Dispatches from climate change’s front line: Gippsland lakes threaten to flood, residents evacuated and 600 homes at risk

SES Flood Emergency 132 500

An update:

About 600 properties in Victoria’s east will be at the mercy of flood waters during the next two days as huge rainfall and higher-than-normal tides are expected to burst the Gippsland Lakes.

The State Emergency Service expect the floods to be at their worst at 10.30 tonight, threatening homes in towns including Paynesville, Metung, Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance and Sale.

SES deputy chief officer Tim Wiebusch said properties had already been evacuated at Hollands Landing. He said 20 rescues had been performed on people caught driving through flood water.

See warnings from the State Emergency Service for Victoria here.

And a glimpse of the future:

Image taken from The Age showing soldiers laying sandbags at Lakes Entrance. Over the coming decades defence forces will increasing redirected to serve as emergency services and play a crucial role in disaster management.

As this 2010 paper from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute notes:

Defence is likely to be used more frequently in the future to assist in domestic disaster management. There will be larger and more frequent extreme weather events due to climate change; increased vulnerability of the growing populations in coastal developments and in bushfire-prone areas; continual reduction per capita in the number of volunteers and emergency services personnel; and growing community and political expectations to use military resources to support whole-of-government counter-disaster efforts.

We have spent the last 10 years worried about a tiny cadre of terrorists in remote corners of the globe. Little did we know it, but a whole new theater of conflict and disaster opened. All of us are living on the front lines of climate change. The “battle lines” are everywhere.

We just didn’t see it.

6 thoughts on “Dispatches from climate change’s front line: Gippsland lakes threaten to flood, residents evacuated and 600 homes at risk

  1. Unfortunately most Canadians have never heard of WATCHING THE DENIERS — the only Aussie journalist most can recognize on a list – let alone ‘name’ , is Australia’s very own DUTCH DISEASE : Andrew Bolt.
    I have recently blogged about Andrew to make a more general point: people well paid to say right wing things for right wing employers may be controversial, but they are hardly bold – no more bold than any trained seal jumping for fish on command…

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Indeed, to paraphrase one mining billionaire stated Bolt was useful for prosecuting their case for them…

  2. john byatt says:

    Re your skygods versus earthlings blog michael

    my letter printed in the Gympie Times this week

    Following on in Dr Wes Allen’s religious theme relating to the Earth goddess Gaia ( The Gympie Times June 2 ). Many Christians tell me that their sky God gave man dominion over the earth, but that we must respect and be good stewards of his creation, they acknowledge that we must also accept the science and act on climate change. I respect their beliefs.

    Others will tell you that their sky God placed fossil fuels into this earth, created only a few thousand years ago, for the benefit of mankind, their God would never allow harm to come to us from the use of that gift. There are also those worshipers of the sky God who believe that these current events are the harbingers of the end times, the prophecies of their scriptures unfolding, nothing we could do will change that, we must accept the judgment. One world governments and anti-Christs run amok in the conspiracy theory of their own nightmares, some denominations even believe that this sky God, like Long Tall Jones rescuing fair maiden from the oncoming locomotive, will turn up just in the nick of time to halt this human caused, catastrophe in the making.

    Gaia Theory is now a part of many science disciplines, It has grown from Lovelock’s original book into the understanding of the ecological partnership shared by all living species and the Earth itself. When I first read the book, thirty years ago, I dismissed it as religious nonsense, it was just another version of the sky God myths, an earth created for the benefit of humans alone, with the ability to maintain the world’s climate in a Goldilocks, just right for humans utopia.
    Much of Lovelock’s book, Gaia (the title suggested by a friend) we now know to be nonsense, we also know that much of it was true, Gaia does not play favorites. We ignore Tim Flannery at our grandchildren’s peril, they alone are the vested interest for every one of us.

    • John, thanks for replying to my comment. My blog title is about skygods not the or a sky GOD and is an ironic jab at the hubris in humanity ( really a play on an excellent book about PAN AM airways, who imagined themselves as skygods, soaring high above their competition – until their hubris crashed them and their company.

  3. […] southern AlbertaPredicted rain forecasts could spell trouble for rivers already reaching capacity2012/06/06: WtD: Dispatches from climate change’s front line: Gippsland lakes threaten to floo…2012/06/06: ABC(Au): Floods threaten Vic power supplies2012/06/06: ABC(Au): Flood warning for […]

  4. Sixta Watts says:

    Climate change will always be our current issue and we should make some changes to prevent the bad effects of climate change. `.;”Hope This Helps!
    http://www.foodsupplementdigest.com“>

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