On current trajectories, She won't be right mate.
Australia has suffered extensively from severe climatic events including catastrophic bushfires, predicted by scientists to become more frequent and intense.
“Australia is home to a 10th of global species and is seen by many as synonomous with pristine coastal areas and an outback brimming with nature. However the country is increasingly exposed to rising sea levels, floods, heat waves, bushfires and drought”
- Anthony Cox, OECD/s Deputy Environment Director
It's regional communities more than anyone, who will feel the impacts.
Aside from the direct threat to families and animals of injury or death, our economic survival largely depends on our natural habitats and wildlife populations remaining healthy.
Our environment IS our economy
Tourism contributes more to Australia’s economy than agriculture, forestry and fishing. Nature-based tourism is the fastest growing component, with our unique landscapes, parks and wildlife a number one attraction.
But while Australia is home to some of the most amazing unique wildlife species on earth, they are being killed off at a rate unmatched by any other country in the developed world.
Fires which wipe out over a billion animals in a single season, do not help.
“Six Million Hectares of Threatened Species Habitat Up in Smoke”
- The Conversation January 2020
The Threatened Species Commissioner told the royal commission that the 19/20 bushfires were an “ecological disaster” for wildlife, putting previously “secure” populations at risk.
Plants and animals that weren’t incinerated in the fires, survived only to die of exhaustion, starvation or predation. Fragmented remaining habitat means it's harder for species for recover.
Image, ABC Facebook
Our Terrifying Current Reality
“Climate change means bushfires are increasing in frequency and severity and damp parts of the landscape are now burning with a devastating impact on flora and fauna”
- Prof Mike Clarke, La Trobe University
Governments are letting it happen because the links between climate change, coal and deforestation are well known.
“Scientists publicise their research demonstrating extremely serious and potentially irreversible damage to ecosystems – all ignored by governments”.
- Independent Australia, July 2019
A Report published in July 2019 claimed Australia’s rising coal and gas exports, combined with domestic emissions, could be responsible for 17% of the planet’s carbon emissions by 2030.
A newscorp survey of 30 scientists showed their overwhelming agreement that Australia wasn’t doing enough about our “existential threat to civilization”.
"Australia, you're being irresponsible to the extreme."
An analysis authored by former fossil fuel executive and backed by former head of Australia’s military, warns;
“Even for 2’C of warming, more than a billion people may need to be relocated and in high-end scenarios, the scale of destruction is beyond our capacity to model, with a high likelihood of human civilization coming to an end.”
Image, ABC Facebook page
We are already experiencing worsening storms and floods, longer droughts, and hotter, drier summers, as a result of just 1’ rise in temperature.
On current trends, Earth is on track to warm to an unliveable three or four degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels, far above the 1.5C climate-safe threshold endorsed by the UN.
The Bureau of Meteorology has said that our country is heating more rapidly than the global average. The hot and dry conditions behind the summer bushfires would be eight times more likely if global heating reaches 2’c. Worse, the bureau says we are headed for a 4’c rise in the next 80 years.
The toll on our communities and wildlife will be catastrophic.
The Washington Post cited the horrific damage inflicted on Australia’s environment by climate change. It spoke of how our native possums and flying foxes – already endangered - were falling dead out of trees in heat waves and how kelp forests – which can absorb CO2 effectively, had been obliterated.
“This is happening even though average atmospheric temperatures in Australia have not as yet risen by 2’c. “
Of Australian political parties who appear to be becoming less and less esteemed around the world, James Dyke of University of Exeter wrote in The Independent newspaper;
“The greatest gift they could give to Australians and the rest of the world would be to radically rethink their ideological attachment to this fossil fuel (coal).”
While the planet is losing a wooded area the size of Greece every year, reducing the earth's capacity to absorb CO2 and releasing huge amounts of planet warming gas into the air, in Australia, habitat loss is also the number one threat to three quarters of Australia's threatened species.
In Australia, now known as a global deforestation hotspot – the only one in the developed world – bulldozers have killed a staggering 45 million animals in a single year in Queensland alone.
It’s estimated that nearly five football fields of native forest are logged in Victoria each day, according to a policy paper published by the Australian Greens.
"Yet in Victoria and New South Wales, the two Australian states that were affected the most by the fires, logging companies have continued to saw down swathes of native trees to produce pulp for toilet tissue and paper towels".
- Monga Bay News, May 2020
It is clear what needs to be done, to safeguard our communities. But we need leaders who will get it done.
“Australia is being held back by the self-interest of a few right wing politicians and a network of influential companies, particularly in the fossil fuels industry, who are prepared to sacrifice other people’s health and wellbeing for their own short term economic gain”.
- news.com.au September 2018
Australian governments were warned of the increasing fire risks more than a decade ago. In 2007, Professor Ross Garnaut was commissioned by Australia’s Commonwealth State and Territory Governments to complete an independent study into the impact of climate change on the Australian economy.
The Garnaut Climate Change Review was published in September 2018. It predicted fire seasons would start earlier, finish later, and be more intense. It said this would be directly observable in 2020. What a chillingly accurate prediction.
In January 2020, the United Nations warned we have just 10 years to save Earth’s biodiversity and remaining wildlife or face severe consequences for human survival.
Globally, more than a million species are now faced with extinction, three quarters of the Earth’s land has been significantly altered because of exploitation of our natural assets, shrinking of habitat, climate change and pollution.
Australia, indeed Victoria, are stand-out culprits.
Regional Australians commonly have a deep love and connection to our natural environment. It is often the very reason we choose to live rurally.
To witness it being degraded and undervalued by elected governments is more than heartbreaking. It's terrifying.
Those of us who experienced the horrifying inferno and the resultant “dead zones” are forever affected, dreading the next summer and the next. Those who escaped the latest infernos and can still enjoy our wildlife today, live in fear of tomorrow.
Aside from the inevitable adverse impact on regional tourism if this trend of destruction continues, if we want to have a liveable country, the government must make urgent change today, and be held accountable to tomorrow.
Many would agree, it's not alarmist to say that life depends on it.
You may have seen that four highly regarded scientists ranked the three major parties for climate policies, reported by the ABC last week. All four marked the Coalition last. Three put the Greens first.
Another article by Mike Foley in the Sydney Morning Herald reported the below::
But there are more parties than the above.
Miss our previous newsletter and survey to some of the political parties?
See what they said about wildlife and habitat here:
Do small parties represent what's important to you? You may like to consider the below cartoon message.
Cartoon provided by one of our valued supporters.
Here is a link to help identify the candidates in your electorate, so you can research them before you head to the polls.