scientists? Does one really think this group of bicycle-riding, organic-cotton-wearing PhDs might be pulling off a skillfully-coordinated global conspiracy, one involving 100 years of research from hundreds of scientists all over the world?”
 
Exclusive: BBC issues internal guidance on how to report climate change: https://www.carbonbrief.org/exclusive-bbc-issues-internal-guidance-on-how-to-report-climate-change “Carbon Brief has obtained the internal four-page “crib sheet” sent yesterday to BBC journalists via an email from Fran Unsworth, the BBC’s director of news and current affairs. The crib sheet includes the BBC’s “editorial policy” and “position” on climate change.”
 
UK’s green watchdog will be powerless over climate change post-Brexit: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/02/green-watchdog-powerless-climate-change-post-brexit “Ministers are “deliberately weakening” the green watchdog that will hold the government to account after Britain leaves the EU, according to Labour’s shadow Brexit minister.”
 
Video: Exposing Westminster's Tufton Street Network Pushing Deregulation and Climate Science Denial:https://www.desmog.co.uk/2018/08/28/video-exposing-westminster-s-tufton-street-network-pushing-deregulation-and-climate-science-denial ““It’s about low tax, low regulation — an economy fit for hedge fund owners”. That’s how Peter Jukes, an investigative journalist with Byline Media, describes the aims of a network of shadowy thinktanks and campaign groups operating out of offices on Tufton Street, just around the corner from the Houses of Parliament.”
 
Many Major Airports Are Near Sea Level. A Disaster in Japan Shows What Can Go Wrong:https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/07/climate/airport-global-warming-kansai.html “A quarter of the world’s 100 busiest airports are less than 10 meters, or 32 feet, above sea level, according to an analysis of data from Airports Council International and OpenFlights. Twelve of those airports — including hubs in Shanghai, Rome, San Francisco and New York — are less than 5 meters above sea level.”
 
Floodwaters are plaguing a lab where scientists study ... coastal flooding: https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2018/09/flooding-plagues-lab-where-scientists-study-floods/?popupally_stop=subscriber “For scientists at a marine lab in Louisiana, coastal flooding is more than just a research topic. It’s a frequent reality. Dozens of times a year, getting to work means pulling on rubber boots and trudging through a flooded parking lot. McClain: “If flooding is a little bit heavier than that, some people park near the highway where it’s out of water and we’ll use four-wheel-drive vehicles to get people in and out of the lab.””
 
Active travel & transport
Long-term weight loss trajectories following participation in a randomised controlled trial of a weight management programme for men delivered through professional football clubs: a longitudinal cohort study and economic evaluation:https://ijbnpa.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12966-018-0683-3 “Participation in FFIT under research and routine conditions leads to long-term weight loss and improvements in physical activity and diet. Investment in FFIT is likely to be cost-effective as part of obesity management strategies in countries where football is popular.”
 
The psychological wellbeing benefits of place engagement during walking in urban environments: A qualitative photo-elicitation study:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1353829218302636 “The findings also support the notion that non-natural elements can promote positive affective and cognitive appraisals. Building on the finding that also urban walking can support psychological wellbeing, the findings encourage future research into the health potential of different characteristics of built environments.”
 
Are route-finding apps making streets more dangerous? https://www.sustrans.org.uk/blog/are-route-finding-apps-making-streets-more-dangerous “New research into injury risk on Britain’s roads has implications for policy-makers, transport planners and people.”
 
Toronto cyclists are using pool noodles to combat dangerous drivers: https://www.blogto.com/city/2018/09/toronto-cyclists-pool-noodles-dangerous-drivers/ “”Enter the pool noodle! A soft, simple, harmless tube that some cyclists are choosing to mount under their seats so that cars learn to leave one-metre’s distance when passing them on the road — you know, like the law says they should.””
 
The rise of the electric car: five things you need to know: https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2018/09/06/the-rise-of-the-electric-car-five-things-you-need-to-know/ “People are, finally, buying electric cars but will sales lift off as solar panel installations did? and will it make a difference to air pollution and climate change?”
 
Coventry unveils Go Electric Taxi scheme: https://www.edie.net/news/6/UK-s--most-comprehensive--scheme-to-incentivize-switch-to-electric-taxis-launched/ “Coventry City Council has launched what it claims is the UK's "most comprehensive" scheme for incentivising taxi drivers to switch to electric vehicles (EVs).”
 
Air quality & pollution
Eleven governments ask EU to help hide their air pollution failure: https://eeb.org/eleven-governments-ask-eu-to-help-hide-their-air-pollution-failure/ “After breaching their national air pollution limits, eleven governments have asked the European Commission to effectively raise their ‘emission ceilings’. Green groups have warned that the governments of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Spain and the United Kingdom are attempting to use a legal loophole to hide their failure to cut harmful air pollution.”
 
Analyzing roadside dust to identify potential health concerns: https://phys.org/news/2018-09-roadside-potential-health.html “Everyone knows that cars contribute to air pollution. And when most people consider the source, exhaust is usually what comes to mind. However, new research led by the University of Pennsylvania's Reto Gieré, working with collaborators across the world, is helping to illuminate another significant culprit when it comes to traffic-related air pollution: Tiny bits of tires, brake pads, and road materials that become suspended in the air when vehicles pass over.”
 
