Colin D Butler

Colin D Butler
Australian National University | ANU ·  National Centre for Epidemiology & Population Health Research

BMedSci (Hons), BMed, DTM&H, Dip Epi, MSc (epidemiology), PhD (epidemiology and population health)

About

204
Publications
102,919
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
5,038
Citations
Citations since 2016
39 Research Items
2657 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
Introduction
Interests: future public health, at risk from eroding determinants, e.g. rising resource scarcity, expensive energy, climate change, growing inequality and intolerance. High fertility rates In many low-income settings also contribute to poverty and instability. Technological solutions to climate change energy are emerging, but we need many other fundamental social and technological changes if global population health is to be sustained, let alone improved. See: http://colindbutler.weebly.com/
Additional affiliations
November 2012 - July 2016
University of Canberra
Position
  • Professor
August 2008 - November 2012
Australian National University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
May 2006 - June 2007
Deakin University
Position
  • Senior Researcher
Education
April 1998 - February 2002
Australian National University
Field of study
  • Epidemiology
September 1996 - August 1997
University of London
Field of study
  • Epidemiology
March 1990 - June 1990
University of London
Field of study
  • tropical medicine

Publications

Publications (204)
Article
Full-text available
Comments about Worobey, M., Levy, J. I., Malpica Serrano, L., Crits-Christoph, A., Pekar, J. E., Goldstein, S. A., ... & Andersen, K. G. (2022). The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan was the early epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. Science, 377(6609), 951-959. These comments can also be found as an eLetter at the bottom of the Science artic...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
- English and Chinese (simplified) versions available - The Olympic Charter states that “The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.” As athletes from across the globe gather together today for the st...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on the consequences to human health from climate change. We argue that the prospects for global human health are more ominous than most informed activists for global health realise. Unsurprisingly, risks to human health increase with the severity of climate change. After reviewing the history of the concerns about climate chang...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
Comments on the proposed SAGO committee and proposed changes. Official SAGO notice: https://www.who.int/news-room/articles-detail/public-notice-and-comment-on-proposed-new-scientific-advisory-group-for-the-origins-of-novel-pathogens-(sago)-members
Article
Full-text available
Scientific journals should open their columns to in-depth analyses of all hypotheses. As scientists, we need to evaluate all hypotheses on a rational basis, and to weigh their likelihood based on facts and evidence, devoid of speculation concerning possible political impacts. Contrary to the first letter published in The Lancet by Calisher and coll...
Article
Background: Global annual reports of visceral leishmaniasis or kala-azar ("black fever") reduced from 200,000 cases in 2012 to 23,804 in 2015. India, Bangladesh and Nepal reported 80% of the global cases in 2012, but 39% in 2015. We sought to identify major amenable barriers to early diagnosis of kala-azar in peripheral areas of Mymensingh distric...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
The G7 leaders recently released a joint statement calling for “a timely, transparent, expert-led, and science-based WHO-convened Phase 2 COVID-19 Origins study including, as recommended by the experts’ report, in China.” Because failing to comprehensively investigate pandemic origins puts everyone and future generations at unnecessary risk, we cal...
Preprint
Full-text available
One year after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the origin of SARS-CoV-2 still eludes humanity. Early publications firmly stated that the virus was of natural origin, and the possibility that the virus might have escaped from a lab was discarded in most subsequent publications. However, based on a re-analysis of the initial arguments, highlighte...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
We call on the World Health Organization and its Executive Board to fully address the recommendations and questions raised in this letter as a critical step toward protecting everyone on earth and future generations. As terrible as COVID-19 has been, this is almost certainly not the last pandemic we will face -- and possibly not even the worst. Ta...
Article
Full-text available
The health sector response to dealing with the impacts of climate change on human health, whether mitigative or adaptive, is influenced by multiple factors and necessitates creative approaches drawing on resources across multiple sectors. This short communication presents the context in which adaptation to protect human health has been addressed to...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
Reaction to the China-WHO joint study team report. In our previous open letter, we outlined our fears that the joint international committee/Chinese government team “did not have the mandate, the independence, or the necessary accesses to carry out a full and unrestricted investigation into all the relevant SARS-CoV-2 origin hypotheses.” Having re...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
As strong supporters of the WHO and its mission, we believe it must be made clear that any findings of the joint committee, while potentially useful to a limited extent, represent neither the official position of the WHO nor the result of an unrestricted, independent investigation. For this reason, we believe it is essential that the contours of a...
