Contributed by Joe Montero
Ongoing flooding across a large part of Australia should be another wakeup call. There is absolutely no doubt that more frequent and increasingly extreme flooding is an effect of human made climate change. Australia is not alone. It’s happening around the world.
‘Like something you watch in a movie’: climate crisis intensifies with catastrophic floods
Video from Guardian News
The evidence is abundant. Melting glaciers and polar ice are raising sea levels and more cold fresh water in the ocean has convection ant therefore affected currents. The Atlantic Conveyer Belt has slowed 15 percent. This conveyer belt is a critical determinant of the world’s weather patterns and is therefore extremely important.
The All-Important ‘Ocean Conveyor Belt’
Video from TDC
Changes in water temperature cause greater heat transfer to an atmosphere already heating because of excess carbon emissions. This means more water is evaporated out of the oceans and more rain falls on some parts of the world. Passing off Australia’s floods as a prolonged the La Niña weather effect. What is causing this is important, and it is the changes in water and air currents.
Unless humans reduce carbon emissions by a long way, there will be more and increasingly severe flooding alternating with drought. Flood and drought are the two sides of the same coin. Sufficient resources must be put into disaster management to mitigate the impact.
The damage doesn’t stop at those losing their homes and livelihood in flooded areas. Australia’s capacity to grow sufficient food is compromised. We are already experiencing shortages and higher prices. This will get a lot worse, and we are already getting a glimpse of how bad it can get. In poorer countries hard hit by severe floods, lack of access to food is making people go hungry. Food security is becoming a major global issue, a killer, also pulling down economies and causing social upheaval.
Thousands in evacuation centres in northern Victoria where flooding continues
Video from ABC News (Australia)
People are suffering now. And far too little is being done to give them support. A lot more must be invested in preparing the capacity for quick response ahead is a disaster hitting Australia. This means organising people and supplies, as well as having the necessary communication and transport infrastructure in place.
It doesn’t stop with minimising the immediate impact.
Far too little is being done to slow down our headlong drive to future disaster. Fossil fuels continue to be extracted at breakneck speed. Dirty energy is still the main ay we produce electricity. The minor change in evidence is moving at a snail’s pace, not enough to create a barrier against the looming disaster. Forests continue to be chopped down, removing their capacity to draw carbon from the atmosphere.
The failure to act brings about the threat of water insecurity. It might sound strange saying this with all the flooding taking place. But the longer and hotter dries show this. it means more crop failures, less food, higher prices are the results.
Australia’s government, despite an improvement on past governments, is still not doing enough. Responses continue to be piecemeal, rather than on the foundation of a comprehensive major plan and national priority. Such a plan would set the goal of transitioning the Australian economy from carbon dependence, and it must involve a major shift in in how all parts of the economy operate, as well as turning over to clean energy generation. We don’t have such a plan.
Ultimately, the solution is global. Australia should be putting effort to play a constructive diplomatic role, building alliances, and encouraging the world to act together.
As long as vested interests continue to be allowed to dominate over the decision-making process and put the size of their bank accounts as the priority, we will continue along the path to disaster.
The majority wants this madness to stop. Our political leaders are not listening. We must all contribute to changing this.