Hazed and Confused: The Effect of Air Pollution on Dementia: http://www.nber.org/papers/w24970 “We conclude that regulation of air pollution has greater benefits than previously known, in part because dementia impairs financial decision making. We estimate that the dementia-related benefits of the EPA’s county nonattainment designations exceeded $150 billion. We also find that the effect of PM2.5 on dementia persists below current regulatory thresholds.”
 
DVSA begins nationwide emissions cheat device crackdown: https://www.airqualitynews.com/2018/09/03/dvsa-begins-nationwide-emissions-cheat-device-crackdown/ “Starting this month (1 September), the new enforcement regime will see officers carrying out inspections on lorries at sites across the UK, looking for Adblue emulator devices that falsely indicate that the vehicle is using additives to reduce harmful emissions.”
 
Raging wildfires send scientists scrambling to study health effects: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06123-8 “...In the summer of 2017, a wildfire 13 kilometres from Seeley Lake, Montana, exposed the town of 1,600 people to nearly 30 times the level of particulate matter considered safe by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The fire burned for 70 days, and after it subsided, Migliaccio and his colleagues collected blood samples and measured respiratory function in 100 volunteers, whom they plan to track for years.”
 
A 600-Meter-Long Plastic Catcher Heads to Sea, but Scientists Are Skeptical: https://www.wired.com/story/ocean-cleanup-skeptical-scientists/ ““It's certainly ambitious,” oceanographer Kim Martini, who has studied the Ocean Cleanup campaign, tells WIRED. “It oversimplifies a very complicated problem that people have thought a lot about.” One issue is that we don’t yet know how ocean plastic is distributed in the water column. “The fact is, a lot of plastic isn't at the surface,” Martini s ays. “There's a lot of research showing that it's sinking.””
 
'Snap Packs' and greener ink: Carlsberg unveils new packaging solutions designed to reduce waste: https://www.edie.net/news/5/-Snap-Packs--spearhead-packing-solutions-to-drastically-reduce-Carlsberg-s-plastic-use/ “Danish brewer Carlsberg is set to reduce its global packaging waste by more than 1,200 tonnes annually, after launching new Snap Pack multi-packs for branded beers alongside a host of other closed-loop packaging renovations.”
 
Global soft drink firms back plan to eliminate packaging waste: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/06/global-soft-drink-firms-back-plan-to-eliminate-packaging-waste “Global soft drink companies have made their biggest commitment yet to eliminating the use of throwaway plastic bottles, in an action plan presented to parliament.”
 
We won’t save the Earth with a better kind of disposable coffee cup: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/06/save-earth-disposable-coffee-cup-green “We must challenge the corporations that urge us to live in a throwaway society rather than seeking ‘greener’ ways of maintaining the status quo”
 
Food & food security
The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018: Building climate resilience for food security and nutrition [EN/AR/RU]:https://reliefweb.int/report/world/state-food-security-and-nutrition-world-2018-building-climate-resilience-food-security “New evidence continues to signal that the number of hungry people in the world is growing, reaching 821 million in 2017 or one in every nine people, according to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2018 released today.”
 
The Hidden Link Between Farm Antibiotics and Human Illness: https://www.wired.com/story/farm-antibiotics-human-illness-hidden-link/“For almost seven decades, we've routinely fed antibiotics to the animals we eat. That's just a few years less than we've taken antibiotics ourselves. And for just about as long, it’s been clear that those antibiotic doses have been creating drug-resistant bacteria that pass from meat animals to make humans sick.”
 
The healthiest menu for poor people? An extra helping from government:https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/06/healthiest-menu-poor-people-free-school-meals-hungry “Those who cut free school meals and moralise about balanced diets show how poorly they understand the hidden hungry”
 
The digital revolution—a new weapon against food waste, hunger, and emissions: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2018/09/06/the-digital-revolution-a-new-weapon-against-food-waste-hunger-and-emissions/ “The ways in which food is produced, distributed, and consumed matter in both rich and poor countries. Reducing food waste along food supply chains can help to reduce hunger and malnutrition. It can also help to reduce the carbon footprint of today’s complex—and grossly sub-optimal—food distribution systems. Digital solutions can optimize the amount of food we buy and dramatically reduce waste.”
 
McDonald’s sports activations drive up to 8x more mobile redemptions: https://www.retaildive.com/ex/mobilecommercedaily/mcdonalds-bets-on-in-app-sports-activations-as-they-bring-57pc-more-active-users “As McDonald’s continues its efforts to strengthen sales, the chain has found success in leveraging sports activations within its McD mobile application that offer promotions tied to local sports teams, resulting in 57 percent more active users in those markets.” – evidence that sport sponsorship is effective at increasing junk food sales – and that this is an area that needs monitoring and challenging.
 
Why Edible Insects Are the Next Superfood Trend: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/why-edible-insects-are-the-next-superfood-trend “While eating insects has been a part of other cultures for quite a while, it’s only now beginning to catch on in the United States and United Kingdom. However, it’s still far from being a mainstream on menus. Because most Americans overlook the nutritional value of bugs, we’ve been missing out on the benefits to both human and environmental health they offer as a food source.”
 