Chapter
Addressing global health is one of the largest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century, however, this task is becoming even more formidable with the accelerated destruction of the planet. Building on the success of the previous edition, the book outlines how progress towards improving global health relies on understanding its core social, ec...
Preprint
Full-text available
This letter was submitted to The Lancet on January 6, 2021. It re-evaluates the scientific evidences that have been invoked at the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemics to support the hypothesis of a natural zoonosis, and shows that these arguments were inconclusive and felt under some logical flaws. It thus requests scientific journals to open...
Article
Full-text available
This editorial presents a brief review of pandemics from antiquity to COVID-19. Although all large-scale epidemic diseases ("pandemics") can be considered ecological "checks" on human population size, and although COVID-19 is the biggest such pandemic since HIV/AIDS emerged it is not likely to approach the deathtoll of earlier pandemics, such as th...
Chapter
Full-text available
SDG3, Health and Wellbeing for All, depends on many other SDGs but there are also potential conflicts and trade-offs. In this chapter, ee stress the importance of forests to global health and well-being as well as for Indigenous and local populations. In contrast, short-term economic and human health gains from further forest conversion (e.g. defor...
Article
This paper explores evidence relevant to the hypothesis that human-generated climate change (global warming) is already, and will increasingly, add to the existing burden of disadvantage experienced by populations in low-income countries, the ‘Global South'. Well recognised health manifestations of global warming include from heatwaves and other ex...
Article
Cambridge Core - Sociology of Science and Medicine - The Social Origins of Health and Well-being - edited by Richard Eckersley
Chapter
The repeated expulsions and flights of the Rohingya people from Myanmar, documented to occur periodically for over two centuries, are widely and correctly interpreted as egregious examples of human rights violations. It is here hypothesized that this violence has ecological causes in addition to the better recognized social factors, such as intoler...
Article
Full-text available
Focusing on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) as a case study, this paper explores the relationship between philanthrocapitalism, economic history, and global and planetary health. The Wellcome Trust is also briefly discussed, chiefly in the context of planetary health. The paper argues that in the last 45 years there has been an increas...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review To combine evolutionary principles of competition and co-operation with limits to growth models, generating six principles for a new sub-discipline, called “planetary epidemiology.” Suggestions are made for how to quantify four principles. Recent Findings Climate change is one of a suite of threats increasingly being re-discovere...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Anthropogenic global warming, interacting with social and other environmental determinants, constitutes a profound health risk. This paper reports a comprehensive literature review for 1989–2013 (inclusive), the first 25 years in which this topic appeared in scientific journals. It explores the extent to which articles have identified p...
Article
Discover the world’s best science and medicine | Nature.com
Chapter
The Anthropocene is commonly seen as a period of great potential to further improve human health and other aspects of human well-being, including food security, reflected, for example, by the Sustainable Development Goals. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is similarly generally optimistic, including with regard to its global foo...
Chapter
This chapter mainly focuses on air pollution, with less stress on the health problems of climate change, which, conceptually, is also a form of air pollution, due to the changing composition of atmospheric trace gases. Air quality in Australia is comparatively good, by global standards, due to its large area, low population, and widespread developm...
Article
An overview of the ‘Limits to Growth’ debate is provided, from Malthus to Planetary Boundaries and the Planetary Health Commission. I argue that a combination of vested interests, inequalities, and cognitive impediments disguise the seriousness of our collective proximity to limits. Cognitive factors include an increasingly urbanized population hea...
Article
Full-text available
Since the use of atomic weapons in 1945 visionaries have warned that without major changes the survival of global civilization is in question. These concerns deepened in following decades, during the Cold War, with The Limits to Growth, the best-selling environmental book of the 1970s. Yet, since then, most concern has faded, fuelled by technologic...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic climate change appears to be increasing the frequency, duration and intensity of extreme weather events. Such events have already had substantial impacts on socioeconomic development and population health. Climate change's most profound impacts are likely to be on food, health systems and water. This paper explores how climate change...
Article
Full-text available
THIS PAPER IS AVAILABLE FOR FREE! PLEASE GO TO www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/13/7/665 !!! There is growing scientific and public recognition that human actions, directly and indirectly, have profoundly changed the Earth system, in a still accelerating process, increasingly called the “Anthropocene”. Planetary transformation, including of the atmosphere,...
