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Strange weather signals climate emergency


CLIMATE AVCTIVISTS: David Arnauld and Aileen Vening reported on the climate emergency to an audience in Leongatha last week.

Grace Griffith

CRACKS of thunder punctuated the message delivered by climate activists in Leongatha recently: extreme weather conditions are a result of global warming and they are on the rise.

Earlier that same day, temperatures swelled to over 35°C in Leongatha before taking a dramatic, icy turn.

By the late afternoon, we had a small burst of rain which was followed by a dry lightning storm.

While some might fob it off as ‘typical Gippsland weather’, it’s apparent this type of weather isn’t normal, especially when these extreme weather events are happening all over the globe and with rapid frequency.

The devastating bushfires in NSW and Queensland are case in point.

“Climate change is a force multiplier,” activist David Arnault of Mirboo North said.

“Hot days will be hotter, drought deeper, flood more devastating and storms more severe.”

In 2018, an average of 16 extreme weather events was being recorded a day – a major jump from a decade prior.

Mr Arnault predicted by 2050, around 46 extreme weather events would take place per day globally.

He said it would continue to affect our food and water, create more allergens and air pollution, spread disease, cause heat stress and impact mental health, all on a grander scale.

“Climate change is a medical emergency,” he said.

Second speaker from Wonthaggi, Aileen Vening, pointed out there have been so many weather records broken in just the last week, both globally and locally.

“The air over Australia is very dry, which means we will be more susceptible to frost, and it will be drier and hotter,” she said.

She said extreme cold weather was another indicator of global warming.

Mr Arnault affirmed that it wasn’t all bad news, however.

“We’ve begun a transition already,” he said, adding the changing landscape and shift in global attitude will provide new jobs.

In the meantime, the speakers encouraged individuals to do their own research and remain vigilant.

“If the county was going to war, we’d be mobilising by now. Well, we need to be mobilising,” Mr Arnault said.

Mrs Vening said, “We need to take ownership. If everyone takes ownership, we are all part of the solution.”

For farmers, soil health and regenerative farming should be a priority.

People can also act by growing fruit and vegetables or buying local produce, eating less red meat, buying and donating goods at op shops, carpooling, cycling, walking or using public transport, turning off lights and standby switches, recycling and investing in solar or renewable energy.

Short URL: https://thestar.com.au/?p=30451

Posted by on Nov 29 2019. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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