World-renowned climate scientists have explained exactly how climate change is driving repeat floods in southern and eastern Australia and a farmer has detailed her “heartbreaking” experience with unnatural flooding, on a webinar journalists can now watch anytime.
Farmers for Climate Action presented the webinar, on which IPCC Coordinating Lead Author Professor Brendan Mackey and IPCC editor and author Mr Kevin Hennessy each gave a 15-minute presentation with animations describing how the three prongs of the La Nina, negative Indian Ocean Dipole and Southern Annular Mode are combining to deliver record flood damage, each of those weather systems “supercharged by climate change”.
Farmer Chloe Fox, who had recent floods destroy key infrastructure on her farm on the Goulburn River near Seymour, detailed her personal experience and made clear: “This is happening as part of climate change. These events… they’re more than just the weather. This is climate change in action.” She also explained farmers cannot insure for flood damage.
“It’s too heartbreaking”: Farmer unable to count flood losses
Seymour vegetable farmer Chloe Fox, whose operation has turnover of about $600,000 per year, told the forum floods in October destroyed the key infrastructure on the farm including the irrigation system. The vegetable farmer said the farm was only navigable by kayak for several days, the water picked up and shifted her cool room, and she cannot claim most of the damage on insurance as insuring the farm for floods is “just not an option”.
“We lost all of our crops, and tens of thousands of seedlings,” she said.
“Just the value of the garlic crop alone was up to $100,000. We haven’t quantified the total loss – there’s almost no point. It’s too heartbreaking to work out the total losses.”
“The extreme heat, these hot dry summers with long stretches of days of more than 40 degrees where it’s not even safe to be working outside… vegetables really struggle. We need people to grow food but that being said, there’s only so far you can be pushed.
“We want to be represented by people who are committed to action on climate change. We really care about a future in which climate change is addressed and we can keep on producing food for you.”
Farmers for Climate Action is hosting another webinar this Thursday about electric vehicles on farms, with speakers from John Deere and the Electric Vehicles Council.
Farmers for Climate Action is a movement of 7000 farmers calling for strong economy-wide climate policies.