Our Networks

Send to Facebook Tweet this

Login | Register | Share:

West Midlands Health and Planning group

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 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.”
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. “


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”


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.”

WMHPG news, information and resources 17 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.

Urgent – consultation closes 17th August (Friday)– it is not too late to sign these petitions…if you get it done today or tomorrow am.

Medact - Call on Birmingham City Council to commit to cleaning Birmingham's air: https://civi.medact.org/wf/sign/birmingham-cleanairzone

To: Birmingham City Council - Protect our children from dirty air in Birmingham: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/protect-our-children-from-dirty-air-in-birmingham

Walking Cities: West Midlands: https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/what-you-can-do/campaigns/walking-cities-west-midlands

Sustainable development goals

Gapminder – the GapMinder Test: https://www.gapminder.org/ “Almost nobody knows the basic global facts” – Take the GapMinder Test – (a lot more difficult than expected – I was surprised at how few I got right (less than 6)).

UN's Sustainable Development Goals for Small Businesses: https://www.business.com/articles/un-sustainable-development-goals-for-small-business/ “The United Nations has established goals to protect the planet and ensure prosperity, but chances are your company isn't following them.”

World Breastfeeding Week: a mother’s perspective on breastfeeding: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/Life-stages/maternal-and-newborn-health/news/news/2018/08/world-breastfeeding-week-a-mothers-perspective-on-breastfeeding “Breastfeeding is a vital part of healthy child development, and the best start to life for any baby. During World Breastfeeding Week, which takes place on 1–7 August each year, WHO celebrates the benefits of breastfeeding and raises awareness about this essential part of every person’s life course.”

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.”

Spending hours sitting in meetings? Consult WHO’s new guide to planning healthy and sustainable meetings: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/noncommunicable-diseases/obesity/news/news/2018/7/spending-hours-sitting-in-meetings-consult-whos-new-guide-to-planning-healthy-and-sustainable-meetings “WHO is releasing a new guide for employers and meeting organizers to promote healthier working environments. “Planning healthy and sustainable meetings”, initially developed for WHO’s own employees, applies established health promotion principles to meetings and events.”

Healthy planning & environment

Promoting a healthy cities agenda through indicators: development of a global urban environment and health index: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23748834.2018.1429180 “This paper presents the development of a global index to help city leaders and practitioners understand their role in delivering health outcomes through urban environment policies and programmes. The Building Research Establishment’s international Healthy Cities Index (BRE HCI) contains 10 environment categories and 58 indicators, supported by a causal pathways framework.”

PlayStation Consultation: https://lichfields.uk/blog/2018/august/15/playstation-consultation/ “Cities: Skylines is the spiritual successor to SimCity in that, at its heart, it’s a game for those who find the notation of cities as systems... While obviously first and foremost a computer game (with goals, missions, tasks etc), the real power of the game lies with the worldbuilding toolkit the game’s development team has created.  The developers’ goal was to create a games engine that had the ability to simulate various components of a city with a high degree of accuracy.”

Fracking Is Dangerous To Your Health -- Here's Why: https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2017/02/23/fracking-is-dangerous-to-your-health-heres-why/ “This post looks in greater depth at the health problems linked to fracking. These are not hypothetical concerns—there are now more than 700 studies looking at risks—and more than 80% of the health studies document risks or actual harms.”

NPPF promotes early collaboration with stakeholders and communities: https://2020visionsbook.com/news/nppf-promotes-early-collaboration-with-stakeholders-and-communities/ ““Overstretched local planning authorities under pressure to deliver schemes quickly, too often allow detrimental changes following consent. A good design code developed with community and stakeholder involvement can be a really effective way of avoiding this.””

What would a heat-proof city look like? https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/aug/15/what-heat-proof-city-look-like? “Cities are already up to 10C hotter than surrounding areas. As temperatures rise, here are four ways to cool cities down – saving both lives and energy”

Public land is a feminist issue: https://neweconomics.org/2018/08/public-land-is-a-feminist-issue?mc_cid=e88956ceee&mc_eid=330863fa78 “Community housing groups across London are putting women and non-binary people at the forefront of their plans for building affordable housing”


Social Housing Green Paper - Social housing green paper: a ‘new deal’ for social housing: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/social-housing-green-paper-a-new-deal-for-social-housing “The paper aims to rebalance the relationship between landlords and residents, tackle stigma and ensure social housing can act as a stable base and support social mobility.”

Government announces £100 million plan to end rough sleeping by 2027: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-100-million-plan-to-end-rough-sleeping-by-2027 “Thousands of rough sleepers will be offered rapid specialist assessments and support.”

From family feuds to survival sex, Britain's gay homeless hardest hit: http://www.thisisplace.org/i/?id=9fad61a9-fe1c-4a48-a6ed-c5c5eda7327d “LGBT individuals are 14 times more likely to be homeless than straight people, largely due to being "rejected and ejected" from home”

Supported housing to be funded by welfare system: https://www.localgov.co.uk/Supported-housing-to-be-funded-by-welfare-system/45816 “Council leaders have welcomed the announcement that supported housing will be funded through housing benefit.”

Scoping Study: The impact of welfare reforms on housing associations: http://housingevidence.ac.uk/publications/scoping-study-the-impact-of-welfare-reforms-on-housing-associations/ “This report presents the key findings of an exploratory, scoping study which has explored the impact of welfare reforms on housing associations. Drawing on qualitative data generated from in-depth interviews with housing association Chief Executives, Directors and senior managers and key ‘stakeholders’, the research presented here builds on an evidence review of their impact, which has been published alongside this report.” - Evidence Review: The impact of welfare and tenancy reforms on housing associations: http://housingevidence.ac.uk/publications/evidence-review-the-impact-of-welfare-and-tenancy-reforms-on-housing-associations/

The Economic Impact of House Building: https://lichfields.uk/blog/2018/august/13/the-economic-impact-of-house-building/ “But new housing doesn’t just address the housing crisis. It has an economic benefit too. Lichfields was commissioned to undertake research on behalf of the Home Builders Federation (HBF) to quantify the economic contribution of house building, and in particular, quantify the ‘economic dividend’ that could be realised by delivering the Government’s broad ambition for c.300,000 new homes per annum.”

Climate change & sustainability

A novel probabilistic forecast system predicting anomalously warm 2018-2022 reinforcing the long-term global warming trend: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-05442-8 “Here we develop a novel method to predict global-mean surface air temperature and sea surface temperature, based on transfer operators, which allows, by-design, probabilistic forecasts. The prediction accuracy is equivalent to operational forecasts and its reliability is high.“  - More here - Next few years 'may be exceptionally warm': https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45185721

Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/07/31/1810141115 “Collective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state. Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System—biosphere, climate, and societies—and could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values.”

Climate change has doubled the frequency of ocean heatwaves: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05978-1 “If average global temperatures increase to 3.5 °C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, as researchers currently project, the frequency of ocean heatwaves could increase by a factor of 41. In other words, a one-in-one-hundred-day event at pre-industrial levels of warming could become a one-in-three-day event.”

The Race of Our Lives Revisited: https://www.advisorperspectives.com/commentaries/2018/08/09/the-race-of-our-lives-revisited “...Ten thousand years ago, or even a hundred years ago, these problems were either mild or non-existent. Today they are accelerating to a crisis. And at just this time, when of all times we could use a lucky break, our luck has deserted us. We face a form of capitalism that has hardened its focus to short-term profit maximization with little or no apparent interest in social good just as its power to influence government and its own fate has grown so strong that only the biggest most powerful corporations and the very richest individuals have any real say in government.”

History of oil & gas production from shale in pictures & charts: why US shale will crash and UK will fail: https://jeremyleggett.net/2018/08/08/history-of-oil-and-gas-production-from-shale-in-pictures-and-charts-why-american-shale-is-heading-for-a-crash-and-fracking-in-the-uk-is-doomed-to-costly-failure/ “With fracking about to recommence in the UK after 8 years, a review of progress and prospects is in order. To understand why this latest fiasco in British energy policy and wider society has come about, it is necessary to go right back to the beginning, around 2006, when fracking began in earnest in American shale ….and a multi-hundred-billion-dollar doomed-to-burst debt bubble began to build.”

Thatcher was right on global warming: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/08/strong-conservative-case-made-global-warming/ “Thatcher was right – capitalism has sound solutions for climate change”

Capitalism can crack climate change. But only if it takes risks: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/16/capitalism-climate-change-risks-profits-china? “Anglo-Saxon capitalism’s drive to maximise profits in the short term won’t save the planet. Perhaps the Chinese model can?”

Don't blame wildfires on climate change – it's environmentalists' fault, says Zinke: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/13/us-interior-secretary-ryan-zinke-climate-change-environmentalists “The US interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, has blamed environmentalists for California’s ferocious wildfires and claimed, contrary to scientific research, that climate change had “nothing to do” with them. Instead, he said the fires were worsened because of limits on logging.”

Active travel & transport

Association between physical exercise and mental health in 1·2 million individuals in the USA between 2011 and 2015: a cross-sectional study: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(18)30227-X/fulltext?utm_campaign=lancet&utm_content=75463887 “In a large US sample, physical exercise was significantly and meaningfully associated with self-reported mental health burden in the past month. More exercise was not always better. Differences as a function of exercise were large relative to other demographic variables such as education and income. Specific types, durations, and frequencies of exercise might be more effective clinical targets than others for reducing mental health burden, and merit interventional study.”

MPs launch inquiry into boosting take-up of active travel options: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/transport-committee/news-parliament-2017/active-travel-launch-17-19/ “The Transport Committee launches an inquiry to consider ways of increasing active travel across England.”

How electric vehicles are moving into the fast lane: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45084671 “From battery-powered delivery trucks and rickshaws, to Formula E racing cars, electric vehicles are entering the mainstream. But will a lack of investment in charging infrastructure hold the market back?”

Air quality & pollution

Even low levels of air pollution linked with serious changes in the heart, according to new UK research: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180803103315.htm “Researchers have found that people exposed to air pollution levels well within UK guidelines have changes in the structure of the heart, similar to those seen in the early stages of heart failure.”

Food & food security

Campaign for a Better Food Britain: https://www.sustainweb.org/betterfoodbritain/ “We want everyone to be able to enjoy food that is good for our health; for farmers and food producers to make a decent living at home and abroad; and for our food system to support high animal welfare and nature conservation, as well as playing its part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Also in a Better Food Britain, no food will go to waste.”

We’re in a new age of obesity. How did it happen? You’d be surprised: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/15/age-of-obesity-shaming-overweight-people “It’s not that we’re eating more, that we exercise less, or that we lack willpower. The shaming of overweight people has to stop”

Average Glasgow chips portion 80% bigger than it should be: https://www.scotsman.com/news/health/average-glasgow-chips-portion-80-bigger-than-it-should-be-1-4781291 “The average portion of chips sold in Glasgow is 80 per cent larger than official guidance set out in 2002, new research has revealed.”

The man who is fervent about feeding hungry kids, but hates food banks: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/15/man-feeds-hungry-kids-hates-food-banks-austerity “Children should not be victims of austerity says Robbie Davison, head of a meals service. It’s all about dignity”

Public health must be a public good in UK agriculture policy: https://www.sustainweb.org/news/jul18_public_health_is_a_public_good/?dg “Academics, public health advocates and food and farming specialists have joined forces to call on the Prime Minister and her Cabinet, formally to recognise public health as a public good in UK agriculture policy.”

Brexit deal or no deal? The impact on our food supplies: Sustain responds: https://www.sustainweb.org/news/jul18_brexit_deal_or_no_deal_impact_on_food_supplies/?dg “The possibility of the UK crashing out of the EU with ‘no deal’ has raised the spectre of potential food shortages. Sustain comments, urging a fair, measured and well-planned approach to avoid unnecessary food disruption and anxiety, particularly for the 8.4 million people in the UK already living with food insecurity.”

Welsh Tories call for food security to be ‘at the heart’ of policy making: https://www.fginsight.com/news/news/welsh-tories-call-for-food-security-to-be-at-the-heart-of-policy-making-67433 “The Welsh Conservatives have called on Ministers in Cardiff to put food security ‘at the heart’ of policy making.”

And finally….

USA Temperature: can I sucker you? https://tamino.wordpress.com/2018/08/08/usa-temperature-can-i-sucker-you/ “Suppose I wanted to convince people that temperature in the USA wasn’t going up, it was going down. What would I show?”

WMHPG news, information and resources 10 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

SDU co-authored paper on how the NHS can support the UN Sustainable Development Goals: https://www.sduhealth.org.uk/news/623/sdu-coauthored-paper-on-how-the-nhs-can-support-the-un-sustainable-development-goals- “As one of the biggest organisations in the world NHS in England can contribute considerably to the UK's efforts to embedding the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN’s SDGs). In order to optimise this, this study evaluated and reconceptualised the Good Corporate Citizenship tool to create the Sustainable Development Assessment Tool for health and care organisations in England.”

Universal basic income: the debate continues: https://neweconomics.org/2018/08/ubi-debate-continues “...However, market failure is not the only reason to defend and strengthen collective services that are accessible for all according to need. There is strong evidence that these collective services play an important redistributive role, give far better value for money than services purchased by individuals, and help to build social solidarity in ways that markets never can.”

Causal narratives in public health: the difference between mechanisms of aetiology and mechanisms of prevention in non-communicable diseases: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/1467-9566.12621 “The mechanisms of aetiology and of prevention are sometimes significantly different and failure to make this distinction has hindered efforts at preventing non-communicable diseases linked to diet, exercise and alcohol consumption. We propose a sociological approach as an alternative based on social practice theory.”