And finally….
Wee ou non: Can green urinals keep Paris streets clean? http://www.thisisplace.org/i/?id=9d7be760-60f3-4ca9-b998-8bcd2f77c437 “PARIS - Despite outrage over the installation of exposed urinals on their streets, Parisians want authorities to crack down on errant smokers, dogs and litterbugs dirtying their fabled city. Locals have demanded that the town hall remove four bright red eco-friendly "urinoirs" set up in busy areas, from the Boulevard de Clichy red-light district to the posh Latin Quarter, as part of a drive to clean up the city.”

WMHPG news, information and resources 06 September 2018

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.

FPH course - Developing and evaluating interventions collaboratively: https://www.fph.org.uk/news-events/events-courses-and-exams/2018/developing-and-evaluating-interventions-collaboratively/ “As part of this one day course you will look at the determinants of health and their impact on the types of interventions used. You will also learn about how to evaluate the interventions, including engaging external stakeholders, the types of evidence that should be used and how to use the lessons learned in future, as well as the importance of concepts such as “Proportionate Universalism”.”

Invitation to join "Public Health Advocates" (an email-list / Google-Group of early-mid career public health advocates)

- Why? To connect, to learn from each other, to become more effective advocates. Because "advocacy" is a skill which can be learned, but which is rarely part of formal public health education.

- Who? Early to mid career public health professionals who define themselves as "advocates" (which can e.g. mean to be regularly in the media or to be part of a campaign or NGO). Participants are from different countries and focus on different issues (e.g. tobacco control or climate change).

- What? In this group, participants can share different kind of information, experiences and questions. E.g. articles about advocacy skills, stories about effective advocacy campaigns and questions about how to get covered by the media.

- How to join? Joining the email-list is without obligations and can be cancelled at any time. If you are interested, just contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Sustainable development goals

Children are our future: we must not fail them in the fight against NCDs: https://epha.org/children-are-our-future-we-must-not-fail-them-in-the-fight-against-ncds/ “Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a major cause of mortality worldwide – in 2015 NCDs accounted for 70% of global mortality, with 80% of premature deaths occurring in low and middle-income countries. Childhood obesity, exposure to tobacco, air pollution and inequalities in health care access contribute to NCDs in childhood and adolescence, which in turn have repercussions in adulthood.”

Public Inquiry into rising mortality in England announced: http://www.dannydorling.org/?p=6798 “The inquiry will have its’ work cut out explaining why middle Britain was so badly hit and why almost all of England also suffered so much. The final table below shows the few areas of England which experienced a fall in mortality between these two years.”

Prosperity and justice: A plan for the new economy - The final report of the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice: https://www.ippr.org/research/publications/prosperity-and-justice “Established in autumn 2016 in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, the aim of the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice was to examine the challenges facing the UK economy and to recommend proposals for reform. Commissioners come from across the economy and society and from different political viewpoints, including on Brexit. The Commission is non-party-political.”

How to test and deliver a Universal Basic Income: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/realising-basic-income/ “Charlie Young explores how we can test a universal basic income in the UK and beyond. Drawing on research for the RSA, he maps a version of this idea that brings together a heterogeneous field of proposals, and explains that the quality of experimental design impacts on how well the policy is understood and whether it is supported by the public.”

National Audit Office – Tackling Problem Debt: https://www.nao.org.uk/report/tackling-problem-debt/?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term= “This report aims to evaluate and conclude on HM Treasury’s (HMT) overall approach to overindebtedness, and how well it brings together government’s and other stakeholders’ various activities and interventions to meet its objectives.”

Healthy planning & environment

Recent coverage of the NPPF;

UK councils invest £9bn of pension funds in fracking companies – new research: https://drillordrop.com/2018/09/03/uk-councils-invest-9bn-of-pension-funds-in-fracking-companies-new-research/ “Data released today suggests that UK councils have invested more than £9 billion from staff pension funds in fracking companies, despite opposition to the process. The news comes as the first high volume hydraulic fracture in the UK since 2011 could be days away.”

What would cities look like if they were designed by mothers? https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/27/architects-diversity-cities-designed-mothers “Architecture’s lack of diversity shows in environments created by people who never need step-free access or to take a bus”

Reinventing obsolete urban spaces as smart cities of the future: key steps to success: https://www.itproportal.com/features/reinventing-obsolete-urban-spaces-as-smart-cities-of-the-future-key-steps-to-success/ “… In the industrial era, the factory become the hearth of the city and production the main activity of the community, leading to the first fall in the quality of public spaces. Now a renewal of public spaces is underway and underpinning this is new technology.”

How to plant a trillion trees: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06031-x “As projects to restore woodlands accelerate, researchers are looking for ways to avoid repeating past failures. “

Housing

UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence – recent publications;

Everyone deserves a right to housing – and that means a right to live alone: https://theconversation.com/everyone-deserves-a-right-to-housing-and-that-means-a-right-to-live-alone-97415 “In response to this crisis, some have suggested that the UK should follow countries such as the Netherlands and South Africa, by enshrining a person’s right to housing in law. But if the UK were to adopt a right to housing, what should this right look like?”

RENTER REBUFF Plan to guarantee renters three-year tenancies is being killed off by nervous ministers: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7178128/government-scraps-three-year-contracts/ “A GROUND-breaking plan to guarantee renters three-year long tenancies is being killed off by nervous Downing Street, it emerged.”

