Bushfire and Drought Action

Australia has faced a horrendous fire season this year, starting at the end of winter, intensifying over Christmas, and there’s still over a month of summer to go.  Lives have been lost, firefighters injured, homes, property and livelihoods destroyed. Large areas of our native bushland and our precious wildlife has been wiped out, including half of Kangaroo Island and a large section of the Adelaide Hills. Estimates are 80% of the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains in NSW has been bushfire affected.  In the past, native bushland has been able to regenerate after fires, but these have come on top of drought weakened areas, with ferocious, extreme temperatures.

While in shock from these catastrophic fires, the impact is going to be long lasting. For that reason, I’m going to list donation and help sites as they come up, that focus on funding our emergency rural fire services, communities in need, wildlife rescue and preservation efforts, and anything else fire or drought related that will help the recovery.  According to some scientific opinion, we may have now reached the tipping point of climate change, and the future is unknown in terms of extreme weather events, except to say they will become more frequent.

The fact is we are not going to get through this alone.  Australians have shown amazing community spirit to date, especially our rural fire service volunteers that have put their their own lives and property on the line.  We have also been overwhelmed with the generosity and support of people internationally.

If you have any links you would like included, please add a message below.  Genuine sites only please, I moderate any comments that come through this blog.

Populate or Perish

Arthur Calwell, Labor Immigration Minister at the time, came up with the strategy of populate or perish at the end of World War II, as a path to economic growth and national security for Australia. Seventy years later, the same policy will cause our own extinction.

I’m going in two directions at once with this post, thinking out loud in the hope there will be a solution.  We are consuming 1.7 of the earth’s resources at the present rate, with western countries being the highest consumers.  We are living unsustainably, and populating at a rate that is already impacting on standards of living around the world.  This is exacerbated by poor political leadership, including planning, and a growing gap between the rich and the poor.

Scientific evidence has shown there is no doubt we are in the midst of human induced climate change.  Predictions by scientists show that massive changes will take place this century, even if we reduce carbon emissions radically immediately, due to the lag in cause and effect.

Climate change will make areas unlivable very quickly, as we have seen with the last hurricane season south of the USA, flooding in Bangladesh and famine in West Africa.  People lose shelter, food and safe water sources, get sick and die.  This will happen so often world-wide in different ways, that we won’t need to consider population growth as a problem anymore, rather how to protect the existing population.

The climate is already changing, and we need strategies to stop global warming.  In the interim, the challenge is to anticipate what it to come and plan for it.

There will be unlivable areas of the planet so people will have to move or die.  Some areas will become hazardous to live in due to flooding and other extreme weather events, but with support can stay in place.

What is Australia planning to do about this?  How will we assist people overseas?  How are we preparing to accept climate change refugees?  I strongly believe that we must plan now.  This is a global problem.  By working together we can save as many people and as much of the environment as possible.  Like the two world wars before us, this is the challenge for our generation.

Future posts will look at ideas for living in a post consumption and climate change world.

The Walking Dead in Washington

In this fascinating article, Paul Gilding, the author of one of my favourite books, The Great Disruption, writes about the USA Presidency of Donald Trump and where we are today in regard to Gilding’s predictions in 2009 of the global effects of climate change.

Paul Gilding

We’re all focused on the drama and entertainment of Trump’s takeover of the world’s centre of military, security and economic power. For some it’s exciting and entertaining, for others terrifying and apocalyptic. I too have been glued to the news – at various times having each of those responses! But now I’ve come back to earth, recognising it all for what it is. Important, but a sideshow to a much bigger and more important game. And on reflection, I’m glad he got elected.

How can a Trump Presidency be positive? Surely this is a major setback – to action on climate change, to addressing inequality, to human rights and global security. Doesn’t it make the world a scarier and less stable place?  In isolation, all true, but in context, not so much. The context is the key.

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