The Bank of England’s interest rate rise will cripple those who can least afford it: https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/economy/2018/08/bank-england-s-interest-rate-rise-will-cripple-those-who-can-least-afford?mc_cid=474d9022ae&mc_eid=a15a43d447 “While wealthy Brits will barely notice the rate rise, it’s bad news for the millions who take on debt to get by.”

Testing the Rose Hypothesis (via @felly500) - Association between population mean and distribution of deviance in demographic surveys from 65 countries: cross sectional study: https://www.bmj.com/content/362/bmj.k3147 “To examine whether conditions related to scarcity at the left side of the distribution (anaemia, severe chronic energy deficiency, and underweight) are as strongly related to population means as conditions of excess at the right side of the distribution (overweight and obesity)… The associations between population means and prevalence of conditions of scarcity such as low BMI and anaemia were substantially weaker than the associations of mean BMI with conditions of excesses such as overweight and obesity.”

Healthy planning & environment

Green Space – PERFECT project - New resources for policymakers: https://www.interregeurope.eu/perfect/news/news-article/3215/new-resources-for-policymakers/?platform=hootsuite “Two new resources have been produced by the Lead Partner the Town and Country Planning Association to help with this task, including one on biodiversity with the PERFECT partner Bratislava Karlova Ves Municipality. These factsheets on biodiversity and green infrastructure; and health and green infrastructure, set out key statistics about the benefits provided by networks of green space in urban areas, and make the argument for why it is so important to invest in high quality green infrastructure.”

Why is it in the interests of a city to improve health and well being: https://gregfellpublichealth.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/why-is-it-in-the-interests-of-a-city-to-improve-health-and-well-being/ “You’d think it was a stupid question to even ask. It’s obvious isn’t it. But in austere times we are slashing preventive services and loosing focus on upstream determinants and their link to healthier folk. We still aren’t landing the rationale for why PH folk hassle others to build bike lanes, parks, not advertise junk, do progressive licencing, why poverty matters to health and things of a similar nature.”

Invasive tropical plant removed metal pollutants from British river – new study: https://theconversation.com/invasive-tropical-plant-removed-metal-pollutants-from-british-river-new-study-100403#Echobox=1533226868 “Not only is phytoremediation more environmentally friendly than conventional methods, it is cheaper too. It involves using photosynthesising organisms to remove pollutants – for example, heavy metals like lead – from water.”

Community Engagement – Swipe right for development? https://lichfields.uk/blog/2018/july/26/community-engagement-swipe-right-for-development/ “Recognising that community engagement has the propensity to also be dominated by those with the loudest voices, many applicants are looking at a new wave of digital tools to help make the consultation process a more interactive and inclusive one. Capitalising on the smartphone era, a range of new technological advances are being made within the community engagement space – with mobile apps leading the way.  “

Michael Gove releases beavers into the wild to help stop flooding: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/07/24/michael-gove-releases-beavers-wild-help-stop-flooding/ “Beavers have been released into the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire in the hope they will naturally engineer the environment against flooding and help bring back lost wildlife.”

Nuclear waste could be buried underneath national parks, say MPs: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/nuclear-waste-national-parks-radioactive-aonb-energy-lake-district-beis-a8470376.html “Nuclear waste could be stored in vaults deep underneath national parks after MPs approved a new plan for the UK’s most toxic radioactive materials. The move means protected areas including national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) would be potential sites for the construction of waste disposal facilities.”


Affordable homes on green belt 'a lie', say campaigners: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-45079648 “Plans to build 460,000 homes on land released from the green belt will not help young families get on to the property ladder, say campaigners. The Campaign to Protect Rural England said 78% of planned developments on greenfield sites do not fall under the government's "affordable" definition.”

Climate change & sustainability

Attributing high-impact extreme events across timescales—a case study of four different types of events: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-018-2258-3 “Here, we demonstrate a seamless approach to the science of extreme event attribution and future risk assessment by using the same set of model ensembles to provide such information on past, present and future hazard risks in four case studies on different types of events. Given the current relevance, we focus on estimating the change in future hazard risk under 1.5 °C and 2 °C of global mean temperature rise.”

World at risk of heading toward irreversible 'hothouse' state: https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-global-climatechange/world-at-risk-of-heading-toward-irreversible-hothouse-state-idUKKBN1KR223 “The world is at risk of entering “hothouse” conditions where global average temperatures will be 4-5 degrees Celsius higher even if emissions reduction targets under a global climate deal are met, scientists said in a study published on Monday.”

Scientists Have Uncovered a Disturbing Climate Change Precedent: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/08/earths-scorching-hot-history/566762/ “Last week, Naafs and colleagues released a study in Nature Geoscience that reconstructs temperatures on land during this ancient high-CO2 hothouse of the late Paleocene and early Eocene epochs—the sweltering launch to the age of mammals. And the temperatures they unearthed are unsurprisingly scorching.”

Methane uptake from forest soils has ‘fallen by 77% in three decades’: https://www.carbonbrief.org/methane-uptake-from-forest-soils-has-fallen-77-per-cent-three-decades “The amount of methane absorbed by forest soils has fallen by an average of 77% in the northern hemisphere over the past 27 years, a new study finds.”

ONS - How deadly is this year’s heatwave? https://blog.ons.gov.uk/2018/08/07/how-deadly-is-this-years-heatwave/ “Weeks of relentless warm weather have triggered reports of a spike in heat-related deaths, with some claiming the heatwave has now cost hundreds of lives. As Nick Stripe explains, those claims are not supported by the published data – but a summer spike in heat-related deaths can’t be ruled out yet.”

World passes 1,000 GW of wind and solar, on a rising exponential curve, in the last days of June: BNEF: https://jeremyleggett.net/2018/08/02/world-passes-1000-gw-of-wind-and-solar-on-a-rising-exponential-curve-in-the-last-days-of-june-bnef/ “Total installed capacity has grown 65-fold since the year 2000, and more than quadrupled since 2010. Even more striking is the growth of solar PV alone. As recently as 2007, there was just 8GW of PV capacity installed, compared with 89GW of wind. Since then, PV has grown from just 8% of total installed wind and solar capacity, to 46%. In the process, PV installations grew 57-fold, with utility-scale PV overtaking small-scale PV in 2014.”

Council’s solar farm generates £1.3m in second year: https://www.localgov.co.uk/Councils-solar-farm-generates-1.3m-in-second-year/45805 “Forest Heath District Council’s solar farm has generated more than £1.3m of income in its second year enabling the authority to plough over £370,000 back into council services.”

State of the climate: 2018 set to be fourth warmest year despite cooler start: https://www.carbonbrief.org/state-of-the-climate-2018-set-to-be-fourth-warmest-year-despite-cooler-start “Temperatures on the Earth’s surface in the first half of 2018 were lower than over the same period for the three previous years. This was due, in part, to a moderate La Niña event during late 2017 and the first half of 2018.”

Deaths rose 650 above average during UK heatwave – with older people most at risk: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/aug/03/deaths-rose-650-above-average-during-uk-heatwave-with-older-people-most-at-risk “Exclusive: data shows spike in deaths coinciding with high temperatures, with frail, older people with kidney or heart problems most vulnerable”

Climate breakdown: where is the left? https://neweconomics.org/2018/07/climate-breakdown-where-is-the-left?mc_cid=474d9022ae&mc_eid=a15a43d447 “It’s easy enough to have pops at the Government’s increasingly Janus-faced cognitive dissonance – with ministers slipping between trying to badge the UK as world leaders on climate change while merrily giving the green light to fracking. But where’s the UK left, right now, on climate change?”

Scientists Urged to Take a Stand Against BBC’s False Balance on Climate Change: https://www.desmog.co.uk/2018/08/01/scientists-urged-take-stand-against-bbc-s-false-balance-climate-change “It was all a bit retro… A BBC radio presenter, looking out the window and seeing it’s (still) hot, and leaning into his microphone to ask “does this mean climate change is real?” Do not adjust your wireless. This really is the opening question on a segment about climate change. In 2018.”

Rising temperatures linked to increased suicide rates: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/23/rising-temperatures-linked-to-increased-suicide-rates “Rising temperatures are linked to increasing rates of suicide, according to a large new study. The researchers warn that the impact of climate change on suicides may be as significant as economic recessions, which are known to increase rates of self-harm.”

Climate Change's Looming Mental Health Crisis: https://www.wired.com/story/climate-changes-looming-mental-health-crisis/ “It’s known as ecological grief—the mourning of ecosystems and species and ways of life that are disappearing as the planet warms. But it isn’t just hitting the Inuit. As our planet plays host to rising seas, more intense storms, and higher temperatures, those conditions will support a growing international mental health crisis.”

Active travel & transport

Essential Evidence on a Page No. 171: Visual looming & child pedestrian safety: https://travelwest.info/project/ee-no-171-visual-looming-child-pedestrian-safety “Top line: Children may not be able to detect vehicles approaching at speeds in excess of 20 mph. This creates a risk of injudicious road crossing in urban settings when traffic speeds are higher than 20 mph. The risk is exacerbated because vehicles moving faster than this speed are more likely to result in pedestrian fatalities.”

National Travel Survey: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-travel-survey-statistics “National Travel Survey (NTS) is a household survey designed to monitor long-term trends in personal travel and to inform the development of policy. It is the primary source of data on personal travel patterns by residents of England within Great Britain. The survey collects information on how, why, when and where people travel as well as factors affecting travel (e.g. car availability and driving licence holding). The NTS table index lists all the data tables available.”

The effects of exercise referral schemes in the United Kingdom in those with cardiovascular, mental health, and musculoskeletal disorders: a preliminary systematic review: https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-018-5868-9 “Longer length schemes (20+ weeks) improved adherence to physical activity prescribed over the course of the scheme, and could support longer term exercise adherence upon completion, however additional research on larger samples should examine this further. An implication is that schemes currently recommended in guidelines do not tailor programmes to support long term adherence to exercise, which must be addressed.”

Transport gap: London gets £419 more per head than north of England: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/aug/01/transport-spending-gap-london-north-of-england-ippr “Transport spending in London has continued to dramatically increase at the expense of other parts of the country, according to an analysis of the latest government figures. From 2016 to 2017 spending in the capital rose by 11.4%, compared to a 3.6% fall in the north of England, according to the thinktank IPPR North.”

Speed limit to be cut to 20mph in some areas of central London: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/24/speed-limit-to-be-cut-to-20mph-in-some-areas-of-central-london “TfL to impose limit on roads it controls - sceptics say they are often gridlocked anyway”

Unreliable public transport 'stops poor families finding work': https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/aug/07/north-england-unreliable-public-transport-stops-poor-families-finding-work “Unaffordable and unreliable public transport is cutting off the poorest families in the north of England from crucial job opportunities, a study has found.”

Fewer children walk or cycle to school despite air pollution fears: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/27/school-run-children-walk-cycle-drops “The government’s latest National Travel Survey reveals that more parents are using cars for school run amid mounting evidence of health harms”

Air quality & pollution

Health impact of China's Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan: an analysis of national air quality monitoring and mortality data: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(18)30141-4/fulltext “Substantial reductions in mortality and YLL related to control of ambient air pollution were achieved from 2013 to 2017 in China, indicating appreciable effectiveness of China's APPCAP. However, emissions control efforts for ozone and nitrogen dioxide should be strengthened in the future.”

Clean Air Day to return in 2019: https://www.airqualitynews.com/2018/07/24/clean-air-day-to-return-in-2019/ “Organisers of the Clean Air Day awareness campaign have confirmed the date for the third annual edition of the event, to take place in 2019. Global Action Plan, the behaviour change charity which has coordinated the event in its first two years have confirmed that it will return on Thursday 20 June 2019.”

Buried UK government report finds fracking increases air pollution: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/02/buried-uk-government-report-finds-fracking-increases-air-pollution “Report was with ministers in 2015 but only published three years later, days after a key fracking permit was awarded”

Plastic food pots and trays are often unrecyclable, say councils: https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/science-environment-45058971 “Most of the plastic food containers that householders wash out after use and put in the recycling bin cannot actually be recycled, it has emerged. The mixture of plastics used in many yoghurt pots, ready meal trays and other containers limits the ability of councils to recycle them. The Local Government Association says that only a third can be recycled. The rest get sent to landfill.”

Food & food security

Welsh Government consultation gives food (& drink) for thought: https://lichfields.uk/blog/2018/august/2/welsh-government-consultation-gives-food-drink-for-thought/  “The Welsh Government (WG) is currently consulting on proposals to amend Use Class A3 (Food & Drink). Despite it being almost 15 years since England separated food and drink uses out into three use classes (A3 to A5), in Wales all food and drink uses have remained within a single Class A3 use.”

Lidl claims a first with 'Too Good to Waste' fruit and veg boxes: https://www.hortweek.com/lidl-claims-first-too-good-waste-fruit-veg-boxes/fresh-produce/article/1489562 “Discount retailer Lidl has this week begun trialling discount boxes of fruit and vegetables that are "no longer considered at their perfect best, but are still perfectly good to eat", to help meet its waste reduction targets.”

WMHPG news, information and resources 3 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.


Investing in public health – we need better arguments, not better evidence: https://gregfellpublichealth.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/investing-in-public-health-we-need-better-arguments-not-better-evidence/amp/ “…Why aren’t we winning the argument? I think we’re often guilty of thinking if we just keep throwing evidence at people then policy will change. It should work like that, shouldn’t it? But we’ve already got loads of evidence, and it’s made no real difference – I doubt more will.”

Sustainable development goals

Which countries have the highest rates of modern slavery and most victims? http://news.trust.org/item/20180730000101-aj7ui “At least 40 million people worldwide are estimated to be trapped in modern slavery today - more than ever before - as poverty, conflict and crises fuel the growing global slave trade… North Korea, Eritrea and Burundi are estimated to have the world's highest rates of modern-day slavery, with India, China and Pakistan home to the largest number of victims.”