Climate change & sustainability

Amazon mangroves ‘twice as carbon rich’ as its rainforests: https://www.carbonbrief.org/amazon-mangroves-twice-as-carbon-rich-as-its-rainforests “The relatively understudied ecosystem also stores 10 times more carbon than Amazon savannahs – a type of grassy plain with sparsely populated trees, according to the study. However, the wetlands face threats from deforestation and climate change, the researchers say. Introducing more measures to protect mangroves will be key to preserving its large carbon store, they add.”

Global sea-level budget 1993–present: https://www.earth-syst-sci-data.net/10/1551/2018/ “In the context of the World Climate Research Programme Grand Challenge entitled "Regional Sea Level and Coastal Impacts", an international effort involving the sea-level community worldwide has been recently initiated with the objective of assessing the various datasets used to estimate components of the sea-level budget during the altimetry era (1993 to present).”

Explainer: The challenge of defining fossil fuel subsidies: https://www.carbonbrief.org/explainer-the-challenge-of-defining-fossil-fuel-subsidies “Carbon Brief takes an in-depth look at the ways fossil fuel subsidies are measured – and why semantic arguments over definitions may be missing the point.”

Michael Gove blocks oil drilling in Surrey countryside: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/09/04/michael-gove-blocks-oil-drilling-surrey-countryside/ “Environment minister Michael Gove has blocked an independent oil and gas company from drilling for oil in the Surrey Hills after a ten-year battle with protesters. Mr Gove decided not to renew a permit held by Europa Oil and Gas to drill for oil within its Holmwood prospect at Bury Hill Wood, which is due to expire at the end of the month.”

Can climate science shift climate politics? https://www.brookings.edu/blog/planetpolicy/2018/08/28/can-climate-science-shift-climate-politics/ “Politically, the Wildavsky logic (“Richer is safer”) creates huge problems for global climate policy. That’s because most greenhouse gas emissions come from richer countries (although the middle-income nations such as China and India are rising quickly) but the impacts are felt the most in the poorer nations.”

Scientists invent new form of solar power: https://news.sky.com/story/scientists-invent-new-form-of-solar-power-11490054 “A new way to capture the power of the sun and successfully split water into hydrogen and oxygen by altering how plants conduct photosynthesis has been invented by scientists.”

Sucking carbon from air, Swiss firm wins new funds for climate fix: https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-climeworks-funding/sucking-carbon-from-air-swiss-firm-wins-new-funds-for-climate-fix-idUKKCN1LD26J “A small Swiss company won $31 million in new investment on Tuesday to suck carbon dioxide from thin air as part of a fledgling, costly technology that may gain wider acceptance from governments in 2018 as a way to slow climate change.”

European market for renewable energy continues to grow, with wind power surging ahead: https://www.renewableenergymagazine.com/panorama/european-market-for-renewable-energy-continues-to-20180828 “Newly released statistics from the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB) comparing year-to-date (YTD) supply and demand of Guarantees of Origin (GOs) for 2018 and 2017 show that renewable energy supply has increased by 45 TWh, while demand is up by 34 TWh.”

UK summer 'wind drought' puts green revolution into reverse: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/27/uk-summer-wind-drought-puts-green-revolution-into-reverse “Windfarms fall short in heatwave, but 2018 was still UK’s second greenest summer”

World's largest offshore windfarm opens off Cumbrian coast: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/06/worlds-largest-offshore-windfarm-opens-cumbrian-coast-walney-extension-brexit “Walney Extension, off the Cumbrian coast, spans an area the size of 20,000 football pitches and has a capacity of 659 megawatts, enough to power the equivalent of 590,000 homes.”

G7 fossil fuel subsidies worth $100bn a year to industry, study finds: http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/06/04/uk-taxpayer-support-fossil-fuel-industry-exposed-ahead-g7/ “UK accused of masking subsidies to fossil fuels, ahead of meeting of G7 countries, which have agreed to end taxpayer support by 2025”

Heatwave: 2018 was the joint hottest summer for UK: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45399134 “2018 was the joint hottest summer on record for the UK as a whole, and the hottest ever for England, the Met Office has announced. It said highs for summer 2018 were tied with those of 1976, 2003 and 2006 for being the highest since records began in 1910.”

As temperatures keep trending up, ‘heat belt’ cities maneuver to stay livable: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/as-temperatures-keep-trending-up-heat-belt-cities-maneuver-to-stay-livable/2018/08/29/3c7ef2f2-ab15-11e8-a8d7-0f63ab8b1370_story.html “Across the Southwest, people have long made accommodations to the heat, but climate change and urban development are forcing far more considerations. An increasing number of cities face extreme heat for much of the summer, with highs surpassing 100 and even 110 degrees for weeks at a time.”

Miami Will Be Underwater Soon. Its Drinking Water Could Go First: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-08-29/miami-s-other-water-problem “Miami-Dade is built on the Biscayne Aquifer, 4,000 square miles of unusually shallow and porous limestone whose tiny air pockets are filled with rainwater and rivers running from the swamp to the ocean. The aquifer and the infrastructure that draws from it, cleans its water, and keeps it from overrunning the city combine to form a giant but fragile machine. Without this abundant source of fresh water, made cheap by its proximity to the surface, this hot, remote city could become uninhabitable.”

