Posts filed under ‘health’

Synthetic Turf and the Tragedy of the Commons in Moreland

Synthetic Turf has high embedded carbon footprint, ends up as waste in landfill
Synthetic Turf has high embedded carbon footprint, ends up as waste in landfill

Climate Action Moreland has done a literature review to highlight the general environmental, social and health issues with synthetic turf, and specific issues around a proposal to convert unfenced grass sporting fields at Hosken Reserve in Coburg North to a fenced synthetic soccer pitch. This is the text of our submission to the Moreland Council engagement consultants employed for public consultation to inform the Hosken Reserve Refresh project for Moreland Council.

We have also reported on our blog separately on synthetic turf carbon footprint and total life cycle greenhouse gas emissions, and on the impact synthetic turf will likely have on the urban heat island effect on local residents.

Conversion of natural grass to Synthetic turf at Hosken Reserve should be considered as a catalyst issue for opposing increasing synthetic turf generally in our municipality. We are also very concerned with increasing State Government funding of school oval conversions increasing heat stress risk for children and heating the local microclimate affecting both children and local residents, against expert advice. (See Madden, et al, 2018 (Cool Schools), Pfautsch et al, Sept 2020 (School Microclimates))

We acknowledge the work done by local Merlynston residents on this issue to Help Keep Hosken a place for Community in defence of their grassed open space which they have been quite willing to share the use of with Sporting Clubs as Commons space.

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April 11, 2021 at 4:46 pm 2 comments

How will Synthetic turf impact urban heat island and microclimate around Hosken Reserve?

2016-Alm-naturalgrass-vs-artificial-surface temps-HongKong

Synthetic turf surface temp heat profile compared to natural grass (Hong Kong) – Alm 2016

Adding a synthetic pitch to Hosken Reserve will increase the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE), reduce the Cool Park effect, and be felt mostly strongly by local residents. Artificial turf elevated temperatures will affect playability and heat stress to players, and not only in Summer but also for warm days in both Spring and Autumn when the temperature is elevated. Our Melbourne summers are getting longer.

For the most part it is local residents that would need to live with this permanent impact on increased microclimate temperatures over summer months and during warmer days in Spring and Autumn. Urban Heat island effect is more prominent during the night than during the day. This will likely increase evening energy use from air conditioners of local residents which will have a feedback of putting more heat back into the local environment.

Our temperature research at Hosken Reserve natural grass oval and Clifton Park synthetic pitch shows on a warm day (around 30C as per BOM records) the surface temperatures on the synthetic pitch are regularly 80-90 percent greater than natural grass, and may on occasion reach double the temperature of grass.

Moreland’s heat vulnerability is already at a high level, synthetic turf will contribute more heat when we need to be trying to cool our suburbs through green infrastructure. Moreland Council needs to find cooling solutions not exacerbate the problem with converting a much loved community shared grass oval to a fenced synthetic pitch.

Climate Action Moreland has had an interest for several years in urban heat island effect and how it is magnified by the rising temperatures of climate change and urban densification and development.  This post draws upon past literature reviews and a recent science literature survey associated with artificial surfaces and the urban heat island effect that formed part of our submission on the Hosken Refresh consultation.
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April 3, 2021 at 1:52 am 2 comments

Epidemic Thunderstorm asthma warning: expected to become more frequent and severe due to climate change.

VicHealth warning map for thunderstorm asthma forr 11 November 2020

This is an extreme weather warning for tomorrow (Wednesday 11 November 2020) for epidemic thunderstorm asthma. Anyone who suffers asthma or heyfever should have their medications and asthma plan ready. Risk is rated as moderate for tomorrow.

The Victorian Health Department advises:

“People with current, past or undiagnosed asthma or hay fever are considered to be at risk. Having both asthma and hay fever or poorly controlled asthma increases the risk further. Those at increased risk should:
* avoid exposure to any storms that may emerge, especially the wind gusts that precede them
* have a reliever appropriately available (as discussed with your doctor or pharmacist)
* remind themselves of their asthma action plan and have practical knowledge of the four steps of asthma first aid.”

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November 10, 2020 at 9:32 pm Leave a comment

Study finds 417 smoke related deaths from Australia’s climate fuelled Bushfire season

Bushfire smoke in Sydney, 18 December 2019

On January 1st 2020 Economics Professor John Quiggin estimated there would be hundreds, if not thousands, of deaths attributed to the deadly bushfire smoke that affected up to 80 per cent of Australia’s population, including in major capital cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, during the climate fuelled 2019-2020 bushfire season.

A study published in the Medical Journal of Australia in March 2020 estimated the excess health burden during 19 weeks continuous fire activity in the states most severely affected by bushfire smoke. It found that at least 417 deaths could be attriibuted to the bushfire smoke and the PM2.5 air pollution particulates, and over 4,000 hospitalisations.
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June 4, 2020 at 10:52 pm Leave a comment

Heat-related deaths under-estimated as temperatures and extreme heat events increase

Moreland’s social heat vulnerability

Researchers at the Australian National University say that heat related deaths have been greatly underestimated. In the 11 years between January 2006 and October 2017 an estimated 36,765 deaths in Australia can be attributed to heat-related causes.

As we know climate change is increasing average temperatures and the frequency and intensity of extreme heat events in Australia.
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May 26, 2020 at 11:43 pm Leave a comment

5 Principles for a Just Covid Response and a #JustRecovery

Climate Action Moreland has joined a global call on response to addressing the Covid-19 pandemic, and also called on the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers for no evictions.

We ask that all governments, and the MPs and Councillors that represent our community, use these principles as the basis for decisions they make in coming months as the crisis unfolds.

The Choices we make today will shape our society, economy, health and climate for decades to come. Climate justice also requires socisl justice and health justice.
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March 25, 2020 at 11:33 am Leave a comment

LaTrobe Valley Coal Power pollution poses health threat – World Environment Day

Mercury pollution emissions from Australian coal power stations compared. Source: The Age

June 5 is world environment day and here we publish a question on pollutants from the coal fired power stations in the La Trobe Valley, asked by Brunswick Greens MP Tim Read in March.

Why aren’t these toxic pollutants such as mercury and Sulphur Dioxide more highly regulated and restricted? The technology exists to capture these and other pollutants, but the state government so far hasn’t ensured that the companies responsible fit the filtering technologies which are widely used overseas.

The EPA is currently drafting licence amendments and the licence review process report for the coal power stations. Increased limits, real time monitoring and regulation of pollution needs to be an important part of new licenses for the three energy companies: AGL Energy, Energy Australia, and Alinta.

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June 5, 2019 at 1:43 pm Leave a comment

Open letter on unprecedented threat to health by climate change #climateelection

CAHA open letter cover #Ausvotes19

Climate Action Moreland have signed on to an Open Letter to Political Parties and Candidates for the Australian Federal Election 2019, raising the issue that Climate change poses an unprecedented threat to the health of people in Australia and across the world.

The Climate and Health Alliance have circulated the following open letter. We note that Federal Labor have committed to introducing a National Strategy based on the Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia if elected to govern. The Australian Greens also support a National Strategy.

A climate scorecard has also been produced for the election by the Climate and Health Alliance, after analysing the policies of the three main political parties on climate change and health. Climate-Health Scorecard: Coalition earns 0/8, Federal Labor 4.5/8 and Greens 8/8
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April 16, 2019 at 4:10 pm 1 comment


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