Was there ever a time when so few people controlled so much wealth? https://theconversation.com/was-there-ever-a-time-when-so-few-people-controlled-so-much-wealth-53350 “Oxfam’s latest report claims that income inequality has reached a new global extreme, exceeding even its predictions from the previous year. The figures behind this claim are striking – just 62 individuals now hold the same wealth as the bottom half of humanity, compared to 80 in 2014 and 388 in 2010. It appears not only has the financial crisis been weathered by the global elite, but that their fortunes have collectively improved.”

What the world can learn about equality from the Nordic model: https://theconversation.com/what-the-world-can-learn-about-equality-from-the-nordic-model-99797 “Rising inequality is one of the biggest social and economic issues of our time. It is linked to poorer economic growth and fosters social discontent and unrest. So, given that the five Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – are some of the world’s most equal on a number of measures, it makes sense to look to them for lessons in how to build a more equal society.”

Healthy planning & environment

National Planning Policy Framework – revised NPPF published: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/revised-national-planning-policy-framework

Built and natural environment planning principles for promoting health: an umbrella review: https://link.springer.com/epdf/10.1186/s12889-018-5870-2 “Findings provide an up-to-date overview of relationships between the built and natural environment and health and present logical, evidence-based messages to aid communication between public health and planning professionals”

Wilderness is vanishingly rare in Earth’s oceans: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05866-8 “Only 13% of Earth’s oceans can now be classed as wilderness, according to a 26 July study in Current Biology.”

NHS England selects development partners for 'healthy new towns': https://www.propertyweek.com/news/nhs-england-selects-development-partners-for-healthy-new-towns/5097944.article “As part of its “healthy new towns” initiative, which aims to create healthier places to live in the UK, NHS England has chosen British Land, Urban Catalyst, A2 Dominion, Clarion, Hanover, Peabody, HAB Housing, Thakeham, Barton Oxford (a development partnership between Oxford City Council and Grosvenor Britain & Ireland), Redrow Homes and Urban and Civic as development partners.”

Challenge seeks to ground Heathrow plans: http://www.ciht.org.uk/en/media-centre/news/index.cfm/challenge-seeks-to-ground-heathrow-plans “Government faces a legal challenge over its support for a third runway at Heathrow after London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan and a group of local councils gave formal notice that they intend to seek a judicial review. The claimants say the airport’s expansion will expose thousands of people to intolerable noise levels and worsening air quality, adding that insufficient consideration has been given to surface access.”

Trump golf course partially destroys Site of Special Scientific Interest: http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/news/trump-golf-course-partially-destroys-site-of-special-scientific-interest/ “On 29 July 2018, ‘The Observer’ newspaper reported that one of Donald Trump’s golf resorts in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, has “partially destroyed” a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It was followed up by the Associated Press and other media. This commentary provides background to the story.”


Soaring rents rose 60% faster than pay since 2011 – Shelter: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/aug/03/soaring-rents-rose-60-faster-than-pay-since-2011-shelter “Many English towns out of reach for workers, whose pay rose only 10% in seven years”

Social housing used to be a national asset. Let’s rebuild that attitude: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/23/social-housing-working-people-home-britain “We joined Shelter’s social housing commission, having served for different parties in government, because we believe housing – one of the biggest crises of our country – has not been properly addressed for a generation. There has been a huge growth in private renting but no minister has ever argued for that. The costs of housing benefit have risen to tens of billions a year but that was never a conscious objective. And we have seen the long, slow death of the building of social housing without explanation.”

Independent review of build out: draft analysis: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-review-of-build-out-draft-analysis “Draft analysis on the cause of the gap between housing completions and the amount of land allocated or permissioned in areas of high housing demand.”

Lidl to build wave of new homes: https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/lidl-to-build-wave-of-new-homes/10033809.article# “Budget supermarket Lidl is to deliver schemes with the potential to create an extra 3,000 new homes in London over the next three years, the company has announced”

Climate change & sustainability

Modelled and observed multidecadal variability in the North Atlantic jet stream and its connection to Sea Surface Temperatures: https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0168.1?af=R “This analysis reveals a fundamental mismatch between late winter jet stream variability in observations and GCMs and a potential source of long term predictability of the late winter Atlantic atmospheric circulation.” – more here - Heatwave made more than twice as likely by climate change, scientists find: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/27/heatwave-made-more-than-twice-as-likely-by-climate-change-scientists-find

Attribution of the 2018 heat in northern Europe: https://www.worldweatherattribution.org/analyses/attribution-of-the-2018-heat-in-northern-europe/ “We estimate that the probability to have such a heat or higher is generally more than two times higher today than if human activities had not altered climate.”

Globally rising soil heterotrophic respiration over recent decades: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0358-x.epdf “...This suggests that climate-driven losses of soil carbon are currently occurring across many ecosystems, with a detectable and sustained trend emerging at the global scale.” – more here - In vicious cycle, warmer dirt makes climate change worse, study says: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/carbon-in-soil-dirt-making-climate-change-worse-study-says/

In-depth: How the UK plans to adapt to climate change: https://www.carbonbrief.org/in-depth-how-the-uk-plans-to-adapt-to-climate-change “ The UK government last week published its updated strategy for tackling the impacts of climate change, including higher temperatures, drought and flooding.”

Media reaction: The 2018 summer heatwaves and climate change: https://www.carbonbrief.org/media-reaction-2018-summer-heatwaves-and-climate-change “From heatwave deaths in Japan, Algeria and Canada, to wildfires in Sweden, Greece and California, the extended spells of hot, dry weather have become frontpage news around the world. Carbon Brief looks back at how the media has reported the extreme weather and how the coverage has – or has not – referenced climate change.”

BBC iPlayer – Feeling the Heat: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0bf7rmc/feeling-the-heat “As countries around the world feel the effects of the summer heatwave, BBC News looks at the impact and causes of the extreme weather.”

World’s first offshore wind farm + battery switched on in Scotland: https://reneweconomy.com.au/worlds-first-offshore-wind-farm-battery-switched-scotland-54470/ “The world’s first floating offshore wind farm, the 30MW Hywind project in Scotland, has this week chalked up another first, with the addition of a 1MW onshore battery system, to store excess power from the wind turbines.”

Royal College of General Practitioners divests from fossil fuels! https://www.medact.org/2018/blogs/royal-college-of-general-practitioners-divests-from-fossil-fuels/ “s extreme heat puts the NHS under stress GPs have called time on the climate-wrecking fossil fuel industry. The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) is ending its investments in all fossil fuel companies. In doing so it sends a powerful statement to society – it is no longer acceptable to be associated with the industry that has brought us to the brink of a public health emergency.”

Active travel & transport

Uber and Lyft Are Overwhelming Urban Streets, and Cities Need to Act Fast: https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2018/07/25/uber-and-lyft-are-overwhelming-urban-streets-and-cities-need-to-act-fast/ “New research from Bruce Schaller shows that the companies are adding traffic at a prodigious rate in America's largest cities.”

Transport experts explain why buses come in threes – and which one you should get on: https://theconversation.com/transport-experts-explain-why-buses-come-in-threes-and-which-one-you-should-get-on-99348 “The simple solution is to get on the second bus. It’s likely to be less crowded, and to arrive at its destination first. This is because bus operators often instruct the second bus to overtake the first, in order to minimise delays.”

Associations between mental distress and physical activity in US adults: a dose–response analysis BRFSS 2011: https://academic.oup.com/jpubhealth/article-abstract/40/2/289/3979142?redirectedFrom=fulltext “An inverse dose–response relationship was found between the severity of MD (mental distress) and volumes of PA (physical activity) meeting the 2008 recommendation. These findings lend support for the epidemiological utility of the MDSI (Mental Distress Severity Index) when examining the relationship between MD and PA.

Air quality & pollution

Air pollution linked to changes in heart structure: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/aug/03/air-pollution-linked-to-changes-in-heart-structure “Study shows correlation between levels of exposure to fine particulate matter and chamber enlargement seen in early stages of heart failure”

UK air pollution removal: how much pollution does vegetation remove in your area? https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/environmentalaccounts/articles/ukairpollutionremovalhowmuchpollutiondoesvegetationremoveinyourarea/2018-07-30 “Explore how air pollution removal varies across the UK and use our interactive map to see how much pollution was removed from your area in 2015.”

Plants and trees ‘not the solution’ to air pollution in cities: https://www.airqualitynews.com/2018/07/30/plants-and-trees-not-the-solution-to-air-pollution-in-cities/ “Natural vegetation can play a small part in cleaning up air pollution but would need to be considered alongside other pollution reduction measures, studies published this month have suggested. These are the findings of major reports issued by the government’s Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG) last week, and the Office for National Statistics today”

Production of methane and ethylene from plastic in the environment: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0200574 “Our results show that plastics represent a heretofore unrecognized source of climate-relevant trace gases that are expected to increase as more plastic is produced and accumulated in the environment.” – more here - Plastic pollution: How one woman found a new source of warming gases hidden in waste: https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/science-environment-45043989

Farmers urged to tackle increasing ammonia emissions: https://www.airqualitynews.com/2018/07/27/farmers-urged-to-tackle-increasing-ammonia-emissions/ “Urgent action is needed to address a rise in ammonia emissions which is having a damaging effect on wildlife and natural habitats, according to England’s environmental regulator, the Environment Agency.”

Food & food security

Continuing coverage of the threat to food security posed by Brexit.

Wide coverage of ‘holiday hunger’

Weight gain in mid-childhood and its relationship with the fast food environment: https://academic.oup.com/jpubhealth/article-abstract/40/2/237/4098863?redirectedFrom=fulltext “This paper supports previous research that fast-food outlets are more prevalent in areas of deprivation and presents new evidence on fast-food outlets as a potential contributor towards weight gain in mid-childhood.”

Why are poorer children at higher risk of obesity and overweight? A UK cohort study: https://academic.oup.com/eurpub/article/26/1/7/2467515 “To reduce income inequalities in overweight and obesity and their widening across childhood the results support the need of early interventions which take account of multiple risk factors.”

Fast food outlets: density by local authority in England: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fast-food-outlets-density-by-local-authority-in-england “A map, area deprivation chart and data tables showing the density of fast food outlets in England, by local authority and ward.”

Global carbon tax in isolation could ‘exacerbate food insecurity by 2050’: https://www.carbonbrief.org/global-carbon-tax-isolation-could-exacerbate-food-insecurity-by-2050 “The implementation of a global tax on greenhouse gas emissions could – without other complementary policies – “have a greater negative impact on global hunger…than the direct impacts of climate change”, a new study says… However, the results “should not be interpreted to downplay the importance of future GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions mitigation efforts, or to suggest that climate policy will cause more harm than good”, the scientists say.”

And finally….

Why the Scots Gave One of their Roads Wiggly Lines: http://mentalfloss.com/article/53455/why-scots-gave-one-their-roads-wiggly-lines “Rather than straight, even lines demarcating the direction of traffic, residents and drivers on the A811 were greeted by wiggly white lines that veered from side to side. The wavy markings weren't a mistake—they were deliberately painted that way in an attempt to slow down speeders.”

WMHPG news, information and resources 27 July 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 - Introduction to Public Health: https://www.fph.org.uk/news-events/events-courses-and-exams/2018/introduction-to-public-health-september/ “The aim of the Faculty of Public Health’s one day workshop, Introduction to Public Health, is to give people who are considering a career in public health a unique opportunity to learn more about the specialty from experienced public health professionals. You can expect to leave feeling inspired with a better understanding of the different career paths and job roles that are out there as well as first-hand advice from people who have successful careers in public health to help you follow in their footsteps.”

Phinder: a dating app for Public Health: https://betterhealthforall.org/2018/07/20/phinder-a-dating-app-for-public-health/ “We all want public health action that we know will work. But how do we know what will work unless we build an evidence base by researching real-world actions? To help Public Health researchers find these actions to research, NIHR and FPH are supporting a new system. Phinder is a website that lists interventions from across the UK that are open to being researched.”

Sustainable development goals

Finding breakthroughs for the UN Sustainable Development Goals: https://www.brookings.edu/podcast-episode/finding-breakthroughs-for-the-un-sustainable-development-goals/ “Homi Kharas, interim vice president and director of the Global Economy and Development program, and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala discuss some of the innovative approaches for reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals proposed in a new book, “From Summits to Solutions,” published by the Brookings Institution Press.”

UN Habitat - SDG 11 Synthesis Report 2018 on Sustainable Cities and Communities: https://unhabitat.org/sdg-11-synthesis-report-2018-on-cities-and-communities/ “To support an in depth review of progress on Goal 11 to member states, UN-Habitat along with several other UN custodian agencies and partners have produced the SDG 11 Synthesis Report 2018 on Sustainable Cities and Communities”

Asia-Pacific may meet only one out of 17 SDGs, warns UN official: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/asia-pacific-may-meet-only-one-out-of-17-sdgs-warns-un-official/articleshow/65089008.cms “The Asia-Pacific region is on track to meet only one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, a senior UN official has warned, underscoring that the global success in achieving the 2030 development agenda is "highly reliant" on India's performance.”

The Living Standards Audit 2018: https://www.resolutionfoundation.org/publications/the-living-standards-audit-2018/ “The combination of a benefit freeze and above-target inflation means that we estimate that real household incomes fell by 0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent among households in the bottom third of the income distribution in our estimate. And incomes in the top half are estimated to have grown by around 0.4 per cent. Such a hit to living standards is clearly worrying, particularly coming so soon after the last recession.”

How social supermarkets are filling a gap in austerity Britain: https://theconversation.com/how-social-supermarkets-are-filling-a-gap-in-austerity-britain-99705 “Social supermarkets have emerged in Britain in the past five years as a response to food poverty and food waste. These non-charitable initiatives sell food “surplus” to people on low incomes at heavily discounted prices, alongside providing them with social support.”