Data
Full-text available
Chapter
About one fifth of the world’s population live in South Asia. There are many reasons to be concerned about the impacts of climate change on this region, many parts of which experience apparently intractable poverty. The health problems caused by climate change in South Asia have been conceptualised here as three tiers of linked effects. In this fra...
Article
Future climate change is predicted to diminish essential natural resource availability in many regions and perhaps globally. The resulting scarcity of water, food and livelihoods could lead to increasingly desperate populations that challenge governments, enhancing the risk of intra- and interstate conflict. Defence establishments and some politica...
Article
Full-text available
The long-standing debate in public health and the wider society concerning the implications of structure and agency for health and well-being generally concludes that structure powerfully influences agency, and does so unequally, exacerbating social and health inequities. In this article, we review this debate in the context of increasing environme...
Book
Full-text available
A festschrift in honour of Professor AJ (Tony) McMichael, free on line at http://press.anu.edu.au/titles/health-of-people-places-and-planet/
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Healthcare leaders around the world are calling for radical, transformational change of our health and care systems. This will be a difficult and complex task. In this article, we examine case studies in which transformational change has been achieved, and seek to learn from these experiences.Methods We used the case study method to inve...
Article
In 2012, the Food and Agricultural Organization released new measures of hunger data in its authoritative report “State of Food Insecurity in the World”. These revised estimates of global hunger were not only lower for recent years than previously reported, but also significantly higher for 1990. Both changes have implications for the attainability...
Article
Full-text available
The establishment of ecological public health as crucial to modern public health is overdue. While the basic concepts have been gestating for decades, receptivity within broader public health has been limited. This position is changing, not least as the population-level impacts of climate change and, more broadly, of limits to growth are emerging f...
Article
Full-text available
Elimination of kala-azar is planned for South Asia requiring good surveillance along with other strategies. We assessed surveillance in Gaffargaon upazila (a subdistrict of 13 unions) of Mymensingh district, Bangladesh highly endemic for kala-azar. In 4703 randomly sampled households, within nine randomly sampled villages, drawn from three randomly...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Healthcare systems in Australia and around the world are failing to address the challenges ofthe modern world. Healthcare leaders are calling for radical, transformational change and entirely new systems of care. However it is unclear what a future, sustainable healthcare system would look like. Methods: A narrative review to examine...
Chapter
Human caused climate change is increasingly severe and is likely to worsen for many decades to come. This has many implications for disasters. Climate change, will, for example, generate more intense storms (though perhaps occurring less frequently), droughts, crop failure and further food price rises. Flow on effects from these events are likely t...
Chapter
This chapter positions the late Tony McMichael’s contributions in the social, political and ecological context in which he worked from the early 1970s to the present. We document how his research and writing were shaped by this milieu and explore some of the barriers, challenges and opportunities that shaped his career. McMichael’s work was disting...
Article
Full-text available
The long-standing debate in public health and the wider society concerning the implications of structure and agency for health and well-being generally concludes that structure powerfully influences agency, and does so unequally, exacerbating social and health inequities. In this article, we review this debate in the context of increasing environme...
Article
Climate change's burden of disease seems orders of magnitude too low to justify claims that it is this century's greatest threat to health. However, such claims can be more easily understood by considering how climate change acts as a risk multiplier, compounding pre-existing socially and politically-mediated drivers of adverse health consequences...
Article
Full-text available
Tony McMichael, our main author with Colin Butler on climate, food systems and human health, and an architect of the New Nutrition, died in September. Some of his contributions can be accessed above. Below are appreciations from Colin Butler, Mark Wahlqvist, Jane Dixon and Colin Sindall, Ro MacFarlane, Elihu Richter, Jonathan Patz, Chris Kelman, Ge...
Book
Full-text available
There is increasing understanding that climate change will have profound, mostly harmful effects on human health. In this authoritative book, international experts examine long-recognised areas of health concern for populations vulnerable to climate change, describing effects that are both direct (such as heat waves) and indirect, such as via vecto...
Chapter
Full-text available
This book describes the direct and indirect global impacts of climate change. It includes 30 chapters divided into 7 parts. Part I (Introduction) includes 2 chapters describing anthropocene and the impact of climate change on global health. Part II includes 4 chapters focusing on the primary health effects of climate change: heat- and cold-related...