Active travel & transport

WHO - Launch of new global estimates on levels of physical activity in adults: New data published in The Lancet Global Health today show that more than one in four adults globally (28% or 1.4 billion people) are physically inactive. However this can be as high as one in three adults inactive in some counties.” – Lancet paper here: Worldwide trends in insufficient physical activity from 2001 to 2016: a pooled analysis of 358 population-based surveys with 1·9 million participants: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(18)30357-7/fulltext “If current trends continue, the 2025 global physical activity target (a 10% relative reduction in insufficient physical activity) will not be met. Policies to increase population levels of physical activity need to be prioritised and scaled up urgently.”

Essential evidence on a page No. 172 - Active travel interventions need to be attractive to the physically inactive: https://travelwest.info/project/ee-no-172-active-travel-interventions-need-to-be-attractive-to-the-physically-inactive “Top line: To convey maximum benefit to population health, interventions need to consider physically inactive people in particular and encourage active travel amongst this group.”

Negative memories of gym class may impact adults' lifestyle: https://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUKKCN1LJ1UH “"Memories of enjoyment of PE . . . were the most substantial correlates of present-day attitudes and intentions for physical activity," the investigators report in the Translational Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.”

Dyson gears up for electric car testing: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45345778 “Dyson has unveiled plans for a 10-mile test track in Wiltshire where its new electric cars will be put through their paces. The track and other facilities are part of a plan to start selling a "radical" electric car from 2021.”

The Modern Automobile Must Die: https://newrepublic.com/article/150689/modern-automobile-must-die “Changing the way we power our homes and businesses is certainly important. But as Germany’s shortfall shows, the only way to achieve these necessary, aggressive emissions reductions to combat global warming is to overhaul the gas-powered automobile and the culture that surrounds it. The only question left is how to do it.”

Europe to ban halogen lightbulbs: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/23/europe-to-ban-halogen-lightbulbs “After nearly 60 years of lighting homes halogens will be replaced with more energy efficient LEDs”

Air quality & pollution

You’ve Heard of Outsourced Jobs, but Outsourced Pollution? It’s Real, and Tough to Tally Up: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/04/climate/outsourcing-carbon-emissions.html “Over the past decade, both the United States and Europe have made major strides in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions at home. That trend is often held up as a sign of progress in the fight against climate change. But those efforts look a lot less impressive once you take trade into account.”

Indoor air pollution: A neglected yet important risk to public health: https://www.openaccessgovernment.org/indoor-air-pollution-public-health/51024/ “Stephen T Holgate, Special Advisor to the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) on Air Quality and MRC Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology, University of Southampton takes the stance that indoor air pollution is a neglected yet important risk to public health”

Food & food security

3.7 million children in the UK live in households for whom a healthy diet is  increasingly unaffordable: https://foodfoundation.org.uk/ “New report and infographic on the affordability of a healthy diet… Comparing the estimated cost of Public Health England’s (PHE) ‘Eatwell Guide’ with household income, shows that the bottom 20% of families would have to spend 42% of their after-housing income on food to eat the Government’s recommended diet.

This is nearly four times what the richest 20% of UK families would need to spend on food to meet PHE’s Eatwell Guide”

Insect threats to food security: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/361/6405/846 “...Deutsch et al. (2) evaluate the impact of rising average surface temperatures on yield losses due to insects in wheat, maize, and rice, which are staple foods for billions of people. The results show that insects will cause significantly increased grain loss across many regions of a warmer world.”

Climate change will make hundreds of millions more people nutrient deficient: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/aug/27/climate-change-will-make-hundreds-of-millions-more-people-nutrient-deficient “Rising levels of carbon dioxide could make crops less nutritious and damage the health of hundreds of millions of people, research has revealed, with those living in some of the world’s poorest regions likely to be hardest hit.”

Falling yields of key UK crops could raise food prices and leave farmers struggling: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/03/falling-yields-of-key-uk-crops-could-raise-food-prices-and-leave-farmers-struggling “Yields of key crops have fallen significantly in this year’s harvest as a result of the hot summer and massive swings in weather, leaving farmers counting the cost and consumers facing higher prices for food.”

Research reveals how the same foods create markedly different environmental impacts: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180531143008.htm “New research highlights the environmental impacts of thousands of food producers and their products, demonstrating the need for new technology to monitor agriculture and environmental labels on food products.”

Ditch the almond milk: why everything you know about sustainable eating is probably wrong: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2018/sep/05/ditch-the-almond-milk-why-everything-you-know-about-sustainable-eating-is-probably-wrong “From cod to clingfilm, the advice we’re given can often be confusing. If you’re serious about eating green, here are some straightforward solutions”

Coconut oil is ‘pure poison’, Harvard professor claims: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/coconut-oil-health-benefits-harvard-professor-poison-youtube-video-a8500611.html “A Harvard professor has called the supposed health benefits of coconut oil into question by claiming that it’s just as bad for your wellbeing as “pure poison”. The claim was made by Dr Karin Michels, professor at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and director of the Institute for Prevention and Tumour Epidemiology at the University of Freiburg, during a speech titled: “Coconut Oil and other Nutritional Errors.””

And finally….

Ómur: the shape, texture and anatomy of the Arctic – in pictures: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2018/aug/23/benjamin-hardman-photographer-omur-arctic-exhibition-theprintspace-gallery

WMHPG news, information and resources 24 August 2018

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

Stressed out? An investigation of whether allostatic load mediates associations between neighbourhood deprivation and health: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1353829217311127 “More deprived areas are associated with higher allostatic load, and in turn worse allostatic load relates to poorer physical and mental health. Allostatic load is a stronger mediator of physical health than mental health, suggesting the stress pathway is more pertinent to explaining physical health gradients.”

