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Are multiple disasters caused by climate change in Australia: really unprecedented and unpredictable?
 
 
 
 

Are multiple disasters caused by climate change in Australia: really unprecedented and unpredictable?

 
Prof. Colin MacDougall
 
Flinders University, Adelaide Australia
 
 

Australia changed early in 2020 due to a succession of disasters, in the form of droughts and fires, soon to be followed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, fierce contenders for the word of the year include unprecedented, new normal, pivoting and green shoots. As if these disasters emerged from nowhere and the scientific and policy communities had to quickly invent new strategies. On the contrary, the scale of climate change warnings has been matched only by Australian political and commercial intransigence and denial: fuelled by well-funded anti science movements. Our landscape, industry and way of life are profoundly changing to overcome policy neglect about climate change denial. Disaster researchers and organisations are responding by reframing the old view of a sudden and short event as persistent, consistent. A strong evidence base is informing our understanding of recovery pathways. Political science is helping us to understand how climate change denial is organised and funded. Meanwhile, young Australians are organising and imagining a more sustainable planet.