Australian news, and some related international items

Catastrophic weather conditions, but Australian govt has no climate adaptation plan

Time is running out for a climate adaptation plan, Independent Australia

By Chad Satterlee | 30 November 2019  While the climate-deniers in power continue to burn our country, they still have no contingency plan to help those affected, writes Chad Satterlee.

THE POSSIBILITY that the effects of climate change could be more extreme and materialise much sooner than expected was never hypothetical. At the end of the last ice age, it is estimated that temperatures in some regions of the world spiked between five and 15 degrees celsius in just a few decades.

 climate conditions have already arrived in Australia. With a growing sense that the events of the last few weeks could be the new normal, dealing with the immediate effects of climate change may take increasing priority over historically unsuccessful emissions reduction efforts.

It is striking that Australia has no unified climate adaptation plan.

Our bushfires are escalating in number and intensity. Given this reality, leaving individuals to enact their own bushfire survival plans again and again seems inadequate. In light of successive governments upholding policies designed to discourage asylum seekers from risking their lives at sea, where is the plan to permanently move residents out of areas surrounded by highly flammable material?  …..

These are just a few matters of relevance, before we even get to responses to heat stress (cooler living spaces), or the erratic intensity of droughts (innovative measures to ensure food and water security), storms (systematic storm-proofing of property) and floods (moving communities to higher ground where necessary).

All of this will require a great deal of resources and coordination. While governments, both State and Federal, have been much too slow to act, politicians interested in keeping their jobs could conceivably be motivated to do so by increasingly engaged voters.

At the same time, the market has failed to respond anywhere near adequately and it is hard to see it doing so. The private sector-led installation of the flood-proofing infrastructure Brisbane needs is nowhere to be seen.

When warmer temperatures melt arctic ice, sun-reflecting white layers on that ice disappear, causing more heat to be absorbed by darker surfaces, a further rise in temperature and a further melting of ice. A number of chain reactions operate like this in the climate system. There could be many more that have not yet been discovered and that could behave in unanticipated ways.

Under some scenarios, changes could be so rapid that even attempts to adapt could become impractical. We haven’t a moment to lose.,13365

December 2, 2019 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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