Michael Marmot - Dorothea Lange's lens on humanity: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)31705-7/fulltext?dgcid=raven_jbs_etoc_email&code=lancet-site#.W3cQ3WHSgQY.twitter “…But one particular image, Migrant Mother, taken by California-based photographer Dorothea Lange (1895–1965), brought home to Americans the human cost of economic devastation in the 1930s. The troubled, care-worn beauty and dignity of this woman, with her children, staring from the remnants of her life out at an uncertain world, is the centre-piece of Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing, a wonderful, moving exhibition of Lange's work on display at the Barbican in London, UK.”

Why universal basic income costs far less than you think: https://theconversation.com/why-universal-basic-income-costs-far-less-than-you-think-101134 “The key to understanding the real cost of UBI is understanding the difference between the gross (or upfront) and net (or real) cost.”

The bad news is we’re dying early in Britain – and it’s all down to ‘shit-life syndrome’: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/19/bad-news-is-were-dying-earlier-in-britain-down-to-shit-life-syndrome “Britain and America are in the midst of a barely reported public health crisis. They are experiencing not merely a slowdown in life expectancy, which in many other rich countries is continuing to lengthen, but the start of an alarming increase in death rates across all our populations, men and women alike. We are needlessly allowing our people to die early.”

Healthy planning & environment

Consultation - Inclusion of shale gas production projects in the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) regime: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/inclusion-of-shale-gas-production-projects-in-the-nationally-significant-infrastructure-project-nsip-regime “This early stage consultation is to determine which criteria would be appropriate to trigger inclusion of major shale gas production projects in the NSIP regime. This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 25 October 2018” A response to this consultation, and on the current consultation on permitted development for shale gas extraction (fracking,) is being prepared by the FPH sustainable development special interest group with contributions from the healthy spatial planning special interest group.

LGA responds to government announcement on changes to national planning policy framework: https://www.local.gov.uk/about/news/lga-responds-government-announcement-changes-national-planning-policy-framework ““It is hugely disappointing that the Government has not listened to our concerns about nationally set housing targets, and will introduce a delivery test that punishes communities for homes not built by private developers. Councils work hard with communities to get support for good quality housing development locally, and there is a risk these reforms will lead to locally agreed plans being bypassed by national targets.””

Officials block release of details of minister’s talks with fracking industry: https://drillordrop.com/2018/08/22/officials-block-release-of-details-of-ministers-talks-with-fracking-industry/ “Information about the meeting, first publicly referred to during a parliamentary debate, was released following a Freedom of Information request. But in its response, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published only the agenda and the first eight lines of the two-plus pages of meeting notes. Even the second half of the notes of the minister’s presentations was blanked out “in the public interest”.”

Councils urged to create new garden towns: https://www.localgov.co.uk/Councils-urged-to-create-new-garden-towns/45848 - more here: Garden communities: prospectus: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/garden-communities-prospectus “This prospectus invites bids from local authorities and private sector partners for ambitious, locally supported, proposals for new garden communities.” -

RTPI: Paper on Brexit and potential impact on land use published: http://www.rtpi.org.uk/briefing-room/news-releases/2018/july/paper-on-brexit-and-potential-impact-on-land-use-published/#163961_20180813023606 “The RTPI has published a briefing paper that maps a range of relevant directives and regulations affecting land use in the UK, and analyses their applicability to different outcomes of the Brexit process. Brexit And Land Use Briefing. The briefing, produced in conjunction with the Institute for European Environmental Policy, examines nine EU Directives covering areas from waste water treatment and martime spatial planning to environmental impact assessment and air quality.”

It’s time to act now or never for British wildlife. Caring is not enough.: https://www.wcl.org.uk/chris-packham-guest-blog.asp “During this year's Bioblitz, we clocked up a notable 4828 different species, many new to the sites, the county and a couple new to the country! We celebrated the enormous and valuable species richness of the UK’s wildlife. But there was a downside...”

Quality of Living City Ranking: https://mobilityexchange.mercer.com/Insights/quality-of-living-rankings “For the ninth consecutive year, Vienna tops our Quality of Living ranking, and other Western European cities continue to dominate the top of the list. An important role in a city's attractiveness for talent and business is sanitation, Honolulu ranked 1st in the Sanitation ranking.”

Halfway to boiling: the city at 50C: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/aug/13/halfway-boiling-city-50c “It is the temperature at which human cells start to cook, animals suffer and air conditioners overload power grids. Once an urban anomaly, 50C is fast becoming reality”

Housing

Social Housing Green Paper: The potential pitfalls of housing association league tables: http://housingevidence.ac.uk/blog/social-housing-green-paper-potential-pitfalls-of-housing-association-league-tables/ “Last Tuesday, the much-awaited Social Housing Green Paper was released and one of the main proposals is to introduce league tables to rank the performance of social landlords. In this blog, we draw on the CaCHE research project, Wellbeing as a tool for evaluating housing outcomes and housing policy impacts, to discuss some of the key issues around this proposal.”

Infographic: how does housing influence our health? https://www.health.org.uk/blog/infographic-how-does-housing-influence-our-health “Where we live can influence our health through many means. Our new infographic illustrates the main ways in which the links between housing and health play out.”

