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Climate change both reflects and transforms global development. Asymmetries of responsibility, impact and capacity reflect historical and current development hierarchies. At the same time, the imperative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions perversely empowers high-emitting newly industrialising counties. As inter-state negotiations enter a new post-Kyoto paradigm involving emissions reductions for ‘all Parties’ to the UN climate change convention, relations between industrial and industrialising countries, and more broadly between North and South, are re-orientated. This article charts these relations through two decades of United Nations climate negotiations, arguing the need to secure emissions reductions across the industrialising world opens up new possibilities for climate justice.
Climate change is most directly felt by people who cannot escape its impacts, including workers whose source of livelihood may put them directly at risk from high heat. Research on these impacts for Australian workers, especially the sociopolitical determinants of effective workplace heat management, remains limited. This article presents findings from a national research project that investigated these issues in collaboration with the Australia-based United Workers Union. It reports on the experiences of members exposed to high heat, explores how they address heat stress and how they relate this to climate change. The article expands understanding of the impacts of workplace heat, especially for indoor workers and those in lower paid jobs, through a focus on how workers articulate their experiences and understand and exercise their agency at work.
Several evidence-informed consent practices (ECPs) have been shown to improve informed consent in clinical trials but are not routinely used. These include optimizing consent formatting, using plain language, using validated instruments to assess understanding, and involving legally authorized representatives when appropriate. We hypothesized that participants receiving an implementation science toolkit and a social media push would have increased adoption of ECPs and other outcomes.
We conducted a 1-year trial with clinical research professionals in the USA (n = 1284) who have trials open to older adults or focus on Alzheimer’s disease. We randomized participants to receive information on ECPs via receiving a toolkit with a social media push (intervention) or receiving an online learning module (active control). Participants completed a baseline survey and a follow-up survey after 1 year. A subset of participants was interviewed (n = 43).
Participants who engaged more with the toolkit were more likely to have tried to implement an ECP during the trial than participants less engaged with the toolkit or the active control group. However, there were no significant differences in the adoption of ECPs, intention to adopt, or positive attitudes. Participants reported the toolkit and social media push were satisfactory, and participating increased their awareness of ECPs. However, they reported lacking the time needed to engage with the toolkit more fully.
Using an implementation science approach to increase the use of ECPs was only modestly successful. Data suggest that having institutional review boards recommend or require ECPs may be an effective way to increase their use.
Clinical, epidemiological, and genetic findings support an overlap between eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and anxiety symptoms. However, little research has examined the role of genetics in the expression of underlying phenotypes. We investigated whether the anorexia nervosa (AN), OCD, or AN/OCD transdiagnostic polygenic scores (PGS) predict eating disorder, OCD, and anxiety symptoms in a large developmental cohort in a sex-specific manner.
Using summary statistics from Psychiatric Genomics Consortium AN and OCD genome-wide association studies, we conducted an AN/OCD transdiagnostic genome-wide association meta-analysis. We then calculated AN, OCD, and AN/OCD PGS in participants from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children to predict eating disorder, OCD, and anxiety symptoms, stratified by sex (combined N = 3212–5369 per phenotype).
The PGS prediction of eating disorder, OCD, and anxiety phenotypes differed between sexes, although effect sizes were small. AN and AN/OCD PGS played a more prominent role in predicting eating disorder and anxiety risk than OCD PGS, especially in girls. AN/OCD PGS provided a small boost over AN PGS in the prediction of some anxiety symptoms. All three PGS predicted higher compulsive exercise across different developmental timepoints [β = 0.03 (s.e. = 0.01) for AN and AN/OCD PGS at age 14; β = 0.05 (s.e. = 0.02) for OCD PGS at age 16] in girls.
Compulsive exercise may have a transdiagnostic genetic etiology, and AN genetic risk may play a role in the presence of anxiety symptoms. Converging with prior twin literature, our results also suggest that some of the contribution of genetic risk may be sex-specific.
Participants and research professionals often overestimate how well participants understand and appreciate consent information for clinical trials, and experts often vary in their determinations of participant’s capacity to consent to research. Past research has developed and validated instruments designed to assess participant understanding and appreciation, but the frequency with which they are utilized is unknown.
We administered a survey to clinical researchers working with older adults or those at risk of cognitive impairment (N = 1284), supplemented by qualitative interviews (N = 60).
We found that using a validated assessment of consent is relatively uncommon, being used by only 44% of researchers who had an opportunity. Factors that predicted adoption of validated assessments included not seeing the study sponsor as a barrier, positive attitudes toward assessments, and being confident that they had the resources needed to implement an assessment. The perceived barriers to adopting validated assessments of consent included lack of awareness, lack of knowledge, being unsure of how to administer such an assessment, and the burden associated with implementing this practice.
Increasing the use of validated assessments of consent will require educating researchers on the practice and emphasizing very practical assessments, and may require Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) or study sponsors to champion the use of assessments.
To examine awareness and recall of healthy eating public education campaigns in five countries.
Data were cross-sectional and collected as part of the 2018 International Food Policy Study. Respondents were asked whether they had seen government healthy eating campaigns in the past year; if yes (awareness), they were asked to describe the campaign. Open-ended descriptions were coded to indicate recall of specific campaigns. Logistic models regressed awareness of healthy eating campaigns on participant country, age, sex, ethnicity, education, income adequacy and BMI. Analyses were also stratified by country.
