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Byron Shire
May 22, 2022

Climate Council: ‘Climate change isn’t a footnote to the story of these floods. It is the story.’

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In response to the event flooding event that devastated much of the Northern Rivers, the Climate Council is calling for action and accountability to avoid further such harm and greater protections for communities and emergency services.

A statement has today been issued today by the Climate Council, an independent, community-powered and science-based charity.

Climate Council statement

The statement begins: ‘This is climate change. Now is the time for leadership. The scale and speed of the flooding disaster still unfolding across Queensland and New South Wales is breathtaking.

‘Some communities remain cut off and in dire need of fresh water and food, emergency housing, telecommunications, and power.

‘The emergency response is still underway, but we already know of widespread devastation with lives lost, livelihoods swept away and entire towns destroyed.

‘As extraordinary flooding and extreme rainfall were sweeping the east coast, hundreds of the world’s most eminent scientists were providing information painfully relevant to what Australians are experiencing.’

It’s been a week

Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said it’s been one week to the day since Lismore was decimated by its most catastrophic flood on record. ‘It’s been even longer since a “rain bomb” left large swathes of Queensland completely submerged.

‘And yet, there has been no official statement or acknowledgement of the role of worsening climate change in these mega floods by our Prime Minister, our Deputy Prime Minister or even our Minister for Emissions Reduction. Not a word.

‘The Morrison government is failing to step up to the climate challenge, and prepare communities for worsening extreme weather. Now, tragically, Australians are paying the price.’

Scientists have been warning us for decades

The statement points out that scientists have been warning for decades that climate change would worsen extreme rainfall and flooding. Warnings have been ignored by the Morrison Government which has failed to meaningfully tackle climate change or prepare communities.

The Climate Council is calling on all elected leaders to acknowledge the role that climate change is playing in fuelling such disasters so that we can better prepare for, and respond to escalating extreme weather events.

The Climate Council is also calling on all federal political parties and candidates to: tell Australians what concrete steps you will take to prepare and equip emergency services and communities for inevitable climate-fuelled disasters; actively acknowledge the destructive role that climate change is playing in intensifying disasters, including these megafloods; explain to the public how in the next term of Federal Parliament you plan to get national emissions plummeting by rapidly scaling up readily available renewable energy and building an economy that is free from fossil fuels, and; ensure that towns, cities and communities are rebuilt in a way that takes into account the inevitable future changes in climate and makes them more resilient.

Federal Government needs to be proactive 

‘The Federal Government is yet to make any proactive statement about climate change’s role in one of Australia’s worst extreme weather disasters in living memory,’ said Ms McKenzie.

The statement goes on to say that ‘the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes it clear that climate change is intensifying extreme weather events including rainfall events like this one. The report warns that our ability to cope with these events as well as escalating heatwaves, bushfires, and other extremes is rapidly diminishing. It spells out how the decisions of governments this decade will determine how much worse things get.

‘In short: unless we rapidly and drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions this decade, extreme weather will get much, much worse.

‘Climate change isn’t a footnote to the story of these floods. It is the story.

‘Some politicians claim this flooding disaster was something no one could have predicted.

‘The implication is that the heartbreak and loss being experienced by so many Australians right now is unavoidable.’

You can read the full Climate Council statement here. 

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  1. If these dramatic , catestrophic events couldn’t be predicted , how come they were ?
    Has every one forgotten David Suzuki ? Didn’t he predict this fifty years ago ?
    Hasn’t an endless series of reports and papers, warned our government of the dangers of continued reliance on carbon pollution
    No amount of Morrison’s creative accountancy can change the real world effect of their refusal to act in our best interest.
    Stop exporting coal, oil and gas ! You are killing our PLANET
    Cheers, G”)

  2. exactly thank you climate council … we the people have dealt with this emergency, maybe we the people need to sort out climate change, too, and KICK OUT THESE USELESS FOOLS

  3. Yeah, to the nay sayers , head in the sand , like stupid ostriches hoping it’ll go away. David Suzuki and Bill Mollison, and that Warmsley guy, legends


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