Pharmacists on the front line

Image courtesy of Pharmacists for the Environment Australia and Esa Chen

A number of pharmacists took to the streets last week as part of the Strike for Climate campaign which saw thousands call for government action to address climate change 

Pharmacists for the Environment Australia (PEA) founder Grace Wong highlighted some of the contributions made by PEA members and other pharmacists at the School Strike 4 Climate rallies held around the nation (and internationally) on Friday 20 September.  

PEA Supporter Amin Javanmard, from the Gold Coast, Qld, led the way with a ‘prescription for climate action’ banner (Amin later commented that he should’ve made the script less legible in the interests of realism!)

Meanwhile, PEA supporter Esa Chen flew the flag for pharmacists at the Melbourne Climate Strike rally

“Passionate” PEA supporter Emilie Clout provided some images of the Wagga Wagga demonstration

Ms Wong told AJP that “PEA were proud to see pharmacists in action at the recent climate rallies across Australia and the world.

“Healthcare delivery is estimated to contribute 7% of the total carbon footprint in Australia – of that one fifth is directly due to pharmaceuticals,” she said.

“Pharmacists have a significant impact in their daily roles to educate and mitigate this impact. Climate change is a health issue, as the consequences can increase need for healthcare and conversely, healthcare delivery itself is a significant impact.

Every action we take is an opportunity – so it’s great to see pharmacists out in force to support this global awareness movement”.

Click here to see our recent feature on Pharmacists for the Environment Australia. You can also visit their Ffacebook page for more information.

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  1. Peter Bayly

    Most of us seem to follow popular hysteria about the climate without being fully informed.
    Climate change is cyclical and we will continue to have ice-ages and the reverse.
    Read the paper by Patrick Moore presented to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers recently in London. He is a former Greenpeace President who puts a strong case for the NEED for Carbon Dioxide to STABILIZE the climate.
    The climate will change but human intervention will do nothing!

    • John Wilks

      Yes I have watched some of his compelling videos. Anti- climate catastrophising par excellence.

  2. George Papadopoulos

    Maurice Newman did a good job in yesterday’s The Australian. Blinkers for the heavy impact “green technologies” such as winid turbines have on the health of humans around developments – spreading unrelenting anxiety and panic about global warming to the point of harming peoples mental health.

    • John Wilks

      This climate catastrophising has reached the level of scientific fraud.

      I  respectfully suggest the newest UN report is open to critical review.

      The various  graphs in this study show different starting points.

      One must be immediately suspicious of data for various aspects of climate which commence at different years. Why would this be done? Because the data which exists before the “start” date cited actually disproves all of the climate scare conclusions.

      For example, the rate of sea level rise has been a steady increase since the time of President Lincoln. Also, Temperatures are not increasing, but are decreasing, if one includes data from the 1930s. And Arctic sea ice is not at an historical low, again if one uses data from the 60s. In short, data can be used to prove whatever you want it to prove by selecting your starting point. Readers can view the extended data at

      • Peter Bayly

        The UN looks only at very recent data. As well as looking back several decades they should look back hundreds and thousands of years to get the picture in perspective.

        • John Wilks

          Correct. It is akin to determining if a patient on warfarin spends > 60% of their time in the therapeutic range by measuring a single INR.

  3. Andrew

    Like most of us here I’m only an expert on medicines and not climate science, so have to rely on those who are to provide advice on the balance of the literature and science.

    98% of climate scientists agree that anthropogenic climate change is occuring.

    How can we advocate that the public consult a medication expert’s opinion when some of us are unwilling to accept the consensus of experts in another field? After all, it’s all online right? One can just pick and choose their truth based on a lay-knowledge without having the depth of education and experience that is needed to contextualise the knowledge as a whole entity.

    If the “truth” is so freely available without the need for experts and their consensus, what’s the use in having them at all? It’s not unlike the vaccination or statins issue we’ve been battling for so long.

  4. John Wilks

    Hi Andrew,

    The oft cited 98% figure is a fraudulently derived conclusion, promoted by many ‘researchers’, including Australia John Cook. This extract from the Wall Street Journal debunks his mythology.

    “In 2013, John Cook, an Australia-based blogger, and some of his friends reviewed abstracts of peer-reviewed papers published from 1991 to 2011. Mr. Cook reported that 97% of those who stated a position explicitly or implicitly suggest that human activity is responsible for some warming. His findings were published in Environmental Research Letters.

    Mr. Cook’s work was quickly debunked. In Science and Education in August 2013, for example, David R. Legates (a professor of geography at the University of Delaware and former director of its Center for Climatic Research) and three coauthors reviewed the same papers as did Mr. Cook and found “only 41 papers—0.3 percent of all 11,944 abstracts or 1.0 percent of the 4,014 expressing an opinion, and not 97.1 percent—had been found to endorse” the claim that human activity is causing most of the current warming. Elsewhere, climate scientists including Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir J. Shaviv and Nils- Axel Morner, whose research questions the alleged consensus, protested that Mr. Cook ignored or misrepresented their work.

    Rigorous international surveys conducted by German scientists Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch —most recently published in Environmental Science & Policy in 2010—have found that most climate scientists disagree with the consensus on key issues such as the reliability of climate data and computer models. They do not believe that climate processes such as cloud formation and precipitation are sufficiently understood to predict future climate change.”