Participants were Nielsen panelists aged ≥18 years in Australia, Canada, Mexico, UK and the USA (n 22 463).
Odds of campaign awareness were higher in Mexico (50·9 %) than UK (18·2 %), Australia (17·9 %), the USA (13·0 %) and Canada (10·2 %) (P < 0·001). Awareness was also higher in UK and Australia v. Canada and the USA, and the USA v. Canada (P < 0·001). Overall, awareness was higher among males v. females and respondents with medium or high v. low education (P < 0·001 for all). Similar results were found in stratified models, although no sex difference was observed in Australia or UK (P > 0·05), and age was associated with campaign awareness in UK (P < 0·001). Common keywords in all countries included sugar/sugary drinks, fruits and vegetables, and physical activity. The top five campaigns recalled were Chécate, mídete, muévete (Mexico), PrevenIMSS (Mexico), Change4Life (UK), LiveLighter® (Australia), and Actívate, Vive Mejor (Mexico).
In Mexico, UK and Australia, comprehensive campaigns to promote healthy lifestyles appear to have achieved broad, population-level reach.
Chapter 1 introduces the book’s main theme, namely the growing global contest over the future of coal. Three main aspects are identified – the changing world-historical status of coal as the fuel of development, the shifting significance of the coal commodity in economic growth, and its impact as a central driver of climate change and ecological exhaustion. Government-led development ideology remains closely bound up with the extraction of coal as a source of energy security, yet is increasingly exposed and contested. Increased populist rejection of climate policy in the name of fossil fuel reliance reflects the growing intensity of this contest. Pro-coal political forces gain most traction where they are most threatened, in high-income coal-producing countries such as in the US, Canada and Australia, as well as in the EU. In newly industrialising contexts with lower emissions targets, such as in India, coal is challenged by new low-cost renewable energy, and by immediate health imperatives.
Chapter 8 develops a series of comparative themes from the experience of coal and climate change in India, Australia and Germany. In each country, we find that coal’s legitimacy crisis has created sharp contradictions in wider society, as well as within state institutions, and that local contests over new mines are rapidly undermining the social value of coal. Coal’s value to ‘development’ reflects its cultural narration as a valuable commodity and source of energy and in concluding we chart the way these narratives are contested, and are changing. In particular the chapter shows how anti-coal groups have gained strategic traction in the context of growing contradictions in national climate and energy policy. In this we return to the book’s initial provocation, expressed in the coal conundrum of increased coal extraction coupled with climate instability, arguing the conundrum is on the way to being resolved, for a post-coal future.
Chapter 4 focusses on proposed brown coal mines for Lusatia, a region of Eastern Germany on the Polish border. The mines aimed to extend existing concessions, supplying coal for the nearby power generators. They were owned by the Swedish state-owned corporation Vattenfall, which sold them to a Czech conglomerate in 2016. The developmentalist argument for the mining is addressed first, especially in terms of its strategic value for German ‘energy security’. We examine the debates about coal’s economic necessity as a ‘transition fuel’ in Germany’s Energiewende, and its environmental or climate impacts. These themes are then developed in analysing the governance framework for the mine approval and opposition to it. The chapter shows how local opponents mobilise established conceptions of home or ‘heimat’ against the mining. These scripts, centred on local values of belonging in place, are integrated with concerns about impacts on livelihood and environment, and with concerns about climate change. The direct contradiction between Germany’s post-industrial ‘green economy’ and its determination to expand emissions-intensive brown coal is particularly powerful, not least as it destabilises technocratic authority.
Chapter 7 takes the historical analysis into the present day and charts a significant unravelling in the coal-industrial complex. Investor uncertainty about the future viability of energy installations has shifted into a dramatic (and long-awaited) process of capital flight from coal to renewables. Perhaps most revealing, the coal sector itself has begun hedging its losses by investing in renewables. The chapter discusses the reasons for this shift. The Paris Agreement’s 2050 deadline for ‘net-zero carbon’, which, at the time of writing in 2019, was well within the investor horizon for coal-fired power plants, has imposed a growing perception of risk associated with coal facilities. It has also precipitated an unexpected realignment of low-income economies to seek new industrial strategies linked to the renewables sectors, creating a new state-renewables nexus to rival coal.
The Introduction to the book defines coal as a key driver of climate change and outlines the urgent need for a global transition to renewable energy. It discusses the approach taken in the book, of comparing how new coal mines are contested, and justifies the focus on India, Australia and Germany. It outlines the book's research questions, its inter-disciplinary method and its chapter-by-chapter structure.
Chapter 2 investigates the proposal for a new thermal coal mine in Chhattisgarh, Central India. The proposed mine is located in an emerging coal-mining region that feeds power stations mainly for industry. The mine would destroy forested lands and displace a large number of villages populated by Indian indigenous Adivasi people. The proponent for the mine, Adani, is a major privately owned industrial conglomerate seeking the coal to fuel its industrial concerns. The national government strongly favours expanded coal extraction, and the mine forms part of its privatization effort, designed to stimulate the sector. Within civil society there is strong village-level opposition to the mine, with concerns centred on land and livelihood. Alliances of villages opposing the mine find allies at the regional level and are able to disrupt regional politics; they also are able to make legal claims at the national level, and link with national and international environmental NGOs. Arguments for sustainable energy gain momentum especially when there are viable renewable alternatives. The struggle is skewed by coercion, with anti-mine campaigners subjected to surveillance and arbitrary detention by Indian state security.