Tony Abbott had hardly been elected when the Blue Mountains had an unseasonal October bushfire. He opined that bushfires were just everyday experience in Oz.
Research soon showed him out of his depth because the time between October bushfires had been decreasing over the last two centuries. In 3 years we have come to expect bushfires well out of season, and now we have the lesson that areas spared for a millennia can burn.
On and on drone the climate change deniers and those other delusional conservatives propping up the fossil fuel industry almost as if they will get a reward from the destruction that flows from this course while being unable in their rhetorical blindness to notice that they are paying as well.
Now we come to the latest east-coast low pressure system with it’s erosion and flooding.
Several foci of damage almost replicated events in 1929 when Collaroy beach was washed away and Launceston had floods in April. In that year the sea-wall at Bondi was damaged twice (once during repairs) and the one at North Steyne remained broken until the 1970’s.
This time the Coogee SLS clubhouse was damaged.
Like history, no weather event replicates axactly because the dynamics of the system make that statistically improbable. It is those dynamics which are driving this event as the two great fluid systems, the atmosphere and the oceans, are heated under the impact of increasing Co2 from the human activities of burning coal and destroying forests – with consequential impacts on those carbon sinks, the oceans.
The same heat that is bleaching and killing reefs and mangrove forests combined with the heated atmosphere with its additional moisture to bring a storm all the way down Australia’s east coast.
When the world experiences diverse floods in both hemisphers in just a few weeks we have to recognise that heating the atmosphere, and thus increasing the moisture held within it, has effects.
Seeing the sad case of PM Turnbull trying his hardest to make the dumping of 20 mm of rain on Picton a simple storm rather than a climate event ranked with Abbott’s delusional conservative denialism in 2013, while simultaneously Opposition leader Bill Shorten offers sympathy to Tasmania – when both men have policies to exacerbate events like we are experiencing! Compounding this is their support for new coal mines, new gas wells and, if more oil was found in Australia, new wells for that!
All it would take to improve matters is for the old parties to agree on the seriousness of the issue in a world that has exceeded, even if only for a short time, the 1.5 C target for a safe temperature increase, something agreed to only last year by the Abbott government.
Instead we see an obsession with bottom lines, debts and deficits while the repair and clean-up costs of each climate change induced event rises to adversely affect the very deniers themselves whether they like it or not!
The government has issued a Tourist Alert, similar to the one issued during the summer forest in the alpine areas and ancient forests, while trying to reassure potential visitors some things are open.
One problem for Tasmania’s image is the stranding of the new Spirit of Tasmania, not by extreme winds this time, but by flood debris. The bow and stern thrusters that assist the vessel’s turning in the Mersey river cannot be allowed to foul and thus cause the vessel to lose steerage and become stranded in its port.
It’s time to admit that natural wonders are being damaged by climate change, and that life is being disrupted, and that this will happen everywhere.
People may choose not to travel but they will be lucky to find places that are not adversely affected. Indeed we now have an opportunity to market the damage and educate people about what needs doing.
Only the Greens have a program to comprehensively address the human-induced elements of climate change to promote a complete national transition to 90% renewable energy. This would address the need for a transition to an innovative economy and provide employment for the 21st century while reducing the risk of runaway climate change.
*phill Parsons remains unconvinced that the seriousness of the problem is understood by the majority of the political class and he is sure that most people, whilst they know it is there, have no idea what is coming if we fail to act.