  5. John Wilks

    And here are the refutations by scientists cited by Cook. They reject the conclusions made by Cook. In essence, Cook’s paper is as scientifically valid as Michael Mann’s now utterly discredited Hockey stick

    “The investigative journalists found Cook and his colleagues strikingly classified papers by such prominent, vigorous skeptics as Willie Soon, Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir Shaviv, Nils-Axel Morner and Alan Carlin as supporting the 97-percent consensus.

    Cook and his colleagues, for example, classified a peer-reviewed paper by scientist Craig Idso as explicitly supporting the ‘consensus’ position on global warming “without minimizing” the asserted severity of global warming. When Popular Technology asked Idso whether this was an accurate characterization of his paper, Idso responded, “That is not an accurate representation of my paper. The papers examined how the rise in atmospheric CO2 could be inducing a phase advance in the spring portion of the atmosphere’s seasonal CO2 cycle. Other literature had previously claimed a measured advance was due to rising temperatures, but we showed that it was quite likely the rise in atmospheric CO2 itself was responsible for the lion’s share of the change. It would be incorrect to claim that our paper was an endorsement of CO2-induced global warming.”

    When Popular Technology asked physicist Nicola Scafetta whether Cook and his colleagues accurately classified one of his peer-reviewed papers as supporting the ‘consensus’ position, Scafetta similarly criticized the Skeptical Science classification.

    “Cook et al. (2013) is based on a straw man argument because it does not correctly define the IPCC AGW theory, which is NOT that human emissions have contributed 50%+ of the global warming since 1900 but that almost 90-100% of the observed global warming was induced by human emission,” Scafetta responded. “What my papers say is that the IPCC [United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] view is erroneous because about 40-70% of the global warming observed from 1900 to 2000 was induced by the sun.”

    “What it is observed right now is utter dishonesty by the IPCC advocates. … They are gradually engaging into a metamorphosis process to save face. … And in this way they will get the credit that they do not merit, and continue in defaming critics like me that actually demonstrated such a fact since 2005/2006,” Scafetta added.

    Astrophysicist Nir Shaviv similarly objected to Cook and colleagues claiming he explicitly supported the ‘consensus’ position about human-induced global warming. Asked if Cook and colleagues accurately represented his paper, Shaviv responded, “Nope… it is not an accurate representation. The paper shows that if cosmic rays are included in empirical climate sensitivity analyses, then one finds that different time scales consistently give a low climate sensitivity. i.e., it supports the idea that cosmic rays affect the climate and that climate sensitivity is low. This means that part of the 20th century [warming] should be attributed to the increased solar activity and that 21st century warming under a business as usual scenario should be low (about 1°C).”

    “I couldn’t write these things more explicitly in the paper because of the refereeing, however, you don’t have to be a genius to reach these conclusions from the paper,” Shaviv added.

    To manufacture their misleading asserted consensus, Cook and his colleagues also misclassified various papers as taking “no position” on human-caused global warming. When Cook and his colleagues determined a paper took no position on the issue, they simply pretended, for the purpose of their 97-percent claim, that the paper did not exist.

    Morner, a sea level scientist, told Popular Technology that Cook classifying one of his papers as “no position” was “Certainly not correct and certainly misleading. The paper is strongly against AGW [anthropogenic global warming], and documents its absence in the sea level observational facts. Also, it invalidates the mode of sea level handling by the IPCC.”

    Soon, an astrophysicist, similarly objected to Cook classifying his paper as “no position.”

    “I am sure that this rating of no position on AGW by CO2 is nowhere accurate nor correct,” said Soon.

    “I hope my scientific views and conclusions are clear to anyone that will spend time reading our papers. Cook et al. (2013) is not the study to read if you want to find out about what we say and conclude in our own scientific works,” Soon emphasized.

    Viewing the Cook paper in the best possible light, Cook and colleagues can perhaps claim a small amount of wiggle room in their classifications because the explicit wording of the question they analyzed is simply whether humans have caused some global warming. By restricting the question to such a minimalist, largely irrelevant question in the global warming debate and then demanding an explicit, unsolicited refutation of the assertion in order to classify a paper as a ‘consensus’ contrarian, Cook and colleagues misleadingly induce people to believe 97 percent of publishing scientists believe in a global warming crisis when that is simply not the case.

    Misleading the public about consensus opinion regarding global warming, of course, is precisely what the Cook paper sought to accomplish. This is a tried and true ruse perfected by global warming alarmists. Global warming alarmists use their own biased, subjective judgment to misclassify published papers according to criteria that is largely irrelevant to the central issues in the global warming debate. Then, by carefully parsing the language of their survey questions and their published results, the alarmists encourage the media and fellow global warming alarmists to cite these biased, subjective, totally irrelevant surveys as conclusive evidence for the lie that nearly all scientists believe humans are creating a global warming crisis.

    These biased, misleading, and totally irrelevant “surveys” form the best “evidence” global warming alarmists can muster in the global warming debate. And this truly shows how embarrassingly feeble their alarmist theory really is.”

  6. John Wilks

    According to NASA, the gases in Earth’s atmosphere include:

    Nitrogen — 78 percent
    Oxygen — 21 percent
    Argon — 0.93 percent
    Carbon dioxide — 0.04 percent

    Think about that last figure just for a little while.

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