Algorithms are taking over – and woe betide anyone they class as a 'deadbeat': https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2018/jul/12/algorithm-privacy-data-surveillance “When big data decides if you deserve a loan, or classifies you according to bigoted stereotypes, we lose our freedom”

Billionaire ‘Gods’ And Why We Must Stop Idolising Bad People: https://www.the-round.co.uk/billionaire-gods-stop-idolising-bad-people/ “Since the beginning of human conscience we sought a higher meaning and purpose. We looked to the heavens and created Gods. But capitalism has changed all that. We live in the time of the billionaires.”

Can smart cities be equitable? https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/can-smart-cities-be-equitable/ “Around the world, governments are making cities “smarter” by using data and digital technology to build more efficient and livable urban environments… But as digital systems become more pervasive, there is a danger that inequality will deepen unless local governments recognize that tech-driven solutions are as important to the poor as they are to the affluent.”

Healthy planning & environment

CONSULTATION: Permitted development for shale gas exploration: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/permitted-development-for-shale-gas-exploration “The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on the principle of whether non-hydraulic fracturing shale gas exploration development should be granted planning permission through a permitted development right, and in particular the circumstances in which it would be appropriate.” Consultation closes 25 October.

Whitehall to consult on allowing ‘fracking’ without planning permission: https://www.localgov.co.uk/Whitehall-to-consult-on-allowing-fracking-without-planning-permission-/45711 “The Government yesterday launched a consultation on plans to allow drilling for shale gas to go ahead without planning permission.”

Hydraulic Fracturing - A Review of Implications for Food Systems Planning: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0885412217733991 “Food system and energy planners have given scant attention to the impacts on agrifood systems of a particular form of energy production—fracking—and its implications for planning and regulation. Impacts include those related to water availability and quality; land quality, use, and value; wildlife; labor costs; infrastructure and services; and the implications of boom and bust dynamics of these for the sustainability of agriculture and food systems.”

Solutions to an age old problem: Planning for an ageing population: https://lichfields.uk/content/insights/?article=solutions-to-an-age-old-problem&archive “Our ageing population is growing and this has wide ranging policy and practical implications. Action is needed to ensure that the associated housing needs are met. However, our research shows that only around 10% of Local Plans in England, Wales and Scotland have a specific policy to address older people’s housing needs and even fewer have specific land allocations for this purpose.”

Advance the ecosystem approach in cities: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05607-x “To make cities better for people and the planet, the approach must become more systemic and pragmatic, and include the global south, says Xuemei Bai.”

Earth Overshoot Day: https://www.overshootday.org/ “Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when we (all of humanity) have used more from nature than our planet can renew in the entire year. We are using 1.7 Earths. We use more ecological resources and services than nature can regenerate through overfishing, overharvesting forests, and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than ecosystems can absorb.” – More here: Earth's resources consumed in ever greater destructive volumes: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/23/earths-resources-consumed-in-ever-greater-destructive-volumes

NPPF: Where now for planning? https://www.localgov.co.uk/NPPF-Where-now-for-planning/45675 “The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) changes aim to lay down a comprehensive approach for planners, developers and local authorities to build more homes, more quickly, in the places where people want to live and bring up a family.”


There has been wide coverage of a new report by Shelter which found a large increase in the number of working families who are homeless.

Three tests for the Social Housing Green Paper: https://www.jrf.org.uk/blog/three-tests-social-housing-green-paper “Acting Head of Policy and Research Brian Robson sets out three areas where the Social Housing Green Paper for England – due in the next few weeks - needs to act to redesign the housing system to make it work for those on low incomes.”

What lies beneath: How to fix the broken land system at the heart of our housing crisis: https://neweconomics.org/2018/07/what-lies-beneath “High rents. Evictions and insecure tenancies. Millions of families priced out of home ownership. Over a million households on the waiting list for social housing. The effects of our broken housing system are all too obvious. What is less obvious, but no less broken, is the market which sits beneath the housing market, and drives many of the worst aspects of it.”

We need to look beyond tenure to really understand people’s housing aspirations: http://housingevidence.ac.uk/blog/we-need-to-look-beyond-tenure-to-really-understand-peoples-housing-aspirations/ “There is a lot of interest in understanding people’s housing aspirations – after all, knowing what people want is the first step to delivering housing that will meet demand. But aspirations are not just about the physical characteristics of a dwelling; they are multi-faceted and encompass practical and emotional factors. The UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) is working on a number of projects to gain a better understanding of aspirations. The first, Understanding reconfigured aspirations, expectations and choice, has focused on exploring what we mean by the term ‘housing aspirations’ and whether they are shifting as a result of the changes that have taken place in the UK housing system in the last ten years.”

Affordable housing: why current plans to invest don't go far enough: https://www.jrf.org.uk/blog/affordable-housing-why-current-plans-invest-dont-go-far-enough “JRF’s recent briefing on the social housing green paper shows that in England, we’re currently providing 30,000 fewer affordable homes than we need each year:”

Climate change & sustainability

The remaining potential for energy savings in UK households: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030142151830421X “Specifically, our estimates suggest that: one quarter of the energy currently used in UK households could be cost effectively saved by 2035; and this could increase to one half if allowance is made for falling technology costs and the wider benefits of energy efficiency improvements.”

‘Powerful evidence’ of global warming’s effect on seasons found in troposphere: https://www.carbonbrief.org/powerful-evidence-global-warmings-effect-seasons-found-troposphere “Scientists studying the troposphere – the lowest level of the atmosphere – have found “powerful evidence” that climate change is altering seasonal temperatures.”

Heat-related deaths set to treble by 2050 unless Govt acts – Environmental Audit Committee: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/environmental-audit-committee/news-parliament-2017/heatwaves-report-publication-17-19/ “Prediction that higher temperatures which caused 2000+ deaths in 2003 will be summer norm by 2040s making adaptation to heatwaves a matter of life and death.”

Three (and a half) reasons why it has been so hot and dry in the UK and Ireland: https://theconversation.com/three-and-a-half-reasons-why-it-has-been-so-hot-and-dry-in-the-uk-and-ireland-100418 “...But why has it been so dry and warm? Here is a shortlist of candidates that could be playing a role – or not – in this unusual summer:”

Wide coverage of the programme to roll out smart meters to all households, much of it critical of the programme and of the technology being used. This has been triggered by a report from the British Infrastructure Group.

Centre for Sustainable Healthcare: https://sustainablehealthcare.org.uk/what-we-do/education-and-training “CSH hosts and manages the Sustainable Healthcare Education ( (link is external)SHE (link is external)) Network - (link is external) an international group of clinicians, academics and students interested in preparing health professionals to work in an environmentally sustainable health service: one that is compatible with, and contributes positively to, planetary health.”

New animation explains sustainable development in health: https://www.sduhealth.org.uk/news/620/new-animation-explains-sustainable-development-in-health “The Sustainable Health and Care Campaign have produced a short animation introducing the concept of sustainability in health. The short clip covers the importance of the issue, as well as the huge opportunity for the sector. Colleagues can use it to help explain concepts to staff and provide examples of where they can have impact.”

Alien Waters: Neighboring Seas Are Flowing into a Warming Arctic Ocean: https://e360.yale.edu/features/alien-waters-neighboring-seas-are-flowing-into-a-warming-arctic-ocean “The “Atlantification” and “Pacification” of the Arctic has begun. As warmer waters stream into an increasingly ice-free Arctic Ocean, new species — from phytoplankton to whales — have the potential to upend this sensitive polar environment.”

'A death sentence for polar bears': Trump administration seeks changes to endangered species protections: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/trump-endangered-species-animals-wildlife-protect-white-house-us-conservation-a8456776.html “Conservation groups are already vowing to sue the Donald Trump administration if the revisions go into effect”

Liverpool bids to become first 'climate positive' city by the end of 2020: https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3036258/liverpool-bids-to-become-first-climate-positive-city-by-the-end-of-2020 “Liverpool Council has announced a partnership with blockchain non-profit Poseidon Foundation in a bid to become the "world's first climate positive city" by the end of 2020.”

Our phones and gadgets are now endangering the planet: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/17/internet-climate-carbon-footprint-data-centres “The energy used in our digital consumption is set to have a bigger impact on global warming than the entire aviation industry”

Ireland Moves to Divest From Fossil Fuels: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/12/climate/ireland-fossil-fuels-divestment.html “Ireland on Thursday moved to pull its public funds out of fossil fuels, a development that marks the most significant advance to date for a divestment campaign pushed by environmentalists worldwide. The lower house of Parliament passed a bill that requires the country’s sovereign fund, valued at 8.9 billion euros, or about $10.4 billion, to move out of fossil fuels “as soon as practicable.””

Whitehall’s ‘potty’ plan to keep NI lights on if no Brexit deal: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jul/11/whitehalls-potty-plan-to-keep-ni-lights-on-if-no-brexit-deal “A flotilla of barges would be sent to the coast of Northern Ireland with energy generators after Brexit to keep the region’s lights on in the event of no deal, according to reports on Wednesday. The scheme, which has been described as “potty” by business leaders in Northern Ireland, is said to be part of contingency planning by Whitehall mandarins in case the UK crashes out of the EU, smashing Ireland’s all-island electricity supply in its wake.”

Scientists call out Science Museum over ties to big oil: https://www.behindthelogos.org/scientists-call-out-science-museum/ “Today, a group of 46 highly-respected scientists, climate experts, naturalists and representatives of impacted communities have joined forces to lodge a formal complaint with the Science Museum Group, calling on it to end its corporate partnerships with oil giants BP, Shell and Statoil/Equinor.”

Scientists applaud resignation of embattled US environment chief: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05661-5 “Scott Pruitt, administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), resigned on 5 July amid a series of ethical and spending scandals. Pruitt — a former attorney-general for Oklahoma who had repeatedly challenged EPA regulations in court — was confirmed as the EPA administrator by the US Senate in February 2017. Since then, he has implemented an aggressive agenda to roll back health and environmental regulations.”

European Central Bank to consider climate impact: https://neweconomics.org/2018/07/european-central-bank-to-look-into-assessing-climate-impact “President Mario Draghi of the European Central Bank (ECB) has taken an exciting step in suggesting that the ECB will look into conducting a climate assessment of its quantitative easing programme.”

The State of Carbon Capture: https://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/the-state-of-carbon-capture/ “The basic idea of carbon capture is fairly simple – in order to counteract industries that release CO2 into the atmosphere, we develop technologies that remove CO2 from the atmosphere. If these industries exist in near balance, then there will be no net increase in CO2.”

New Chilling Prospects report shows lack of cooling access threatens health, prosperity and the climate: https://www.seforall.org/content/new-chilling-prospects-report-shows-lack-cooling-access-threatens-health-prosperity-and-climate “Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) today released Chilling Prospects: Providing Sustainable Cooling for All – the first ever report to quantify the growing risks and assess the opportunities of the global cooling challenge.”

Active travel & transport

Local Authorities could enforce 20mph limits: http://www.20splenty.org/las_could_enforce_20mph_limits “By collaborating with their police force, local authorities could institute public prosecutions for non-compliance with 20mph limits to transform community streets.”

London laces up to become world's most 'walkable' city: http://www.thisisplace.org/i/?id=dde0c697-90ac-457b-8752-acf3b6d4d2ee “Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said he wants to make the British capital the world's most walkable city as part of a wider strategy for 80 percent of all trips to be made on foot, bicycle or public transport by 2041.”

Five London crossings to prioritise people: http://www.ciht.org.uk/en/media-centre/news/index.cfm/five-london-crossings-to-prioritise-people “Pedestrians using signalised crossings at five locations in London are soon set to be given priority over motor vehicles. The so called ‘green man authority’ signalling technique – where a green signal is displayed continuously for those on foot, until traffic is detected – is to be introduced at crossings near The Shard, to the north of the Millennium Bridge and at three sites in Stratford.”

Alternative fuels for trains: https://www.railwaymagazine.co.uk/alternative-fuels-for-trains/ “With the writing on the wall for diesel-powered trains and a lack of commitment from the Government for further electrification, Keith Fender looks at some of the alternative fuel options for new trains and trams.”

BlackFly is latest attempt at flying car: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-44805697 “A flying car that will not require a pilot's licence to operate has been unveiled in California. BlackFly can travel for up to 25 miles (40km) at a speed of 62mph.”

Air quality & pollution

Asthma deaths rise 25% amid growing air pollution crisis: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/18/asthma-deaths-rise-25-amid-growing-air-pollution-crisis “A record number of people are dying of asthma, and experts have warned growing air pollution and a lack of basic care could be to blame. In England and Wales 1,320 people died of asthma last year, a sharp rise of more than 25% over a decade, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. The findings come amid growing concern about the air pollution crisis in the UK and mounting evidence of its impact on people’s health – particularly children and the elderly.”

UK schools banning school run to protect pupils from air pollution: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/13/uk-schools-move-to-ban-the-school-run-to-protect-pupils-from-air-pollution “The Guardian has found that thousands of schools in cities and towns – from Edinburgh to London, Manchester to Ellesmere Port – are taking measures to try to deter parents using their cars. These include closing roads, setting up “park and stride” schemes, walk-to-school initiatives and “playing dead” protests.”

Can Norway help us solve the plastic crisis, one bottle at a time? https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/12/can-norway-help-us-solve-the-plastic-crisis-one-bottle-at-a-time “A bottle deposit hub on the outskirts of Oslo has had a stream of high-level international visitors. Can its success be replicated worldwide?”

National Audit Office - The packaging recycling obligations: https://www.nao.org.uk/report/the-packaging-recycling-obligations/ “This report examines the packaging recycling obligations, in response to a request from the Environmental Audit Committee. The government introduced these obligations in 1997, when it chose to establish a market-based system for incentivising recycling of packaging waste as part of implementing an EU Directive on packaging and packaging waste. The packaging regulations require companies that handle packaging (and that meet certain thresholds) to demonstrate that a certain amount of packaging has been recycled. In 2017, 7,002 companies registered as having packaging obligations across the UK.”

