Is public health fiddling while the world burns?

Professional Public Health has a remarkable history of taking up major health predicaments at different times over the last 200 years and successfully transforming policy.  There is  excellent current thinking within public health about taking sustainability issues on board.  See for example Rayner G, Lang T. Public health and nutrition. Our vision: Where do we go? World Nutrition April 2012, 3, 4, 92-118 http://tinyurl.com/p9shz3c.  Public health also has a lot to contribute to understanding how to foster social change, see S. Johnson : Communicating sustainability: lessons from public health, http://tinyurl.com/opphh6u

However sustainability was markedly absent from discussion at the Festival of Public Health at Manchester University on 4th July.  Steady State Manchester was the only paper on sustainability/ economic issues. We were given 7 minutes to present ‘Sustainable Health, Well-Being and Steady State Economics’   in a small workshop.  publicHlth talk Despite this omission at the conference, we are working with  allies in Public Health who see ecological and economic crises as risks to health and wellbeing. Together we hope to push these issues up a range of agendas.

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