Article
This book describes the direct and indirect global impacts of climate change. It includes 30 chapters divided into 7 parts. Part I (Introduction) includes 2 chapters describing anthropocene and the impact of climate change on global health. Part II includes 4 chapters focusing on the primary health effects of climate change: heat- and cold-related...
Chapter
This book describes the direct and indirect global impacts of climate change. It includes 30 chapters divided into 7 parts. Part I (Introduction) includes 2 chapters describing anthropocene and the impact of climate change on global health. Part II includes 4 chapters focusing on the primary health effects of climate change: heat- and cold-related...
Chapter
This book describes the direct and indirect global impacts of climate change. It includes 30 chapters divided into 7 parts. Part I (Introduction) includes 2 chapters describing anthropocene and the impact of climate change on global health. Part II includes 4 chapters focusing on the primary health effects of climate change: heat- and cold-related...
Chapter
This book describes the direct and indirect global impacts of climate change. It includes 30 chapters divided into 7 parts. Part I (Introduction) includes 2 chapters describing anthropocene and the impact of climate change on global health. Part II includes 4 chapters focusing on the primary health effects of climate change: heat- and cold-related...
Chapter
This book describes the direct and indirect global impacts of climate change. It includes 30 chapters divided into 7 parts. Part I (Introduction) includes 2 chapters describing anthropocene and the impact of climate change on global health. Part II includes 4 chapters focusing on the primary health effects of climate change: heat- and cold-related...
Chapter
This book describes the direct and indirect global impacts of climate change. It includes 30 chapters divided into 7 parts. Part I (Introduction) includes 2 chapters describing anthropocene and the impact of climate change on global health. Part II includes 4 chapters focusing on the primary health effects of climate change: heat- and cold-related...
Chapter
This book describes the direct and indirect global impacts of climate change. It includes 30 chapters divided into 7 parts. Part I (Introduction) includes 2 chapters describing anthropocene and the impact of climate change on global health. Part II includes 4 chapters focusing on the primary health effects of climate change: heat- and cold-related...
Book
There is increasing understanding, globally, that climate change will have profound and mostly harmful effects on human health. This authoritative book brings together international experts to describe both direct (such as heat waves) and indirect (such as vector-borne disease incidence) impacts of climate change, set in a broad, international, eco...
Article
Full-text available
The One Health movement, as defined in this paper, has progressed from a focus on emerging infectious diseases to a broader set of challenges that include food security and food safety. These interact with climate change, a so-called 'wicked problem' that has links to all human activity. Climate change acts as a threat multiplier that interacts bot...
Article
Full-text available
In Africa, as elsewhere in the world, climate change looms as a profound health challenge in this century. Socially, politically and economically mediated ('tertiary') effects will probably be the most significant consequences of climate change, substantially exceeding the probable burden of its direct effects and infectious diseases. Climate chang...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background / Purpose: Climate change has been called the greatest threat to global health. However, most literature concerning climate change and health has focused on manifestations which are unimportant compared to the global burden of disease. If climate change is a significant global health threat then the causal pathways involved seem unlike...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Spaceship Earth is a closed system in which resources (other than sunlight) are limited. But humanity collectively behaves as if there are no limits, despite ever-growing evidence, such as the high price of energy and food and the proximity of dangerous climate change. Early steps towards global ecological consciousness have faltered, shown also by...
Article
Full-text available
Threats to health from climate change are increasingly recognised, yet little research into the effects upon health systems is published. However, additional demands on health systems are increasingly documented. Pathways include direct weather impacts, such as amplified heat stress, and altered ecological relationships, including alterations to th...
Article
Full-text available
In 2008 the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) commissioned ten think-tanks to work on disease-specific and thematic reference groups to identify top research priorities that would advance the research agenda on infectious diseases of poverty, thus contributing to improvements in human...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change’s burden of disease seems orders of magnitude too low to justify claims that it is this century's greatest threat to health. However, such claims can be more easily understood by considering how climate change acts as a risk multiplier, compounding pre-existing socially and politically-mediated drivers of adverse health consequences...
Chapter
There is a reawakening of the profound challenge of feeding the global population, now forecasting to reach eight to nine billion people by 2050. This is the case irrespective of climate change, because other forms of “planetary overload” deepen the challenge of sufficient and sustainable food production. These include declining areas of unused ara...