Adjunct professor, University of Canberra

I am concerned about the risk to civilisation from its current trajectory, especially of Limits to Growth, manifest as rising energy costs, climate change and worsened by the global disparity between rich and poor.

In 1989 I co-founded an NGO called BODHI, which is one of the oldest Buddhist influenced development organisations based in the West. BODHI has supported education and health projects in seven Asian nations, particularly in India.

My PhD was called "Inequality and Sustainability". It argues that global inequality generates “environmental brinkmanship”, ultimately risking the health of rich and poor.

Highlights of my academic career to date include work with the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the World Medical Association and the Special Programme for Tropical Diseases Research. I am also a contributing author to the IPCC, on the topic of climate change and nutrition. I am a co-editor of EcoHealth, journal of the International Association of Ecology and Health. Currently, I have published about 120 articles and chapters, and given invited lectures in 13 countries.

I am trying to finish the editing of a book called "Climate Change and Global Health" (CABI, 2014).


  • 2012–present
    Adjunct Professor, NCEPH, ANU
  • 2012–present
    Professor, Faculty of Health, University of Canberra
  • 1989–present
    Director, Benevolent Organisation for Health, Development and Insight (BODHI)
  • 2011–present
    ARC Future Fellow, NCEPH, ANU then Faculty of Health, University of Canberra
  • 2008–2012
    Associate Professor, NCEPH, ANU
  • 1988–2008
    General Practitioner (mostly part time), Tasmania
  • 2006–2007
    Senior Research Fellow in Global Health, Deakin University


  • 2002 
    Australian National University, PhD (epidemiology and population health)
  • 1997 
    Univ. of London, UK, MSc (epidemiology)
  • 1997 
    London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, Dip LSH&TM
  • 1990 
    Royal College Physicians, London, DTM&H
  • 1987 
    University of Newcastle, NSW, BMed
  • 1984 
    University of Newcastle, NSW, BMedSci (Hons)


  • 2012
    Kovats S, Butler CD. Global health and the global environment: linking research and policy, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 4: 44-50.
  • 2012
    Infectious disease emergence and global change: systemic thinking in a shrinking world, Infectious Diseases of Poverty 1:5
  • 2011
    AJ McMichael +CDB: Promoting global population health while constraining the environmental f/print, Annual Review of Public Health. 32: 179-197
  • 2010
    Butler C.D. The climate crisis, global health, and the medical response, World Medical Journal. 56(2):56-8
  • 2007
    Butler C.D. North and South, The., Int'l Encyclopaedia Social Sciences (Ed: A. Hedblad) New York: MacMillan Ref USA, Vol 5:542-4
  • 2006
    McMichael A.J., Butler C.D. and Folke C. New visions for addressing sustainability, State of the Planet 2006-07 (Eds: D. Kennedy et al) Island Press, Washington DC, pp 161-6.
  • 2006
    Butler C.D. and McMichael A.J. (2006): Environmental health, Social Injustice and Public Health (Eds: BS Levy, VW Sidel, Oxford: Oxf Univ Press, pp 318-36.
  • 2004
    Human carrying capacity and human health, PLoS Med
  • 1994
    Butler C.D. Overpopulation, overconsumption and economics, The Lancet 343: 582-4

Grants and Contracts

  • 2011
    Health and sustainability: Australia in a global context
    Sole applicant
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council

Research Areas

  • Public Health And Health Services (1117)
  • Other Environmental Sciences (0599)
  • International Relations (160607)


One of "100 doctors for the planet" French Environmental Health Association (2009)