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Nov 28, 2009

The Lancet has just published a series of articles on health and climate change. Besides being informative, I love the following sentence in the executive summary: "Addressing climate change is not just an issue of international agreements, or economic costs; it is a choice of what kind of world we want to live".

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Posted: Nov 28, 2009 8:27am
Oct 7, 2009

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (England, UK) is taking shape. It will be "the first new acute hospital in Britain's second city for 70 years". It will replace Queen Elizabeth and Selly Oak hospitals. The NHS' vision for this hospital is to "build on our achievements to deliver the best in care". It will be "a £545 million investment in the health services for Birmingham and the Midlands".

This all sounds exciting, until I heard that the multifaith centre has recently been axed, apparently for cost-cutting reasons. But with a budget of £545mn, how much cost-cutting will the axing of a multifaith space save? And with overwhelming evidence that a positive attitude and well-being help healing (not forgetting the wellbeing of the staff!), I was shocked to hear this news. Apparently an alternative faith space will be available by 2014 but that is 5 years away (and over 4 years after opening)!

If you're as shocked/ disappointed as me, do consider becoming a member of the Birmingham Council of Faiths (which has representatives on several City bodies to represent the voice of faith and only costs £5 per year [disclosure: I've recently been co-opted onto Committee as I believe in their mission and work]) and/ or write to the hospital.

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Posted: Oct 7, 2009 1:23pm
Sep 16, 2009

I've neglected my blog a bit. Actually, I didn't want to repeat myself as whatever caught my attention seemed to be 'same old, same old':

- Big Pharma encouraging 'swine flu panic' (if they truly cared and were honest they wouldn't charge 6 month's salary equivalent for e.g. ordinary Egyptians for their famous Tamiflu or other pills; Egypt is now thinking of closing all schools to avoid epidemic... but what about the kids education then?! & parents )
- organisations starting to talk green/ sustainable, but not walking it, see e.g. Worldbank.

- climate change is getting worse and worse and we continue to ignore it too much, e.g. today health impacts highlighted.

Until there is justice for all... let's keep up our 2p's! (though not always easy, justice does sometimes prevail as in this case of pollution of Africans)

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Posted: Sep 16, 2009 4:56am
Jun 9, 2009

On 19 May, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) put out a press release calling for an immediate moratorium on Genetically Modified (GM) foods because "GM foods pose a serious health risk". Citing several animal studies, the AAEM concludes "there is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects" and that "GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health."

I think these doctors know better what's good for us or not than those working for commercial companies making/ dependent on GM telling us it's all fine and we 'need' it for all kinds of reasons...there is NO food shortage (there are now more overweight/ obese people than those malnourished), it will NOT solve poverty (being forced to keep buying sterile seeds from a global behemoth will only increase wealth gap), it will NOT help combat climate change (most GM are only pesticide resistant, so not using pesticides in first place is more sustainable & there are many plant varieties we could use), and, last but not least, how dare we think we can mess around with God's Creation (Satan disclosed some of his plots to confound us saying: "Verily of Your servants I shall most certainly take my due share, and shall lead them astray and fill them with vain desires. And I shall command them so that they cut off the ears of cattle (in idolatrous sacrifice), and I shall command them and they will CHANGE GOD's CREATION.", Quran chapter 4:119)?

A good site with information on Islamic view on GM is Muzammal Hussein's site.

An unrelated, but important piece of news I wanted to share is that it seems we still have a strange set of priorities: according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), world governments spent a record $1.46 trillion on upgrading their armed forces last year despite the economic downturn (see article in The Independent), while for $40-60 billion a year we could achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (according to research by the Worldbank)

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Posted: Jun 9, 2009 5:05am
May 5, 2009

I'm glad I found an article by Sister Anisa Abeytia on 'Eating Healthy on a Budget', confirming that eating cheap (processed) food is not good for you and will ultimately cost you dearly in bad health etc. Eating what God has blessed us with, in needed (not wanted) quantities, is also much better for Creation.

Also, do you know the true cost of your cheap chicken etc? According to new research by Friends of the Earth "over £700 million of taxpayers' money is spent funding factory-farming each year." (and that's a figure for the UK alone). Demand the funding system change so you need to pay less taxes, have more money to buy food that is produced in accordance with your faith, with God's injunctions to use, but not abuse nor waste.

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Posted: May 5, 2009 6:42am


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Rianne ten Veen
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