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When we think of climate change, we probably think of the effect on our land, waterways and oceans, which is of course a huge aspect of climate change. That's our cultural heritage at risk; and agriculture makes up 14% of our exports, so climate stability for us is food security and economic security.
But climate change impacts our cities as well, and that's a big deal, because 90% of Australians live in cities.
It's not just the urban heat island effect, which increases the risk of heat stress.
Climate change is making extreme weather events more frequent and more intense. It's now common for Sydney to get an entire month's rainfall in a single day, and even in a couple of hours. Sometimes we get weird hailstones. The hotter the day, the more violent the storm in the evening.
But our cities aren't built to handle flash flooding or extreme heat, and so these events cause property damage and lost productivity, at best. Our roads melt to the point where they become unsafe to drive on. Train tracks expand, making it unsafe for trains to travel at their usual speed.
A storm in December caused 1,000 SES callouts across NSW, grounded 100 flights, and disconnected tens of thousands of homes from electricity. Try blaming that on renewables.
Extreme weather can kill. More precisely, the fact that we're unprepared for it is what makes extreme weather dangerous. When we built out cities, the climate was different to what it is today.
What can we do about it? NSW's transport minister urged workers to leave work early if a storm is predicted. That might be alright for salaried office workers. But many others (who are more likely to be lower paid) can't just up and leave in the middle of their shift because wild weather is predicted that afternoon.
We actually need to build and adapt our infrastructure for the world we've created, which is one with violent storms and 47-degree days. And we need to stop making it worse.
If someone tries to silence you by talking about the economic cost of addressing climate change, tell them about the cost of doing nothing about climate change.
The Science Party is sick of the Australian government doing nothing about climate change.
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