Letters to the editor: Five keys to men's health; climate change and bushfires (Nov 21)

Five keys to men's health

LIVE LONGER: Adequate rest and minimising stress are two measures men at the conference were urged to address. Picture: Louie Douvis

LIVE LONGER: Adequate rest and minimising stress are two measures men at the conference were urged to address. Picture: Louie Douvis

IT is not often that men like to talk about their health issues, so it was pleasing when 130 men signed up to attend the Meet The Doctors program run recently at the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church hall, in Morisset. This program was part of the annual Movember focus on men's health. Doctors present at the evening included Dr Hans Diehl, a lifestyle medicine researcher from the US, and local doctors Dr Trevor Hurlow, Dr Charlie Markell and Dr Casper Badenhorst.

The first topic dealt with prostate health as more men die of prostate cancer than women die of breast cancer, and yet it is not so well publicised. The doctors answered many questions from the audience about this problem. Dr Diehl spoke on the fact that a large percentage of diseases that doctors in western countries treat are lifestyle diseases which could be prevented if better choices were made. Dr Diehl said if people addressed five main factors, many of them could live up to 10 to 12 years longer, with those years being quality years.

The five things were exercise, adequate rest, maintaining a healthy diet using mainly plant-based foods, low alcohol consumption and reduced stress. Dr Diehl challenged the men to make the changes in their lifestyles so they could reap the benefits.

- Warren Fedorow, Wyee Point

Climate change and fires

A RECENT small survey asked people's opinion on the factors causing the severity and extent of the current fires. One person's response was "climate change, I just don't see it". An excellent point. None of us can "see" it. Scientists, however, constantly monitor atmospheric temperatures and humidity, and their effects on soil and vegetation moisture levels. They can demonstrate the higher temperatures and lower humidity (that climate change bring) lower moisture levels in both soil and vegetation. These lower moisture levels assist ignition and promote much fiercer burning.

Over the last few months, these "quiet Australian" scientists have been aware of critically low moisture levels across most of eastern Australia. Theirs are the informed opinions we (particularly our political leaders) should be seeking.

- Richard Mallaby, Wangi Wangi

Bushfire emergency

WE are now experiencing unseasonal and deadly bushfires in three states. Climate scientists, meteorologists and senior firefighters all say that climate change is a contributory factor. So far, the reaction in our federal parliament has been a lot of shouting but no action. The Coalition is scared to death of the kind of internal division which caused the loss of Turnbull as leader, and the ALP is scared to death of upsetting the coal mining unions.

Meanwhile, fires are destroying property, and killing people and other animals. What we need is a wartime-style coalition government to formulate an urgent action plan. Perhaps it's time for the Governor-General to step in.

- Richard Edmonds, Balcolyn

Fighters or fire bombers

IF you are unsure whether our politicians are up to the job and exercising what they say is their first priority, which is "putting Australian's safety first and foremost", ask yourself this question: "would I be safer and feel more secure, with spending $17 billion on joint strike fighters to fight America's wars, or would better value be in spending a fraction of that on fire bombers to save Australian lives, land and property?

- Allan Earl, Beresfield

What just happened?

I WATCHED the senate yesterday for a while. They were trying to blame someone for something. After an hour they had not done anything for Australia, just fighting with each other. Why are they there and why do we pay them?

- Barry Spaulding, Cardiff

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