Four reasons to consider co-housing and housing cooperatives for alternative living: https://theconversation.com/four-reasons-to-consider-co-housing-and-housing-cooperatives-for-alternative-living-99097 “As lifestyles in the UK have become more stressful and pressurised, people have started to look at alternative ways to live. Some are now seeking out more of a community feel to their home lives, exploring the option of joining an “intentional community”.”

Shocking pictures reveal housing horror stories behind selective licensing decision: https://www.nottinghampost.com/news/nottingham-news/shocking-pictures-reveal-housing-horror-1908241 “'95 percent of landlords are good people. The five percent that are letting us down are the ones we will be ruthlessly hunting for'”

Climate change & sustainability

Gov.UK- Climate change: second national adaptation programme (2018 to 2023): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/climate-change-second-national-adaptation-programme-2018-to-2023 “This report sets out what government and others will be doing over the next 5 years to be ready for the challenges of climate change.”

Google and The UN Team Up To Study The Effects of Climate Change: https://futurism.com/un-environment-google-partnership/ “The United Nations’ environmental agency has landed itself a powerful partner in the fight against climate change: Google. The tech company has agreed to partner with UN Environment to increase the world’s access to valuable environmental data. Specifically, the two plan to create a user-friendly platform that lets anyone, anywhere, access environmental data collected by Google’s vast network of satellites.”

Anthrax outbreak triggered by climate change kills boy in Arctic Circle: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/01/anthrax-outbreak-climate-change-arctic-circle-russia “Seventy-two nomadic herders, including 41 children, were hospitalised in far north Russia after the region began experiencing abnormally high temperatures”

Climate breakdown is a public health issue: https://neweconomics.org/2018/08/climate-breakdown-public-health?mc_cid=21966d69bf&mc_eid=a15a43d447 “In the UK, the Committee on Climate Change – the government’s independent climate advisory body – predicts that the effect of rising mean temperatures will lead to an increase in heat-related deaths from 2,000 to 7,000 per year by the 2050s.”

Majority of UK public want to install solar panels, poll finds: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/aug/20/majority-of-uk-public-want-to-install-solar-panels-poll-finds “More than half of the British public would install solar panels and home batteries to tackle climate change if there was greater assistance from the government, polling has found. While many have already made their home more energy efficient, 62% said they wanted to fit solar and a surprisingly high 60% would buy an energy storage device such as those sold by Tesla. An even greater number – 71% – would join a local energy scheme such as a community windfarm or solar panel collective, according to the YouGov survey.”

Tesco is delivering on its bold climate commitments: https://www.wemeanbusinesscoalition.org/blog/tesco-delivering-bold-climate-commitments/ “The UK’s biggest supermarket chain is taking a strong leadership position in its sector through aggressively cutting carbon emissions. We caught up with Christina Downend, Climate Change Manager at Tesco PLC, to discuss why they are strategically investing in energy efficiency and switching to 100% renewable electricity.”

Stacking concrete blocks is a surprisingly efficient way to store energy: https://qz.com/1355672/stacking-concrete-blocks-is-a-surprisingly-efficient-way-to-store-energy/ “A startup called Energy Vault thinks it has a viable alternative to pumped-hydro: Instead of using water and dams, the startup uses concrete blocks and cranes. It has been operating in stealth mode until today (Aug. 18), when its existence will be announced at Kent Presents, an ideas festival in Connecticut.”

Jakarta, the fastest-sinking city in the world: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-44636934 “The Indonesian capital of Jakarta is home to 10 million people but it is also one of the fastest-sinking cities in the world. If this goes unchecked, parts of the megacity could be entirely submerged by 2050, say researchers. Is it too late?”

Translating IDS: https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/blog-post/3061266/translating-ids “Iain Duncan Smith's proposal to abolish the carbon price floor points to a much bigger plan to undermine the government's Green Brexit vision. Failed Conservative Party Leader and failed Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has this week penned his latest missive explaining how the government could make a success of Brexit if only it listened to him, a failed Conservative Party Leader and failed Work and Pensions Secretary.”

Active travel & transport

Journal of Physical Activity and Health – contents page: https://journals.humankinetics.com/toc/jpah/15/8

What happens to travel behaviour when the right to park is removed? https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0967070X18300210?dgcid=rss_sd_all “Overall, the results suggest that removing the right of young adults to park at a frequent destination delayed their acquisition of driving licences and cars. These findings may explain part of the fall in licence-holding observed amongst young adults in Great Britain in recent decades.”

Transportation and Recreational Infrastructure Development: Transport and Land Use Measures for Public Health Comparisons: https://ascelibrary.org/doi/abs/10.1061/%28ASCE%29UP.1943-5444.0000468 “Highlights include strong positive correlations between population density and trail demand metrics as well as pool demand and walkable household density metrics. Metrics are then further analyzed in relation to neighborhood obesity rates.”

Are head injuries to cyclists an important cause of death in road travel fatalities? https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214140517309714 “Answering the question ‘How important are head injuries in cyclists as a cause of road travel death?’ depends on the metric used for assessing importance. Pedestrians and drivers account for five and four times the number of fatal head injuries as cyclists. The fatal head injury rate is highest for cyclists by time travelled and for pedestrians

using distance travelled.”

Consultation - New cycling offences: causing death or serious injury when cycling: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/new-cycling-offences-causing-death-or-serious-injury-when-cycling “Seeks views on proposed new offences of causing death or serious injury while cycling and changes to the existing offences of dangerous and careless cycling.”

