Are more bushfires a symptom of climate change? The ongoing blazes in New South Wales and Victoria have again brought this question to the fore, and it comes as no surprise that many scientists believe in a link between climate change and an increased likelihood of bushfires. Of course, nobody can point to any one blaze and say “that fire is the result of climate change”; mother nature will invariably deliver natural disasters without compunction. Furthermore, bushfires have always been an important part to many Australian ecosystems, so to attribute all future blazes to global warming would be specious.
But it’s not just more bushfires that Australia might have to brace for. It’s commonly held that climate change will result in an increase in all sorts of extreme weather events. You could take a tour of Australia for a few examples. Floods in Queensland, fires in Victoria and New South Wales and drought throughout much of the country; some would say that’s pretty strong evidence that climate change is already taking its toll. Others, however, would argue that these events are nothing new in Australia and provide no evidence for climate change, and even the claim that there has been a global trend toward more extreme weather events is hotly debated.
What we should not forget in this is what is the best economic decision in this scenario considering that we have scarce resources. Bushfires, river murray, financial crisis, infrastructure for Australia?