Ultimately, our governments’ greatest failure is in their understanding of biodiversity and ecological services. The bottom line is the survival of soil and land. ‘As a doctor, this is my prescription for rural health and survival.’ writes Dr David Shearman, emeritus professor of medicine at the University of Adelaide and co-founder of DEA for Canberra Times.
The ACM readers’ election survey recently sought the views of non-city-dwellers from regional and rural Australia. Their most important concerns were the environment, climate change, health and leadership, the absence of which is now palpably obvious from the ineffective preparation for extreme weather events, particularly the devastating east coast floods.
The Emergency Response Fund of $4 billion was established in 2019 in response to the bushfire crisis. As ACM’s Voice of Real Australia newsletter put it, “it seems we have a truckload of money set aside for disaster recovery, but the people affected aren’t getting much of it. They also didn’t get much of it for preparedness either.”
Now, after decades of denial and prevarication, the new National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy accepts that “as the global temperature rises and other changes to the climate increase, Australia will face more frequent and severe events, such as extreme weather, fires and floods …”
Even this is an understatement, for our health and existence on this planet is threatened by damage to our life-support systems – a stable climate, clean water, clean air, biodiversity and the ecological services it provides, and land on which to grow food. All of these are under increasing threat.
“Governments have yet to understand and offer leadership to protect these life supports, and to recognise that the rural sector is the beating heart of the nation without which the future is bleak for all.”
~ Dr David Shearman, DEA Co-Founder
Our crucial rural, regional and remote areas are home to one-quarter of Australia’s population. The people that live there are known for their self-sufficiency, incredible resilience and fortitude, yet governments offer them little as they face the rapidly advancing extremes of global heating.
Read more: Canberra Times
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