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A Flood Of Issues For Australia

Climate change has raked Australia over the coals in the past few years. Even as many development companies in suburban areas are trying to expand their housing for greed’s sake, the flood plains of Australia are expanding as well and sea rise increases especially in areas like the outskirts of Sydney are causing mass evacuations annually. Researchers say climate change is worsening the situation exponentially. Australia has warmed by around 2.6 degrees (1.5 Celsius) since 1910.An intense low-pressure system brought heavy rains to Australia's east coast on March 30, forcing thousands to flee their homes for the second time within weeks. Torrential downpours hit the east coast again on April 7,this killed five people, with Sydney receiving nearly a month's rain overnight. Buying a house in these areas is like gambling your future on a lame horse. What’s worse is lack of evacuation routes in many areas.

“It’s more likely you’re going to see this danger increase in the future with climate change exacerbating the problem because of the warmer atmosphere, and the ability to hold more moisture in the warmer atmosphere,” Prof Brendan Mackey, the coordinating lead author of an Australia-New Zealand chapter said in a recent report


Mackey said the report identified nine major climate risks facing Australia

  • The loss and degradation of coral reefs and the biodiversity that relied on them due to ocean warming and heatwaves.

  • Loss of alpine biodiversity due a reduction in snow.

  • Collapse of southern Australian forests due to hotter and drier conditions and an increased number of fires.

  • Loss of kelp forests due to warming, heatwaves and overgrazing by fish and urchins that move south as the ocean warms.

  • Loss of low-lying coastal areas due to sea level rise.

  • Disruption in agricultural production and increased stress in rural communities in the south-west, south and east of the country as it becomes hotter and drier.

  • Rise in people and wildlife dying and becoming ill due to heatwaves.

  • Cascading and compounding impacts on cities and towns, infrastructure and supply chains due to bushfires, floods, droughts, heatwaves, storms and sea level rise.

  • Inability of institutions and government systems to manage climate risks.

The report estimates Australia’s general insurers paid out $3.89 billion from over 300,000 claims related to the bushfires, floods and storms in the summer of 2019-20. And the costs are even higher this year in fact February 2022 was the worse on record. This prompted reinsurance giant Swiss Re to publicly criticize companies for consistently failing to predict the cost of natural disasters. Swiss Re has said that climate change is already resulting in a “new world” of weather uncertainty and that this will significantly push up the cost of insurance in Australia.

The Australian Climate Council has been struggling to find answers but big business and the Government is stacking the deck against them in favor of Big Oil. The Council has no real power. The Council says in 2021-22, Australian Federal and state governments provided a total of $8.2 billion-worth of spending and tax breaks to assist fossil fuel industries. It says this was 56 times the budget of the National Recovery and Resilience Agency and is at odds with efforts to tackle climate change. The Government just like most on the planet are playing a game of wait and see how bad it gets before making any real changes and above all keep oil profits flowing. Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison conceded that a changing climate is making the country a more difficult place to live. According to the Medical Journal of Australia “Deaths from drowning, injuries, poisonings and infections are typically the immediate health impacts of floods.1 However, these direct impacts are only the tip of the health iceberg. Flood‐affected communities in Australia and other parts of the world have experienced long‐lasting mental health effects, such as depression, anxiety and post‐traumatic stress disorder.”


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