Record dry spell highlights need for adaptation to climate change

Adaptation to climate change

With Perth finally drenched and my six-year-old thrilled to be able to use her wellies and umbrella, I’ve been reflecting on what our record-breaking dry spell has taught us.

Extreme temperatures in our treeless suburbs. Wildfires in the suburbs fortunate enough to have a canopy. And a similarly distressed state forest, that ecologists believe may be on the verge of a collapse event

While we can feel relief in the break in the weather that the weekend brought, the inconvenient truth remains this is all going to get a lot worse.

In WA, we can rightly be excited about becoming a renewable energy superpower, potentially supplying the world with the critical minerals and green hydrogen it will need to decarbonise. But this doesn’t take away from the fact that climate change is happening right now.

The WA Department of Water and Environmental Regulation published a Climate Adaptation Strategy last year, which is more a collection of relevant initiatives happening across government, than a coordinated whole-of-government approach

With trees still the most effective way of taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, the threat to our state forest shows why climate scientists fear tipping points may accelerate the impacts of climate change. Which increases the urgency of making strong and informed decisions now about where and how we are going to live, as well as how we are going to feed ourselves.

I am sure my six-year-old would agree.        

This article also appeared in The West Australian newspaper. 




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