Food & food security

Putting healthier food environments at the heart of planning: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2018/06/29/putting-healthier-food-environments-at-the-heart-of-planning/ “Our local surroundings have a large impact on us and we live in an environment that can inadvertently encourage unhealthy behaviours – eating more and exercising less.  Factors affecting our choices can include access to active travel and availability of green spaces, as well as the density of fast food outlets.”

Call for council to ban takeaways from entire estate where most residents are overweight: https://inews.co.uk/news/health/council-ban-takeaways-estate-milton-keynes/ “A councillor is calling for a ban on new takeaway businesses from being able to open near a specific estate due to the poor health of its residents. Milton Keynes Councillor Shammi Akter is asking the authority not to grant any more licences for fast food businesses in the area of Netherfield.”

Food security threatened by no-deal Brexit: https://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Article/2018/07/23/No-deal-Brexit-threatens-food-security “The Government is at risk of threatening the security of food in the UK if it doesn’t factor the agri-food industry in Brexit negotiations, according to a new report from food policy specialists.”

WMHPG news, information and resources 20 July 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

Counting who gets left behind: Current trends and gaps on the Sustainable Development Goals: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2018/07/13/counting-who-gets-left-behind-current-trends-and-gaps-on-the-sustainable-development-goals/ “Our methodology allows us to estimate how each country and issue—and in turn the world—is doing compared to the ambitions enshrined in the SDG target. Below we describe three of the key findings so far.”

New York says first city to show how it's scoring on global development goals: http://www.thisisplace.org/i/?id=9f23f89e-3f00-4396-8bb2-2f25d55568a5 “New York has become the first city to unveil how it is faring on global goals to end poverty, inequality and other woes by 2030, officials said, highlighting the importance for cities to promote social and economic innovation.”

Communicating the benefits of population health interventions: the health effects can be on par with those of medication: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352827317302574 “Public health interventions included implementation of national smoke free legislation, enhanced neighbourhood walkability, increased opportunities for active travel and protection of urban green space. In some cases, the benefits of public health interventions were found to be equivalent to, or even outweighed those of the medications to which they were compared.”

Investigating the impact of the English health inequalities strategy: time trend analysis: https://www.bmj.com/content/358/bmj.j3310 “The English health inequalities strategy was associated with a decline in geographical inequalities in life expectancy, reversing a previously increasing trend. Since the strategy ended, inequalities have started to increase again. The strategy may have reduced geographical health inequalities in life expectancy, and future approaches should learn from this experience. The concerns are that current policies are reversing the achievements of the strategy.”

Poverty link to early death 'scandalous': https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-44853482 “The BBC's Shared Data Unit analysed data from the Office for National Statistics with deprivation data for local authority areas in England and Wales, as well as comparable data for Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

Julian Tudor Hart – a Welsh Appreciation: https://betterhealthforall.org/2018/07/19/julian-tudor-hart-a-welsh-appreciation/ “This is the second in a series of blogs written in appreciation of Dr Julian Tudor Hart who died on 1 July 2018.”

Healthy planning & environment

UK under dangerous pressure to lower its sustainability commitments: https://theconversation.com/uk-under-dangerous-pressure-to-lower-its-sustainability-commitments-99916 “Speaking to the Environmental Audit Committee, the environment secretary, Michael Gove, recently concluded that while the UK will share food and animal and plant health regulation, it will go its own way on many issues, including “the way in which our food is grown”.”

Who owns the space under cities? The attempt to map the earth beneath us: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/jul/10/who-owns-the-space-under-cities-the-attempt-to-map-the-ground-beneath-our-feet “The space under cities is getting busier – from transport excavations to billionaire’s mega-basements. So how to keep track of what’s down there?”


The more the state has withdrawn from housebuilding, the more it has found itself propping up the private market: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/the-paradox-of-modern-housing-policy/ “There is a paradox in modern housing policy, writes Daniel Bentley. The aim of rolling back the state from housebuilding has turned its role from one of subsidising supply into that of facilitating ever greater amounts of spending power, making housing unaffordable for so many.”

Councils given power to increase taxation on empty homes: https://www.localgov.co.uk/Councils-given-power-to-increase-taxation-on-empty-homes/45699 “Councils will be allowed to triple the council tax on homes left empty for five to 10 years, following an amendment to a government bill.”

Seven problems with last night’s Dispatches programme: https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/insight/insight/seven-problems-with-last-nights-dispatches-programme-57239 “Channel 4 last night broadcasted a programme called Getting Rich from the Housing Crisis, raising issues about housing associations’ role, motives and social purpose. The programme was one-sided and simplistic, and failed to mention many key points, Carl Brown finds”

With tobacco and candy, North America counts its homeless: http://www.thisisplace.org/i/?id=83b98cf4-2921-4276-94f4-1da631586aec “Vancouver’s count, which took place in March, is a so-called 'point in time' count: a tally of all the homeless people found in a specific window of time at shelters, on sidewalks, under bridges - anywhere people without shelter may spend the night.”

Climate change & sustainability

Projected heat stress under 1.5oC and 2oC global warming scenarios creates unprecedented discomfort for humans in West Africa: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2018EF000873?af=R “This indicates that from 50% to almost everyone over most of the Sahel countries and part of the western Sahara desert is at risk of possible heat cramp, heat exhaustion and heat stroke in future climate scenarios. These conditions become more frequent and are accompanied by the emergence of days with Dangerous heat stress category during which everyone feels discomfort and is vulnerable to a likely heat cramp and heat exhaustion.”

Ocean‐induced melt triggers glacier retreat in Northwest Greenland: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2018GL078024?af=R “We find that the timing of glacier retreat coincides with the timing of increased ocean‐induced melting of the ice faces above average, which is driven by increases in ocean temperature and surface melt.”

Maybe Next Month? Temperature Shocks and Dynamic Adjustments in Birth Rates: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13524-018-0690-7 “We estimate the effects of temperature shocks on birth rates in the United States between 1931 and 2010. We find that days with a mean temperature above 80°F cause a large decline in birth rates 8 to 10 months later.”

Slowdown of Atlantic conveyor belt could trigger ‘two decades’ of rapid global warming: https://www.carbonbrief.org/slowdown-atlantic-conveyor-belt-could-trigger-two-decades-rapid-global-warming “A slowdown in the Atlantic Ocean current bringing warm water up to Europe from the tropics could trigger “a period of rapid global surface warming”, a new study suggests.” – research paper here: Global surface warming enhanced by weak Atlantic overturning circulation: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0320-y.epdf?referrer_access_token=zewH5oktqAuDksOIzmYLu9RgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0Ptia3hkCpjkCV6kA0JU4C3i_vb6r0jGDG0JbxpCb-xOuz_fX2804bSVcLl4-PbDwgpRiMAFIwyREht0zwX87zI4O0ghtB3QfbPIkbCoBItpmhArMOvC32jK9lfmgDcU83a1e9BJ61WjK74T3ZfR4FIGmY0tSanxYAtjZ2x8dqIkobQcZrSRrM0BjjZH5c7d9SNnBUENkeyshHQKDBajAop_FYB2z4QaOoUpPlcbtQjKm103Wlmmwo5p2ACjnxwVEE%3D&tracking_referrer=www.carbonbrief.org

Permafrost and wetland emissions could cut 1.5C carbon budget ‘by five years’: https://www.carbonbrief.org/permafrost-wetland-emissions-could-cut-1-5c-carbon-budget-five-years “Emissions of CO2 and methane from wetlands and thawing permafrost as the climate warms could cut the “carbon budget” for the Paris Agreement temperature limits by around five years, a new study says.”

The Carbon Brief Interview: Chris Stark: https://www.carbonbrief.org/the-carbon-brief-interview-chris-stark “Chris Stark has been the chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) since April 2018. The CCC is the UK government’s official climate change advisor. He was previously the director of energy and climate change for the Scottish government and before that worked across Whitehall, including in the Treasury.”

UN security council considers ‘cycle of conflict and climate disaster’: http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/07/12/un-security-council-considers-cycle-conflict-climate-disaster/ “Climate change is contributing to instability in many parts of the world, the UN security council heard on Wednesday, in its first debate dedicated to the topic in seven years.”

Over a billion people struggle to stay cool as Earth warms: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-cooling/over-a-billion-people-struggle-to-stay-cool-as-earth-warms-idUSKBN1K608W “More than a billion people are at risk from a lack of air conditioning and refrigeration to keep them cool and to preserve food and medicines as global warming brings more high temperatures, a study showed on Monday.”

Global Economy's Future Is Electric, But Still Dirty, IEA Says: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-17/global-economy-s-future-is-electric-but-still-dirty-iea-says “More of the world will run on electricity in the future, but most of the power won’t be clean. That’s the key message from the International Energy Agency’s latest report on investment trends released Tuesday.”

UK passes 1,000 hours without coal as energy shift accelerates: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jul/12/uk-to-pass-1000-hours-without-coal-as-energy-shift-accelerates “Britain has been powered for more than a thousand hours without coal this year, in a new milestone underscoring how the polluting fuel’s decline is accelerating.”

UK seeks post-Brexit climate tie-up with EU: http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/07/12/uk-seeks-post-brexit-climate-tie-eu/ “Cooperation on climate change is a “shared interest” between London and Brussels, according to a paper released by the UK government on Thursday”

The Netherlands may soon pass the world’s toughest climate policy: https://www.optimistdaily.com/2018/07/the-netherlands-may-soon-pass-the-worlds-toughest-climate-policy/ “Seven parties in the Netherlands have come forth with a radical climate policy. The policy requires the country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 49 percent by 2030 and 95 percent by 2050. The climate policy also requires that all energy must be carbon-neutral by 2050. Plus, the fourth Thursday of every October will now become “Climate Day,” in which the government will issue a public memorandum reviewing progress toward climate goals and laying out plans for the year ahead.”

Ireland becomes world's first country to divest from fossil fuels: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/12/ireland-becomes-worlds-first-country-to-divest-from-fossil-fuels “Bill passed by parliament means more than €300m shares in coal, oil, peat and gas will be sold ‘as soon as practicable’”

White nuclear elephants move onto the endangered list: https://theecologist.org/2018/jul/18/white-nuclear-elephants-move-endangered-list “The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) is a group of eminent, independent experts whose long-term plan for developing UK infrastructure looks beyond short-term political concerns and provides a clear policy direction for government and investors about what the country needs to thrive and compete sustainably in the 21st century. Professor David Fisk CB, one of the commissioners, summed it up, “Falls in the prices of renewable technologies have made them increasingly viable as one of this country’s main sources of electrical power.”

Active travel & transport

Essential evidence on a page No. 170: Urban cycle use, Safety in Numbers, and speed limits: https://travelwest.info/project/ee-no-170-urban-cycle-use-safety-in-numbers-and-speed-limits “Top line: In the absence of cycle paths segregated from motorised traffic in urban areas the priority measure is to reduce the speed limit to 30km/h (20mph). In addition to built environment changes, including lower speed limits, Safety in Numbers also reduces injury risk as cycle use increases along a road link or at junctions.”

Electric cars: Charge points could be requirement in new build homes: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44759150 “New homes in suburban England would need to be fitted with electric car charging points under a government proposal to cut emissions. Ministers also want new street lights to come with charge points wherever there's on-street parking.”

Rapid rise of UK electric vehicles sees National Grid double its 2040 forecast: https://www.carbonbrief.org/rise-uk-electric-vehicles-national-grid-doubles-2040-forecast “There could be as many as 36m electric vehicles (EVs) on UK roads by 2040, double the number expected just a year ago.”

Air quality & pollution

'I don’t want ships to kill me': Marseille fights cruise liner pollution: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/06/i-dont-want-ships-to-kill-me-marseille-fights-cruise-liner-pollution “Shipping is estimated to account for 10% of city’s air pollution, and campaigners are targeting cruise industry in particular”

Car cabin pollution scare prompts calls for new air conditioning rules: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/07/08/car-cabin-pollution-scare-prompts-calls-new-air-conditioning/ “Experts have called for the regulation of car air conditioning systems after new trials revealed that popular models are letting in dangerous amounts of pollution.” – of course, we could just try reducing the pollution outside the car?

Asthma deaths rise 25% amid growing air pollution crisis: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/18/asthma-deaths-rise-25-amid-growing-air-pollution-crisis “In England and Wales 1,320 people died of asthma last year, a sharp rise of more than 25% over a decade, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.”

Chemicals produced by burning organic matter linked with faster aging: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/pahs-dna-methylation-china/ “High daily exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)—chemicals that are generated by forms of combustion such as cooking, smoking, and vehicle exhausts—may cause molecular changes that accelerate biological aging, according to a new study by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and colleagues.”

UK accused of 'green Brexit hypocrisy' over regulation of suspected carcinogen: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/11/uk-accused-of-green-brexit-hypocrisy-over-regulation-of-suspected-carcinogen “The European commission had proposed mandatory labelling and a cosmetics ban for titanium dioxide (TiO2) – a whitening chemical – after the European Chemicals Agency (Echa) declared it a “suspected carcinogen” last year. Agency recommendations are normally rubber-stamped, as happened with glyphosate last year. But trade in TiO2 – which is also found in soaps, pills and biscuits – is highly lucrative and the UK has backed a fierce industry campaign against regulation.”

How the EPA and the Pentagon Downplayed a Growing Toxic Threat: https://www.propublica.org/article/how-the-epa-and-the-pentagon-downplayed-toxic-pfas-chemicals “A family of chemicals — known as PFAS and responsible for marvels like Teflon and critical to the safety of American military bases — has now emerged as a far greater menace than previously disclosed.”