New film collection highlights ways to apply Ten Principles: http://www.activityalliance.org.uk/news/4279-new-film-collection-highlights-ways-to-apply-ten-principles “Today Activity Alliance, supported by Sport England, is releasing five Ten Principles in action films. Following on from the first film released in June that introduced the Principles, viewers meet Shay, TP, Tony, Anthony and Hannah. The latest collection guides providers on how they too could apply the principles in their own activities.”

Air quality & pollution

Social position determines pregnant women's exposure to air pollution: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-08/bifg-spd081318.php “Socio-economic position determines the environmental hazards--such as air pollution and noise--that pregnant women are exposed to in urban areas, although the nature of the association varies from city to city. This was the main conclusion of a new study conducted with the participation of the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a centre supported by the "la Caixa" Banking Foundation.”

Study highlights air pollution risk to children in prams: https://www.airqualitynews.com/2018/08/14/study-highlights-air-pollution-risk-to-children-in-prams/ “Young children in prams may be exposed to up to 60% more pollution than their parents at the kerbside, research published today has suggested. A study, conducted by the Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) at the University of Surrey in the Environment International journal, investigated the potential exposure of infants based on their proximity to ground level and emissions at the roadside.”

There has been much coverage in the media of a legal decision in the USA regarding glyphosate weed killer (Roundup). This coverage has been very varied and ranged from the objective and measured to sensationalism. This is an interesting case study that demonstrates that legal decisions do not equal, and are not always based on, the best available evidence. Firstly – a couple of reviews of the evidence;

And now some of the media coverage;

What is the polluter pays principle? http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/faqs/what-is-the-polluter-pays-principle/ “The ‘polluter pays’ principle is the commonly accepted practice that those who produce pollution should bear the costs of managing it to prevent damage to human health or the environment. For instance, a factory that produces a potentially poisonous substance as a by-product of its activities is usually held responsible for its safe disposal.”

IAQM questions detail in Clean Air Strategy: https://www.airqualitynews.com/2018/08/16/iaqm-questions-detail-in-clean-air-strategy/ “The professional body for air quality specialists has welcomed the ambition set out within the government’s Clean Air Strategy, but raised questions over the level of detail offered in how the Strategy’s aims will be met.”

Older than dinosaurs: last South African coelacanths threatened by oil exploration: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/17/older-than-dinosaurs-last-south-african-coelacanths-threatened-by-oil-exploration “Just 30 of the prehistoric fish known to exist, raising fears oil wells will push it to extinction”

Bournemouth University turns to gamification to cut emissions and plastics use: https://www.edie.net/news/7/Bournemouth-University-to-embed-SDGs-in-strategy-after-behavior-change-scheme-success/ “Bournemouth University has revealed an employee engagement scheme has enabled it to avoid more than 500kg of disposable coffee cup waste and reduce its carbon emissions by more than 400 tonnes over an eight-month period.”

Food & food security

Local Food Environments, Suburban Development, and BMI: A Mixed Methods Study: http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/15/7/1392 “This study showed how patterns of suburban development influence local food environments and health outcomes in an urbanized city context and provides insights for other rapidly growing cities.”

Wheat gene map to help 'feed the world': https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45173968 “The starting pistol has been fired in a race to develop "climate change resistant" wheat with the publication of a map of the crop's genes. An international team of scientists has identified the location of more than 100,000 wheat genes. The researchers say the map will accelerate the development of new strains to cope with the increased heat waves expected from climate change.“ – primary research article here: Shifting the limits in wheat research and breeding using a fully annotated reference genome: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/361/6403/eaar7191

UK PH Network - Harmonising health in a Green Brexit: slideset: http://www.ukpublichealthnetwork.org.uk/ukphnresources/?entryid134=59370&p=3 “A slide set to accompany the briefing paper looking at alignment on key public health messages in 71 published responses to DEFRA's Health and harmony consultation on the future of food and farming”

Food Security: Failure to Act on Agriculture Poses a Major Threat to Post-Brexit Britain: http://www.futuredirections.org.au/publication/food-security-failure-to-act-on-agriculture-poses-a-major-threat-to-post-brexit-britain/ “…While solutions to the UK’s farming policy after Brexit are now, finally, being drafted, the lack of preparation is indicative of a worrying lack of care being taken by Westminster to secure British food security at a time of major risk.”

Advertising Standards Authority bans KFC and Kellogg’s adverts from targeting children: https://www.sustainweb.org/news/aug18_asarulings/?dg “The Advertising Standards Authority has upheld complaints against a KFC 'Mars Krushem' milkshake outside a primary school and a TV ad for Kellogg's Coco Pops shown on a children's channel, but rules aimed at protecting kids from junk food marketing are still not strong enough, say health campaigners.”

Sustain Brexit Forum, Autumn 2018 - save the date(s): https://www.sustainweb.org/news/jul18_save_the_dates_sustain_brexit_forum/ “We are planning a Sustain Brexit Forum - Delivering the Goods: What do we need to know and do? We've got the possibility of an exciting London venue, but not yet fully confirmed. Sustain members and associates, pencil Monday 15th October 2018 in your diary and we'll send more details shortly via the Sustain Brexit Forum news email list.”

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Jo Dodd - 07815 490436

Rajdeep Atwal - 0121 569 5121