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Health check : Comments

By Peter Curson, published 3/8/2006

Better management of our environment could prevent death, injury and disease.

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Thanks for the link to the WHO report. It really is a no brainer, clean water, enough to eat, don't smoke and more people live longer. But this collateral population trimming is condoned by civilised nations, 1 bomb could provide clean water to a community for 12 months, but there are good "consumable" sales to be made in wars not much in providing clean water.
Posted by Steve Madden, Thursday, 3 August 2006 3:56:55 PM
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Thanks for putting the issue on the map, Peter.
A woolly pup indeed - how to adequately grip it?
I was impressed with Tony McMichael's approach in his book Human Frontiers, Environments and Disease when it came out in 2001.
In that he considers the present human condition in relation to our species' development over some two million years, in an environment of generally clean air, clean water, with small communities physically active and digestive systems arranged around a diet of one third each of vegetables, fruit, and free-range lean meat.
Our main suite of diseases have been accumulated during the last 10,000 years of agriculture, with its larger and closer aggregations of people and their animals.
Now, over the last century, and especially the last half of it, populations have multiplied so that intensification has extended world-wide.
At the same time we have a divided world.
One part lives in depressingly poor states of malnutrition, deficient of most of the basic necessities for a healthy or reasonably fulfilled life.
The other has become divorced from its developmental heritage,is now largely sedentary, and unbalanced in dietary matters - as McMichael says, like lot-fed cattle.
A challenge even for Solomon:
With some six and a half billion people in the world, and rising, there are insufficient resources for all, especially water.
Even distribution of resources would not provide a quality of life acceptable to the affluent, though improving health.
For the disadvantaged, adequate water, as researched by Fred Hollows and Jack Waterford, means water on tap in individual houses. Communal supply gives minimal improvement.
On 16 August the ATSE Crawford Fund is hosting its annual conference, this year "Water for irrigated agriculture and the environment". It could be interesting to see how the situation of the more desperate communities fit in with this.
On the one hand diarrhoea, malaria etc.; on the other, the tortured beatings of an over-affluent heart in a diabetic body. But the health of all has declining prospects while the environment upon which everyone depends suffers so heavily from predation by excessive numan numbers.
Posted by colinsett, Thursday, 3 August 2006 10:18:14 PM
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Yep. It really should go without saying that our environmental health is of fundamental importance to our personal health.

But Peter Curson misses one huge factor the maintenance of society as a coherent entity, which is under imminent threat from the enormous resource and economic crisis presented by rising fuel prises / peak oil / the end of cheap fossil fuels on which our whole society is built.

This threat overrides everything that he has mentioned.

If society falls apart, the rest is history.
Posted by Ludwig, Monday, 7 August 2006 12:08:29 AM
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Glad-to-join Colinsett, Steven and Ludwig in thanking Peter Curson for putting health-issues-principle on the agenda. Where creed-of-greed hegemony hijacked-populous has-fallen-into complacent affliction within-mass-denial that brings shivers-up the spines of the moral citizens a propos terminally sick-nation. Where numerous couch-potatoes just-carry-on as though-nothing at-all matters. Whilst rampant elders-of-zion operatives run-in-secret the hijacked govt-institutions. Headed by the lying-rodent-trinity on the global arena. Who pursue wars at will anywhere on earth, while plotting armageddon nuclear options.

What became a cheerful topic for Jew oligarchs chatter. Within-a-nation of the hypocrites, clandestine monsters and murderers on the Zionist payroll. Conditioned-to-serve evil masters while forging this awesome continent (lf not for its its archaic vast-wastage-industries) into-oblivion. Within the reliance on the fossil-fuels economy by elders-of-zion warlords. Never-mind that earth-friendly technologies already exist! Once and for all to end our dependence on the ghastly coal, oil and lethal-nuclear-energy options. With-a-far reaching ramifications for our environment as the huge out-of-control utilities remained captive to the elders-of-zion corporations.

Whilst-so-naive, health-depleted-populous pays through the enslaved labourers nose for bourgeoisie elders-of-zion insecure comforts. In-turn which invariably making-third-world to pay further-in-blood as US crooked multinationals like Monsanto buys world's water-supplies and take possession of global vegetation under its frankenstein-schemes. Perpetuated solely for the creed-of-greed hegemony! Which to-culminate-ultimately in the wholly elders-of-zion controlled-world-economy. As it plunges down-the-path of the certain financial ruin (not-seen since the days of the great-depression). Thanks to US national-debt, elders-of-zion will never be able-to-repay through their banking system (which issues-world-currencies and extorts interest-rates).

Does any of the above matters? Not at all, except for the mealtime-to-fatten obese-asses in-extra-bacteria and hormones-ridden-junk-food by the dill-flock, stupefied-in-front of a mind-numbing TV violence, debauchery and creed-of-greed extravaganza. Though amid all this, any of the courageous souls is-laughed at, and dismissed out-of-hand as a crackpot. In the world where conscientious dissidents as our maverick Mark Latham, become candidates for bio-medical warfare. Though even when so-clearly stated-facts exposing diabolical-perpetration of crime by govt-institutions to-be brought clearly to the dill-flock's attention, amazingly the careless-sucker-heads still-to-doubt, waver and continue-to-think that there may-be some other explanation.
Posted by Leo Braun, Monday, 7 August 2006 6:21:42 PM
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Peter Curson's comments are very true - considering our environment is crucial to understanding our health. However, I notice that he treats the environment (and like too many practitioners and policy makers in the health arena) as do, say, epidemiologists: As an inert, physical container in which things just seem to happen. But, rather, space is 'socially produced' as Henri Lefebvre has articulated so well and for decades now. It is uneven and wrought through with power, inequity and difference. This apparent weakness in Peter's comment was most pronounced for me when I saw that he noted HIV/AIDS simply as something that occurred variously in different places. But no, environments and health are both produced through social and spatial relations which are inevitably imbued with conflict and struggle. To understand better our current states of health (and, yes, note the plural), we must consider how they are constituted enevenly through as well as across space (who gets to live where and how).
Posted by Stewart Williams, Tuesday, 8 August 2006 3:00:44 PM
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