Pristine Antarctic fjords contain similar levels of microplastics to open oceans near big civilisations: https://theconversation.com/pristine-antarctic-fjords-contain-similar-levels-of-microplastics-to-open-oceans-near-big-civilisations-91360 “Now, with major global sampling efforts, it has become clear that microplastics are dispersing all over the world – in the water column, sediments, and marine animal diets – even reaching as far south as the pristine environments of Antarctica.”

How Penzance became Britain's first ever plastic-free town: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/18/penzance-britains-first-ever-plastic-free-town-cornwall “The Cornwall community achieved this status last December, by uniting against straws, bottles, takeaway boxes and disposable forks. Now 330 other towns aim to follow them”

One-third of UK supermarket plastic is not easily recyclable, analysis shows: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/19/one-third-of-uk-supermarket-plastic-is-not-easily-recyclable-analysis-shows “Morrisons leads league table of supermarkets analysed for the proportion of their packaging that can be recycled”

The World’s Worst Industrial Disaster Is Still Unfolding: https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/560726/ “In Bhopal, residents who survived the massive gas leak and those who arrived later continue to deal with the consequences.”

Food & food security

International Food Security Assessment, 2018-28: https://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/pub-details/?pubid=89390 “Projections for the next decade (2018-28) suggest that the share of the population that is food insecure in 76 low- and middle-income countries included in this report will fall from 21.1. percent in 2018 to 10.4 percent, the number of food-insecure people will fall from 782 million to 446 million, and the intensity of food insecurity will decline by 34 percent.” More here: Global food security: Insights from USDA projections: https://www.devex.com/news/global-food-security-insights-from-usda-projections-93114 “The largest share of today’s 782 million food insecure global population can be found in Asia. By 2028, that figure will shrink by nearly half — though the greatest burden will shift to sub-Saharan Africa, according to the International Food Security Assessment for 2018-28.”

90% of fish stocks are used up – fisheries subsidies must stop: http://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=1812 “It is sobering to consider that nearly 90% of the world’s marine fish stocks are now fully exploited, overexploited or depleted, and there is no doubt that fisheries subsidies play a big role. Without them, we could slow the overexploitation of fish stocks, deal with the overcapacity of fishing fleets, and tackle the scourge of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.”

Fighting the ‘white cancer’ threatening global food security: https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/fighting-the-white-cancer-threatening-global-food-security “Researchers have made a ‘game changing’ shift in our understanding of how plants succumb to high levels of salt in agricultural soils.”

Brexit white paper: food and farming react: https://fdiforum.net/mag/brexit-white-paper-food-farming-react/ “The UK’s much anticipated Brexit White Paper has finally been released, but is it good news for the nation’s food and farming sectors?”

Dairy products 'may become luxuries' after UK leaves EU: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jul/18/dairy-products-may-become-luxuries-after-uk-leaves-eu “Everyday dairy products such as butter, yoghurt and cheese could become luxury items in Britain after Brexit, with price rises being caused by the slightest delay in the journey from farm to table, a report by the London School of Economics finds.”

WMHPG news, information and resources 13 July 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

TWI2050 Report: Transformations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals: http://www.iiasa.ac.at/web/home/research/twi/Report2018.html “The World in 2050 (TWI2050) was established by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) to provide scientific foundations for the 2030 Agenda. It is based on the voluntary and collaborative effort of more than 60 authors from about 20 institutions, and some 100 independent experts from academia, business, government, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations from all the regions of the world”

‘Everything we’ve heard about global urbanization turns out to be wrong’ – researchers: http://www.thisisplace.org/i/?id=0150beca-e3f5-47e0-bc74-9ccc5ef1db8a&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Place “The United Nations predicts the world's urban population is expected to grow to 70 percent by 2050 after becoming majority urban for the first time around 2008. Not so, say researchers based at the European Commission. Using a definition made possible by advances in geospatial technology that can use a high-resolution satellite image to determine the number of people living in a given area, they estimate 84 percent of the world's population, or almost 6.4 billion people, live in urban areas.”

Co-operatives making a difference through … Sustainable Development: https://www.thenews.coop/129403/sector/banking-and-insurance/co-operatives-making-difference-sustainable-development/ “Co-operatives UK secretary general, Ed Mayo, on the role of co-operatives in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”

World Population Day: ‘A matter of human rights’ says UN: https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/07/1014371 “Family planning was affirmed to be a human right 50 years ago, leading to what would become the annual observation of World Population Day, which focuses attention on the impact the number of children born, has on the world.”

Memorizing these three statistics will help you understand the world: https://www.gatesnotes.com/Development/Max-Roser-three-facts-everyone-should-know “One of my favorite websites is OurWorldInData.org. Based at the University of Oxford, it uses statistics—on everything from health and population growth to war, the environment, and energy—to give you phenomenal insight into how living conditions are changing around the world. I asked its founder, Oxford economist Max Roser, to share three facts from the site that everyone should know. Here’s what Max had to say. – Bill Gates”

JRF - Families hit by crippling cost of living need a third more income to make ends meet: https://www.jrf.org.uk/press/families-hit-crippling-cost-living-need-third-more-income “Our latest research reveals how low-income families need a third more disposable income than a decade ago to make ends meet and are facing bigger barriers to meet rising costs - despite tightening their belts and shopping around online for better deals and tariffs.”

Understanding well-being inequalities: Who has the poorest personal well-being? https://www.ons.gov.uk/releases/thecharacteristicsandcircumstancesofthosewhoreportlowestpersonalwellbeingratings “The most significant factor associated with poorest personal well-being is having ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ health – those people are almost 14 times more likely to report the poorest personal well-being than those with ‘very good’ or ‘good’ health. ONS also found that disabled people were almost twice as likely as non-disabled people to report poor personal well-being across all the measures. The ONS has identified other individual factors that are associated with the lowest levels of personal well-being, besides health. These include: being economically inactive with long-term illness or disability; being middle-aged, being single/ separated/ widowed or divorced; renting their home; having no, or basic, education”

Healthy planning & environment

Collaboration between physical activity researchers and transport planners: A qualitative study of attitudes to data driven approaches: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214140517305704?via%3Dihub#f0005 “Highlights: Qualitative study of benefits and barriers of research and transport collaboration. - Physical activity and GPS research data could provide needed data source. - Collaboration would benefit both researchers and transport professionals. - Policies to mandate the inclusion of health in planning are needed.”

Cities & Health: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rcah20/1/2?nav=tocList “Contents list”.

The Observer view on why we shouldn’t waste a drop of increasingly vital and valuable water: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/08/observer-view-on-worldwide-scarcity-means-we-should-conserve-water “Britain’s water politics are benign compared with much of the world. All the more reason to protect our supply”

Rescued from the Cave, Thai Soccer Team Gets Quarantined: Here's Why: https://www.livescience.com/63018-thailand-boys-quarantined-cave-diseases.html “The immense rescue operation for the Thai soccer team trapped in a cave finally concluded on Tuesday (July 10): All twelve boys and their coach have been successfully extracted. But before the rescued boys can finally go home to their families, they need to make a pit stop at the hospital, where they're being briefly quarantined to make sure they didn't pick up any diseases in the caves”


Event – 18 July. The Impact of Welfare Reforms on Housing Associations: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-impact-of-welfare-reforms-on-housing-associations-tickets-46709343905

Older people and housing action: https://housingaction.blog/get-involved/ “Care & Repair England with the Older People’s Champions Group has developed some resources to offer practical help for local groups act on housing.”

'It made me depressed': how poor housing costs the NHS £1.4bn a year: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jul/06/depressed-poor-housing-costs-nhs-14bn-year “With a fifth of English homes officially not decent to live in, health and housing professionals are joining forces to improve residents’ wellbeing”

Tenants' lives at risk after government refuses to act on weak safety rules in rented housing, experts warn: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/grenfell-tenants-lives-risk-weak-safety-rules-government-tragedy-warning-a8433481.html “Exclusive: Ministers defend guidance which says fire risks are very small, is unclear on responsibility for fire prevention and weak on electrical safety - all crucial issues at Grenfell”

Climate change & sustainability

In-depth: UK can go low-carbon ‘at no extra cost’, say infrastructure advisors: https://www.carbonbrief.org/in-depth-uk-can-go-low-carbon-at-no-extra-cost-say-infrastructure-advisors “The report sets out how the UK can move to “highly renewable, clean and low-cost energy”, while ending the use of gas for heating and shifting to 100% sales of electric vehicle (EVs) by 2030. It says a “quiet revolution” in renewable costs means government should prioritise wind and solar, echoing new scenarios from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC).”

Extreme heat linked with reduced cognitive performance among young adults in non-air-conditioned buildings: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/extreme-heat-linked-with-reduced-cognitive-performance-among-young-adults-in-non-air-conditioned-buildings/ “Students who lived in dormitories without air conditioning (AC) during a heat wave performed worse on a series of cognitive tests compared with students who lived in air-conditioned dorms, according to new research led by Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health.”

PLOS Collections - Climate Change and Health: http://collections.plos.org/climate-change-and-health “Climate change and the impacts on health are being increasingly reported and documented. It is expected that with continued rises in global temperature and greenhouse gas emissions the effects on health will become more widely experienced and extreme. Throughout July PLOS Medicine is publishing a Special Issue on climate change and health.”

Welcome to Scientific American's New Climate Science Column: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/hot-planet/welcome-to-scientific-americans-new-climate-science-column/ “It’s about this beautiful, messy, funny, tragic planet and the terrible, wonderful humans who live here”

Analysis: ‘Global’ warming varies greatly depending where you live: https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-global-warming-varies-greatly-depending-where-you-live “The warming experienced by people is typically higher than the global average warming. In a world where warming is limited to “well below” 2C about 14% of the population will still experience warming exceeding 2C. In the worst-case scenario of continued growth in emissions, about 44% of the population experiences warming over 5C – and 7% over 6C – in 2100.”

Africa’s Hottest Reliably Measured Temperature on Record: 124.3°F on Thursday in Algeria: https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/Africas-Hottest-Reliably-Measured-Temperature-Record-1243F-Thursday-Algeria “A historic heat wave in northern Africa on Thursday, July 5, brought Africa its hottest reliably measured temperature on record: 124.3°F (51.3°C), at Ouargla, Algeria. Ouargla (population 190,000) is the capital city of Ouargla Province in the Algerian Sahara Desert, at an elevation of 719 feet (219 meters).”

Cheaper Green Power in Britain Could Put Nuclear in the Shade: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-09/cheaper-green-power-in-britain-could-put-nuclear-in-the-shade “Renewables can generate half of Britain’s power by 2030 without adding to consumer bills, potentially crowding out nuclear as a significant low carbon source of electricity. That’s the conclusion of the National Infrastructure Committee, an independent body that advises government on how to meet the country’s long-term needs for large construction projects. It recommended the government should make 50 percent a minimum target for 2030 up from 30 percent now. It said taxpayers should only support one more nuclear power station before 2025.”

Annoyance with wind turbines may affect quality of life: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-wind-turbines/annoyance-with-wind-turbines-may-affect-quality-of-life-idUSKBN1JW2M2 “People who can see wind turbines from their homes may be more annoyed by these machines and more likely to report quality of life issues than individuals who live further away from wind turbines, an industry-supported study suggests.”

UK’s ‘largest’ battery storage facility completed: https://www.energylivenews.com/2018/07/09/uks-largest-battery-storage-facility-completed/ “A battery storage facility claimed to be the largest in the UK has been completed. It has a total capacity of 49.9MW and is located at Stocking Pelham near the town of Bishop’s Stortford, according to developer BSR EPC.”

Climate Change a 'Man-made Problem with a Feminist Solution' says Robinson: https://www.voanews.com/a/climate-change-a-man-made-problem-with-a-feminist-solution-says-robinson/4444348.html “Women must be at the heart of climate action if the world is to limit the deadly impact of disasters such as floods, former Irish president and U.N. rights commissioner Mary Robinson said on Monday. Robinson, also a former U.N. climate envoy, said women were most adversely affected by disasters and yet are rarely "put front and center" of efforts to protect the most vulnerable.”

Pope Francis warns against turning Earth into vast pile of 'rubble, deserts and refuse': https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/07/pope-francis-warns-against-turning-earth-into-vast-pile-of-rubble-deserts-and-refuse “Pope Francis urged governments on Friday to make good on their commitments to curb global warming, warning that climate change, continued unsustainable development and rampant consumption threatens to turn the Earth into a vast pile of “rubble, deserts and refuse”.”

Church of England votes to withdraw funds from companies that contribute to climate change: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/church-of-england-climate-change-investment-withdraw-paris-agreement-fossil-fuels-a8437781.html “The Church of England has voted to withdraw investment from companies that are not pulling their weight in the fight against climate change. Following a motion that passed with almost universal approval, the Church will sever ties with firms that do not meet the terms of the Paris climate agreement by 2023.”

Active travel & transport

878. A Cost Benefit Analysis of an Active Travel Intervention with Health and Carbon Emission Reduction Benefits: http://www.globalpanet.com/knowledge-base/measurement/observation/878-a-cost-benefit-analysis-of-an-active-travel-intervention-with-health-and-carbon-emission-reduction-benefits “In conclusion, the present cost benefit study has focused mainly on what are likely to be the most important benefits and costs relating to an active travel intervention programme; in order to provide what few other studies have done, namely, an estimate in economic terms of the value of such a programme.”

