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Human population health: sentinel criterion of environmental sustainability

McMichael, Anthony

Description

Our personal day-to-day experience of health ailments, reinforced by much recent behaviour-oriented 'health promotion' rhetoric, easily misconstrues 'health' as a local and individual-level issue. We thus fail to recognize that, over time, the health profile of a population is the real 'bottom line' indicator of the prevailing environmental and social conditions: food yields, freshwater supplies, climatic stability, natural constraints on infectious agents, social relations, and the...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorMcMichael, Anthony
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-08T22:18:29Z
dc.identifier.issn1877-3435
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/31369
dc.description.abstractOur personal day-to-day experience of health ailments, reinforced by much recent behaviour-oriented 'health promotion' rhetoric, easily misconstrues 'health' as a local and individual-level issue. We thus fail to recognize that, over time, the health profile of a population is the real 'bottom line' indicator of the prevailing environmental and social conditions: food yields, freshwater supplies, climatic stability, natural constraints on infectious agents, social relations, and the within-population distribution of access to these environmental assets. For Homo sapiens, 'environmental sustainability' must therefore be, ultimately, about sustaining health-supporting environmental conditions. (We may worry about the biosphere 'out there', but Earth will, as ever, re-equilibrate.) Recognition of this dependence of human population health on natural environmental function will add significant additional motivation to manage Earth's environment and climate sustainably.
dc.publisherElsevier
dc.sourceCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
dc.subjectKeywords: environmental conditions; environmental management; hominid; public access; public health; sustainability; water supply; Homo sapiens
dc.titleHuman population health: sentinel criterion of environmental sustainability
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume1
dc.date.issued2009
local.identifier.absfor111706 - Epidemiology
local.identifier.ariespublicationu4637548xPUB82
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationMcMichael, Anthony, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue1
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage101
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage106
local.identifier.doi10.1016/j.cosust.2009.07.001
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T11:16:58Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-70449339739
local.identifier.thomsonID000282413600015
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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