Tackling climate change for human health

Burnet Institute

05 October, 2015

Jon Faine from 774 ABC Melbourne interviews Dr Richard Horton ahead of tonight's Burnet Oration.

Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet, Dr Richard Horton has given a taste of what to expect at tonight’s prestigious 2015 Burnet Oration in an interview with 774 ABC Melbourne’s morning host, Jon Faine.

Dr Horton will deliver the Oration, “Writing a Revolution For Health: Planetary Prospects and Possibilities” in front of a full house at the ANZ Centre in Melbourne.

He spoke with Jon Faine about the importance of tackling climate change for human health and said the human species has the knowledge today to end preventable mortality within a generation.

“And yet we are so ill-prepared for the emerging threats and dangers that face us, from climate change to viruses like Ebola springing up in places in the world that have very poor public health systems,” he said.

“Civilisations come and they go and our civilisation, if we don’t get it right, if we don’t understand the threats we face, it could be gone in a century.”

Dr Horton told 774 ABC Melbourne that we need government leadership to create incentives to invest in other types of energy aside from fossil fuels, and to stop criticising individuals about the way they live their lives.

“If we change the way we go to work, and live at work, that has opportunities not just for physical health but for mental health,” he explained.

“So there are aspects of the response to climate change that would have enormous benefits to health.”

The Burnet Oration will be available online to view from 6 October.

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