Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Australia’s Prime Minister on a “listening tour” visit to drought afflicted farmers has explained that since climate change is making droughts more frequent, they’ll just have to be resilient.
Farming needs to adapt to climate change: PM
The federal government will lean on the states to help communities suffering from prolonged drought but Malcolm Turnbull says farmers will ultimately have to adapt to the consequences of climate change.
With drought threatening much of the east coast grain crop as well as large swaths of Western Australia, Mr Turnbull said the rural sector needed to become more “resilient” to adapt to what was “clearly a drier, hotter and more variable climate”.
“That’s what we’ve got to plan for, resilience is the key,” the Prime Minister said.
“The climate is changing. I know it becomes a political debate. But there’s no doubt that our climate is getting warmer.
This is all so unnecessary. Back in the 1930s the Bradfield Scheme was proposed to divert large tropical rivers inland, to provide reliable irrigation for Australian drylands. While the original plan to create an inland sea looks unviable, there seems no doubt harnessing currently wasted freshwater capacity would substantially alleviate drought risk in large areas of Australia’s dryland farming regions.
The Australian Federal government has billions of dollars allocated for hydrological projects. The currently plan for two billion dollars of that federal money is to expand hydroelectric capacity, to use that precious water to generate green electricity.