In late 2014, with the help of the University of Canberra (UC), I convened a new international collaboration of nine academics, called "Health-Earth" or "H-Earth" . The official webpage is maintained at UC, but it is difficult to update and expand it. Instead, I have created one here (this is a temporary address).
Health-Earth is an international, interdisciplinary network of institutions and individuals from Australia, Finland, New Zealand, the UK, the US and the UNU institute of Global Health, which seeks to build knowledge about global change and health and develop capacity for effective responses by policymakers, practitioners and communities, thus ensuring long-term population health. It has six major themes: Poverty, Climate Change, Infectious Disease, Ecosystem disruptions, Security and Transformation.
In a nutshell, health-earth argues that global human population health is part of the Earth System, and can be conceptualised and studied at the global scale. I expect some of these principles will be integrated into the Masters of Ecological Public Health course which we hope UC will start this year. I will also be talking about Health-Earth at the Health in the Anthropocene session, at 14th World Congress on Public Health, in Kolkata in February 2015.
In November 2014 I was arrested, protesting Australia's coal frenzy. I am one of the first IPCC contributors to have taken such a step. At the time, I had already been invited to a meeting in January 14-15, 2015 at the Rockefeller Center in New York, as a reviewer for the Lancet Rockefeller Commission on Planetary Health. Due to my arrest, I was denied the normal US visa, while US consulate lawyers assessed whether my entirely non-violent protest (which carries a maximum penalty, unbelievably, of seven years in prison) constituted "moral turpitude". This application involved an early morning visit to the US consulate in Sydney, the completion of numerous forms and declarations, and the surrender of my passport. Eventually, I was granted a US visa valid for the next 3 months - but, alas, too late to attend the meeting. I made a report instead and prepared some slides (still confidential).
Probably, not visiting the US at this time is a good thing, as it's a long way, and our departure to India is now only 5 days away. My passport, much to my relief, was returned yesterday. If I again visit the US I will need, I'm afraid, to do this all again (ie apply for a visa) - unless the US law is changed.
Jan 29: Arrive Delhi, meet Susanta Chakma
Jan 30: Delhi-Sankissa (arriving same day as His Holiness XIV Dalai Lama)
Feb 2 or 3: Sankissa-Delhi
Feb 4: meetings in Delhi, including with 350.org India, Deepak Thakur and Nalori Dhammei
Feb 5: fly Delhi-Pune
Feb 6-8: meetings in Pune with Karunadeepa and others
Feb 8: fly Pune - Mumbai - Kolkata
Feb 9-10: Belur Math, Kolkata
Feb 11-15: World Population Health Congress, Kolkata