‘Right direction, wrong speed’ - Urban Transport Group responds to Government’s Road to Zero strategy: http://www.urbantransportgroup.org/media-centre/press-releases/%E2%80%98right-direction-wrong-speed%E2%80%99-urban-transport-group-responds-government “The Government’s much anticipated ‘Road to Zero’ strategy on reducing emissions from vehicles is heading in the right direction, but at the wrong speed, the Urban Transport Group has warned today. Responding to the publication, the Group - which represents the UK’s largest urban transport authorities – criticised the strategy for failing to bring forward the date by which the Government will end the sale of new petrol and diesel from 2040, which many businesses, cities and environmental groups have campaigned for.”

Greater Manchester announces plans for ‘Beelines’ – the UK’s largest cycling and walking network: https://www.tfgm.com/press-release/beelines “Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner, has unveiled an innovative new plan to create a city-region-wide cycling and walking network made up of more than 1,000 miles of routes, including 75 miles of Dutch-style segregated bike lanes. The ‘Beelines’ network will be the largest joined-up system of walking and cycling routes in the UK and has been developed with all 10 Greater Manchester local authorities.”

Re-Energising Wales: ‘Decarbonising Transport in Wales’ report: http://www.iwa.wales/news/2018/06/re-energising-wales-decarbonising-transport-wales-report/ “The Re-energising Wales project ‘Decarbonising Transport in Wales’ report highlights opportunities that could significantly improve and decarbonise the transport sector in Wales.”

Opinion: Safer speed limits – why France is taking the right road: https://etsc.eu/safer-speed-limits-why-france-is-taking-the-right-road “Article 4 of the 1789 French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of The Citizen states: “Liberty consists of doing anything which does not harm others…”. These historic words seemed appropriate yesterday as the French government announced a number of measures to improve road safety including a reduction of the speed limit on unseparated rural roads from 90km/h to 80km/h.  The move has sparked a sadly now predictable backlash on social media and from groups representing some drivers.  But if France wants to seriously address the 3500 deaths that occur on its roads each year, tackling speed must be a top priority.”

The Active Well-being Initiative: http://activewellbeing.org/ “The Active Well-being Initiative (AWI) helps cities and organisations to improve the lives of their citizens through the promotion of physical activity, sport and well-being for all. In a world which is facing increasing health problems, the AWI model advocates for more sustainable urban living and calls for new forms of governance. It provides a suite of standards, tools and services, road-tested with a group of pilot cities, and empowers city leaders, their communities and citizens to drive change. Cities are invited to join the movement and see their efforts certified by the Global Active City label.”

Air quality & pollution

CONSULTATION - Clean Air Zone for Birmingham (consultation for individual citizens): https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/economy/caz_individual/ “We are proposing a Clean Air Zone (CAZ), where the most polluting vehicles will have to pay to enter the city centre: all the roads within the A4540 Middleway ring road (but not the Middleway itself). Charges would apply to most vehicles whose engine does not meet specific pollution standards: including buses and coaches, lorries, vans, cars and taxis and specialist vehicles like bin lorries. Vehicles with a clean enough engine (Euro 4 for petrol, Euro 6 for diesel) would not be charged. We are also suggesting other ways to reduce the air pollution caused by motor vehicles, including improving public transport, upgrading engines and building more low emission refuelling stations (e.g. electric charging points), making changes to roads and reviewing charges for parking.”

Sustainability West Midlands - News June 2018 - Air quality: Passive choking or time to change? http://www.sustainabilitywestmidlands.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/SWM-News-June-2018-Air-quality-Passive-choking-or-time-to-change.htm “If you want a reminder about how quickly difficult issues can be solved and our quality of life improved, ask a recent graduate if they remember smoking in pubs and restaurants. You will be greeted with horror and subconsciously put in the box marked ‘alive during Victorian times.’ Yet the public smoking ban in England is only just over ten years old. Today we face the public health crisis of air quality, with a debate about how difficult it is and a raft of initiatives launched this month.”

What Should We Do About Air Pollution In Birmingham? https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/air-pollution-birmingham_uk_5b3dd2ffe4b05127ccef1f59?guccounter=1 “What should be done?  The answers aren’t easy, and will require political courage and joined up thinking at city, region and national levels.  We should focus on measures with the greatest health benefit, which may be slightly different from just meeting the legal limit values.  Some interventions will impact some individuals or groups more than others, but we should remember that poor air quality disproportionately affects the most disadvantaged communities.  Improved public awareness of air quality issues has a key part to play.”

Clean Air Human Rights Bill read in House of Lords: https://www.airqualitynews.com/2018/07/06/clean-air-human-rights-bill-read-in-lords/ “Introduced by the Green Party peer Baroness Jenny Jones, and read yesterday (5 July), the draft legislation sets out a series of commitments for government to tackle air pollution (see airqualitynews.com story). This includes enshrining a ‘right to clean air’ within law.”

Coverage of the association between air pollution and diabetes mellitus.

Air pollution linked to spikes in hospital and GP visits: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/10/air-pollution-linked-to-spikes-in-hospital-and-gp-visits “Air pollution leads to spikes in health problems and drives up hospital admissions and visits to the GP, according to a new study. The report proves an “absolutely clear” link between poor air quality and health problems and researchers said it should serve as a warning to politicians about the serious impacts of toxic air on public health.”

Nissan Workers in Japan Falsified Emissions Tests, Review Says: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/07/09/business/nissan-falsified-emissions-inspections.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur “An internal review of emissions and fuel economy tests at Nissan’s production plants in Japan showed that company inspectors used “altered measurement values” on emissions inspection reports, the company said in a statement on Monday. The tests also “deviated from the prescribed testing environment,” it said.”

Pollution hits the fungi that nourish European trees: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/186573/pollution-hits-fungi-that-nourish-european/ “A huge study of 13,000 soil samples across 20 European countries has revealed that many tree fungi communities are stressed by pollution, indicating that current pollution limits may not be strict enough.”

More Recycling Won't Solve Plastic Pollution: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/more-recycling-wont-solve-plastic-pollution/ “The only thing worse than being lied to is not knowing you’re being lied to. It’s true that plastic pollution is a huge problem, of planetary proportions. And it’s true we could all do more to reduce our plastic footprint. The lie is that blame for the plastic problem is wasteful consumers and that changing our individual habits will fix it.”

Ozone hole mystery: China insulating chemical said to be source of rise: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44738952 “Cut-price Chinese home insulation is being blamed for a massive rise in emissions of a gas, highly damaging to the Earth's protective ozone layer. The Environmental Investigations Agency (EIA) found widespread use of CFC-11 in China, even though the chemical was fully banned back in 2010.”

Food & food security

The Faculty of Public Health DARE Lecture, "A post-Brexit Food Plan: filling space vacated by HM Government": https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=reg20.jsp&referrer=&eventid=1781940&sessionid=1&key=8CD6B10D8ADA0D6D0F565A784C26195F&regTag=&sourcepage=register “In June, we welcomed food policy expert Prof Tim Lang to give the annual DARE Lecture. His brief was very simple – to give a lecture that challenges and stimulates debate on developments within public health. Tim opted to talk about post-Brexit food policy.* During the lecture he shared his opinions on the key issues facing the UK’s food system, background on food history and why that’s relevant to today’s challenges, and the value of the UK maintaining relationships with its European neighbours post-Brexit to protect the public’s health. We’re delighted to share a recording of Tim’s lecture.”

Chile’s 2014 sugar-sweetened beverage tax and changes in prices and purchases of sugar-sweetened beverages: An observational study in an urban environment: http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002597 “The modifications of Chile’s SSB tax were small, and observed changes in prices and purchases of beverages after the tax were also small. Our results are consistent with previous evidence indicating that small increases in SSB taxes are unlikely to promote large enough changes in SSB purchases to reduce obesity and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).”

What Trump and African leaders need to know about food security: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/09/opinions/global-food-security-act-africa-opportunity-mogues/index.html?no-st=1531307489 “The Global Food Security Act, an Obama-era piece of legislation that marshals foreign aid to speed up agricultural growth and reduce hunger in poor countries, will expire this year if it is not renewed… But even if the bill passes both houses, it remains to be seen whether President Donald Trump will sign it into law. If the administration's stance on another very similar Obama-era initiative -- the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, which increases food security by boosting agricultural productivity, predominantly in African countries -- is anything to go by, the chances for renewal appear quite low. On the one-year anniversary of the Trump presidency, the Treasury Department declared the US would pull out of that program.

WMHPG news, information and resources 6 July 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

SDGs show slow progress, not on track to reach 2030 targets, UN reports: https://www.devex.com/news/sdgs-show-slow-progress-not-on-track-to-reach-2030-targets-un-reports-92971/ “Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals remains uneven, and is not moving fast enough to meet the ambitious 17 goals on poverty, health, and equality by 2030, the United Nations said this week. The U.N. released its annual checkup report on the SDGs on Wednesday, accompanied by a call from U.N. Chief António Guterres that, “we must inject a sense of urgency” in making good on the ambitious 2030 development agenda.”

The start of a new poverty narrative: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2018/06/19/the-start-of-a-new-poverty-narrative/ “Each April and October, the World Poverty Clock data are updated to take into account new household surveys (an additional 97 surveys were made available this April) and new projections on country economic growth from the International Monetary Funds’s World Economic Outlook. These form the basic building blocks for poverty trajectories computed for 188 countries and territories, developed and developing, across the world.”

This is what peak inequality looks like: http://www.dannydorling.org/?p=6669 “We can find it hard to believe that an era has come to an end, that a peak has been passed. But when, finally, such a change happens the memories of commentators change with it. They will say that they believed the change to be desirable all along, that they somehow saw it coming and so, too, were on the side of history. Then we can all forget that just a few years previously they had so vehemently opposed change, had justified the status quo, were so scornful of those who suggested change was possible and ultimately were so wrong.”

An up-to-date account of economic inequalities in Britain since 2008: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/an-up-to-date-account-of-economic-inequalities-in-britain-since-2008/ “Nicholas Sowels provides an up-to-date account of inequalities in the UK since the financial crisis and explains how the current trends compare internationally, as well as among different social and age groups.”

Low income dynamics among ethnic minorities in Great Britain: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/research/publications/working-papers/iser/2018-06 “Using data from Understanding Society, and robust estimation methods we find that Pakistani and Bangladeshi groups have the highest poverty entry rates (23-26%), followed by Indian, black Caribbean and black African groups (9-11%) and the white majority (6%). Indians and Pakistani's have the highest poverty persistence rates (66%), white majority the lowest (52%), the remaining groups around 55%.”

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.”

Nature-based therapy for stress-related illnesses: https://www.nationalelfservice.net/treatment/complementary-and-alternative/nature-based-therapy-for-stress-related-illnesses/ “Nature-based therapy in the form studied (i.e an intensive 9 hour per week intervention with various individual and group components) is as effective as CBT for the treatment of acute stress reactions, PTSD, adjustment disorders, and other reactions to severe stress. However, nature-based therapies that are available differ substantially in content, delivery, and intensity, and the effect found by Stigsdotter et al cannot be generalised to all forms of nature-based therapy.”

Planning for the Common Good: Adapting the planning system for common good land use: http://www.sharedassets.org.uk/research-report/planning-for-the-common-good/ “This report outlines how the planning system could support land-based social enterprises to use land for the common good.”

Associations between green area in school neighbourhoods and overweight and obesity among Norwegian adolescents: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211335517301006?via%3Dihub “Highlights - Prevalence of overweight among Norwegian adolescents varies dependent on greenness. - The prevalence is highest in most green areas and lowest in less green areas. - Physical activity and active transportation are independent explanatory factors. - Health promoting activities should be understood better in rural areas in Norway.”

Heathrow airport: MPs vote in favour of expansion: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-44609898 “MPs have backed controversial plans to build a third runway at London's Heathrow airport.”

Dementia-friendly architecture: Reducing Spatial Disorientation in Dementia Care Homes: http://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=ES%2FM009254%2F1 “Knowing where we are and how to get to places are fundamental features of successful everyday living. Although most of us rely automatically and unquestioningly on our wayfinding abilities, they are markedly impaired in people with Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most prevalent form of dementia. This project will identify the features of buildings that make them relatively harder or easier for people with AD to navigate. The knowledge gained will allow us to create dementia-friendly architectural guidelines for use in the design of residences for people with AD.”


Health impact, and economic value, of meeting housing quality standards: https://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/phr/phr06080#/abstract “This study found that meeting national housing quality standards through multiple home improvements was associated with reduced emergency hospital admissions.” – more here: Decent housing means fewer emergency hospital admissions – new research: https://theconversation.com/decent-housing-means-fewer-emergency-hospital-admissions-new-research-86329 “For our study, we worked with the residents living in 9,256 council properties in Carmarthenshire, south Wales, between 2009 and 2014. Of these, 8,558 homes underwent at least one improvement to meet the Welsh Housing Quality Standard. This included new heating and electrical systems, added wall and loft insulation, new kitchens and bathrooms, windows and doors, or garden paths.”

Rethinking social housing report: http://www.cih.org/rethinkingsocialhousingfinalreport “Welcome to the final report for Rethinking social housing. This report is the culmination of the project. Working with our advisory group we have completed three major stages of work over the course of the last year. This included 200 workshops which more than 3,000 people who live and work in social housing took part in, public perceptions polling and a widespread evidence review.”

Child homelessness in England at highest level since 2007: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jun/27/child-homelessness-in-england-at-highest-level-since-2007 “123,130 children were in temporary accommodation in first quarter of 2018 – an increase of nearly 80% since 2011”

People on low incomes bear brunt of housing crisis: it's time to act: https://www.jrf.org.uk/blog/people-low-incomes-bear-brunt-housing-crisis-its-time-act “The last week has seen evidence from all sides on the causes and solutions to the housing crisis. With the Social Housing Green Paper expected soon, there’s a strong consensus that it is time for decisive action.”

Councils call for changes to affordable housing definition: https://www.localgov.co.uk/Councils-call-for-changes-to-affordable-housing-definition/45584 “Councils have criticised proposed changes to government planning policy after ‘social rent’ homes were dropped from the definition of affordable housing.”

