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  • Writer's pictureMichael Johnsen

History repeats, we must adapt

Many ancient civilisations that are now submerged, mostly never built next to water, because of the threat of flooding.

Natural events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, changes in global temperatures (often as a result of major catastrophic natural or weather events) throughout history, have occurred without industrialisation or what could be considered, human induced.

Yet here we are today, with the real devastation of lost lives and property in recent floods, bemoaning the 'unprecedented' weather event, which could not be further from the truth.

Politicians need to stop parroting their twenty-something year old staffer's talking points and be honest about the facts. Let's face it, when you're that young, everything is 'unprecedented'.

Stop playing to the lowest common denominator and lift the discussion to the truth.

Take the wonderful town of Lismore in northern NSW. In its 152 year history, it has had 138 floods. Of course, the impact of the floods vary but, the fact remains, it has a long term history of flood and damage to life and property.

In the media today, head of the federal government's disaster relief strategy, Shane Stone, begins to make the argument, unpalatable as it is timely, that society needs to rethink where and how we build our homes and other infrastructure.

It makes perfect sense that we reconsider our living arrangements in light of what we know, and what we cannot control nor influence, about climate change.

Modern civilisation has failed to learn from the past and the ignorant simply blame modern impacts of climate change.

Michael Johnsen Opinion


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