Join up health and housing policy or risk return to 'pre-war slum housing', Labour warns: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/health-housing-policy-joined-up-labour-warning-pre-war-slum-housing-risk-a8425661.html “Labour has warned there is a risk of the resurgence of post-war style slums that fuelled illness as it announced plans to join up health and housing policies. Hundreds of thousands of rented homes are unfit to live in, according to the party. It set out plans to create healthy homes zones that would target areas with the worst quality housing.”

What are the links between homelessness and mental health? https://www.bigissue.com/latest/social-activism/what-are-the-links-between-homelessness-and-mental-health/ “It is evident that there is a link between mental health and homelessness. Poor mental health can make work impossible and cause family breakdowns or substance misuse. Homelessness can also cause mental ill-health due in part to poor living conditions, isolation and uncertainty.”

Beyond ECO: The future of fuel poverty support: https://www.ippr.org/publications/beyond-eco “Fuel poverty is a fact of life for 2.5 million households across England. It is also an increasing problem, with the number of households in fuel poverty rising by just under 5 per cent from 2014 to 2015. The average fuel poverty gap – the amount by which a fuel-poor household’s energy bills exceed reasonable costs each year – was £353 in 2015. As a consequence, too many people are forced to make unacceptable choices between ‘heating or eating’.”

Climate change & sustainability

Red-hot planet: All-time heat records have been set all over the world during the past week: https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2018/07/03/hot-planet-all-time-heat-records-have-been-set-all-over-the-world-in-last-week/ “From the normally mild summer climes of Ireland, Scotland and Canada to the scorching Middle East, numerous locations in the Northern Hemisphere have witnessed their hottest weather ever recorded over the past week. Large areas of heat pressure or heat domes scattered around the hemisphere led to the sweltering temperatures. No single record, in isolation, can be attributed to global warming. But collectively, these heat records are consistent with the kind of extremes we expect to see increase in a warming world.”

Land uplift ‘could prevent’ collapse of West Antarctic ice sheet: https://www.carbonbrief.org/land-uplift-could-prevent-collapse-west-antarctic-ice-sheet “The rapid rise of bedrock beneath one of the fastest melting regions of the West Antarctic ice sheet could help prevent it collapsing, new research suggests.”

Flood damage costs under the sea level rise with warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C: http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aacc76/meta “...We also estimate global annual flood costs under these scenarios and find the difference of 11 cm global sea level rise in 2100 could result in additional losses of US$ 1.4 trillion per year (0.25% of global GDP) if no additional adaptation is assumed from the modelled adaptation in the base year.”

Committee on Climate Change - Apply the lessons of the past decade, or risk a poor deal for the public in the next: https://www.theccc.org.uk/2018/06/28/apply-the-lessons-of-the-past-decade-or-risk-a-poor-deal-for-the-public-in-the-next/ “Ten years after the Climate Change Act came into force, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says the Government must learn the lessons of the last decade if it is to meet legally-binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the 2020s and 2030s. Unless action is taken now, the public faces an unnecessarily expensive deal to make the shift to a low-carbon economy.”

Cutting carbon footprints in the service sector: https://esrc.ukri.org/news-events-and-publications/impact-case-studies/cutting-carbon-footprints-in-the-service-sector “The service sector comprises around 80% of the UK economy, using significant amounts of energy. Research informed the introduction of sustainable practices into the UK’s £6.2 billion hairdressing sector, reducing the carbon footprint of haircare salons.”

Climate Change and the Cost of Capital in Developing Countries: https://imperialcollegelondon.app.box.com/s/e8x6t16y9bajb85inazbk5mdrqtvxfzd “For every USD 10 paid in interest by developing countries, an additional dollar will be spent due to climate vulnerability. This financial burden exacerbates the present-day economic challenges of poorer countries. The magnitude of this burden will at least double over the next decade.”

Oil and Gas Fields Leak Far More Methane than EPA Reports, Study Finds: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/21062018/methane-leaks-oil-gas-climate-change-risks-natural-gas-slcp-global-warming-pollution-science-edf-study “Higher than expected levels of the potent short-lived climate pollutant raise questions about whether natural gas can be an effective bridge to lower emissions.” – original study here: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2018/06/20/science.aar7204.full

UK judge postpones decision on landmark climate case: http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/07/04/uk-judge-postpones-decision-landmark-climate-case/ “The high court in London has postponed its decision on whether 11 citizens can bring their complaint that the UK’s climate targets need to be changed before the full court”

Government 'will miss fuel poverty target by more than six decades': https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jul/03/government-fuel-poverty-target-ippr-energy-efficiency “Ministers are drastically off course on ensuring as many fuel-poor homes – those which people cannot afford to keep adequately heated – as possible are upgraded to energy efficiency band C by 2030 in England, according to the IPPR. The target will not be met by 2091 at the earliest, a report by the thinktank found.”

£1.3bn Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project thrown out: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-44589083 “Plans to build the world's first tidal power lagoon have been thrown out by the UK government. Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said the £1.3bn project was not value for money, despite claims by developers Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP) a revised offer made it cheaper.

Climate Change and the Power of Story: https://orbitermag.com/climate-change-and-the-power-of-story/ “There is a reason why the best science documentaries, whether about the Big Bang or the origin of life, include gorgeous images and sweeping orchestral music. The filmmakers could have just presented the data in graphs and tables, the way scientists often talk among themselves. But such a presentation wouldn’t capture our imaginations. It wouldn’t let our feelings rise to the necessary level of awe and wonder.”

Active travel & transport

International recognition of the links between transport, health and sustainability: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214140517306114 “Transport and health is increasingly being acknowledged internationally as an important area that affects the population's quality of life, relationships with the built and natural environment, social justice and inequalities, as well as societal costs, both in economic terms and relating to sustainability, including some of the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). Achieving a shift towards more sustainable modes requires changes beyond transport planning and public health policy, particularly a shift in spatial planning to put education, work, and social activities within short distances of home. This needs political will.”

Residence in unsafe neighborhoods is associated with active transportation among poor women: Geographic Research on Wellbeing (GROW) Study: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214140517307211 “Highlights •Poor mothers used active transport much more than non-poor mothers. •Mothers of color used active transport more than White Mothers. •Poor mothers in unsafe vs. safe neighborhoods had higher odds of active transport. •Active transport among poor mothers may expose them to safety risk. •Policies should improve neighborhood safety in areas where poor mothers live.”

Essential evidence on a page No. 169: No. 169: Mobile phone use while driving: https://travelwest.info/project/ee-no-169-mobile-phone-use-while-driving “Top line: Using a hands-free mobile phone is no safer than using a hand-held mobile phone. Both increase crash risk fourfold, but under-reporting at crash scenes of mobile phone use hampers analysis and future prevention efforts.”

HS2 'green corridor plans slammed by campaigners: https://www.expressandstar.com/news/transport/2018/06/28/hs2-green-corridor-plans-slammed-by-campaigners/ “HS2 plans to spend £2 million on a 'green corridor' to run alongside rail tracks have been branded 'utter greenwash nonsense' by environmental campaigners.”

Urban Transport Group - Rail Cities UK: our vision for their future: http://www.urbantransportgroup.org/resources/types/reports/rail-cities-uk-our-vision-their-future “Significant rail expansion is the 'only viable option' to help UK cities achieve their ambitions on economic growth and meeting household demand, whilst also creating attractive urban centres with less road traffic and better air quality. This report sets out a vision of what a step change in rail provision could mean for passengers and cities - and the obstacles that stand in the way.”

Active travel: solutions for changing cities: https://urbantransportgroupblog.org/2018/06/27/active-travel-solutions-for-changing-cities/ “The big shift in thinking in the value of investing in, and promoting, active travel is reflected in a new wave of influential city active travel commissioners, in the benevolent arms race between cities on spend per head on active travel and in the re-shaping of streets from cycle superhighways to healthy streets. It can also be seen in the greater number of cyclists and pedestrians where effective infrastructure and programmes are put in place.”

New bus figures show 'slow death of local buses': https://www.localgov.co.uk/New-bus-figures-show-slow-death-of-local-buses/45456 “The number of people using buses in England fell again in the last financial year in the face of real-terms fare increases and cuts to local routes.”

Mayor and Paralympian hero join forces to boost physical activity in the West Midlands: https://www.wmca.org.uk/news/mayor-and-paralympian-hero-join-forces-to-boost-physical-activity-in-the-west-midlands/ “A partnership has been struck between the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and ukactive, the body representing the UK fitness industry and which is chaired by Tanni Grey-Thompson. It was agreed in principle at a meeting in Birmingham and will be announced officially at ukactive’s national summit on September 12 by WMCA deputy mayor Cllr Bob Sleigh.”

Air quality & pollution

Coverage of a landmark case to re-open an inquest into the death of a nine year old girl based on the link between asthma and air pollution.

Mental health issues and air pollution: what’s the link? //medium.com/@UKHealthClimate/mental-health-issues-and-air-pollution-whats-the-link-b02e5ab943e6">https://medium.com/@UKHealthClimate/mental-health-issues-and-air-pollution-whats-the-link-b02e5ab943e6> “...However, there is now emerging and compelling evidence that air pollution may directly influence adverse mental health outcomes, certainly as far as suicide, dementia and anxiety are concerned. Good quality environmental epidemiological studies have recently started to emerge from across the world outlining a link between suicide and air pollution — particularly pollutants such as fine particulate matter and Nitrogen Dioxide.”

Sonic doom: how noise pollution kills thousands each year: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jul/03/sonic-doom-noise-pollution-kills-heart-disease-diabetes “From heart disease to type 2 diabetes, noise is having dire effects on people’s health. So who is most at risk, what can be done about it – and can you protect yourself?”

Mayor and leaders call for rethink on M6toll price hike: https://www.wmca.org.uk/news/mayor-and-leaders-call-for-rethink-on-m6toll-price-hike/ “Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street and the leaders of all seven metropolitan authorities today (Friday June 29) called on the owners of the M6toll motorway to reconsider a planned hike in charges for both motorists and hauliers. In a joint letter to Midlands Express Ltd (MEL), they said the price increases flew in the face of the region’s efforts to improve air quality and manage congestion.”

Consultation on Birmingham CAZ given green light: https://www.airqualitynews.com/2018/06/27/consultation-on-birmingham-caz-given-green-light/ “Birmingham city council is set to launch a six-week consultation on its plans to charge drivers to enter a Clean Air Zone, after the council’s cabinet approved a motion to push ahead with the proposal yesterday (26 June).”

Dirty air: we want to help you win: https://neweconomics.org/2018/06/dirty-air?mc_cid=f0e8ecef3c&mc_eid=330863fa78 “NEF is launching a new campaign against dirty air. If you’re a local clean air campaign group that would like some help on campaign strategy, economics and policy, media skills or citizen science, get in touch.”

Delhi's air pollution is now so bad it is literally off the chart: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/15/delhi-blanketed-by-smog-so-toxic-it-cant-be-measured “Smog more toxic than can be measured by monitoring devices has blanketed the Indian capital this week, months before the start of Delhi’s traditional “pollution season”. A thick haze was visible across the city from Tuesday and some government pollution monitors have recorded concentrations of 999 – the highest they can measure – as dust storms kicked up in nearby Rajasthan state blanketed the region.”

‘Nothing to worry about. The water is fine’: how Flint poisoned its people: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jul/03/nothing-to-worry-about-the-water-is-fine-how-flint-michigan-poisoned-its-people “When the people of Flint, Michigan, complained that their tap water smelled bad and made children sick, it took officials 18 months to accept there was a problem.”

Food & food security

Wide coverage and discussion of the new Childhood Obesity Plan.

Inclusive climate change mitigation and food security policy under 1.5°C climate goal: http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aad0f7 “Food-security support through international aid, bioenergy tax, or domestic reallocation of income can shield impoverished and vulnerable people from the additional risk of hunger that would be caused by the economic effects of policies narrowly focussing on climate objectives only. In absence of such support, 35% more people might be at risk of hunger by 2050 (i.e. 84 million additional people) in a 2°C-consistent scenario.”

England’s poorest areas are fast food hotspots: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/englands-poorest-areas-are-fast-food-hotspots “New figures from PHE show higher concentrations of fast food outlets in England’s most deprived communities.”

Frontiers in Climate Smart Food Systems: Outlining the Research Space: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fsufs.2018.00002/full “In this short paper, we briefly discuss the burgeoning approach of climate-smart agriculture, which seeks to integrate complex issues and set out a direction for change in contemporary systems.”

Dietitians are “go to” professionals for prevention and public health: https://betterhealthforall.org/2018/06/06/dietitians-are-go-to-professionals-for-prevention-and-public-health/ “This week is the fifth annual British Dietetic Association (BDA) Dietitians Week, when the dietetic profession come together to spread the word about our work and profession. Our theme this year is “Dietitians Do Prevention”.”

And finally….

Spite buildings: when human grudges get architectural – in pictures: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/jun/21/spite-buildings-when-human-grudges-get-architectural-in-pictures ““Spite buildings” are constructions specifically intended to irritate or protest: our smallest human pettiness made manifest in bricks, mortar and a reckless disregard for planning laws. Their origins are often disputed, occasionally embellished and usually entertaining, revealing tales of spurned lovers, fraternal feuds and vengeance. Below we highlight a few of the most famous of these “malicious erections” (sorry).”

Contact Us

You can get in touch with us at:

Sandwell MBC
Freeth Street
West Midlands
B69 3DE

Jo Dodd - 07815 490436
Rajdeep Atwal - 0845 352 7672


Hosted by Sandwell MBC
Freeth Street
West Midlands
B69 3DE


Jo Dodd - 07815 490436

Rajdeep Atwal - 0121 569 5121