There’s a downside to modern travel and trade networks: pests and pathogens hitch a ride. Nowadays, as a 2014 CSIRO report shows, the question isn’t ‘if’ something nasty arrives – it’s ‘when’.
A team looking at the effect of a warming climate on the frequency and severity of La Niña events has found they are likely to be twice as frequent in future.
A nationwide outbreak of foot and mouth disease; an invasion of a devastating wheat disease; our honeybees completely wiped out. These are just three possible disastrous scenarios facing Australia; they’re considered in the Australia’s Biosecurity Future report recently published by CSIRO and its partners.
Developers often cop criticism for being environmental vandals who’d do anything in the name of profit. But the industry is complex, ranging from one-off ‘mum and dad’ investors to global corporations. One thing they all have in common is that what they produce – residential and commercial developments – will need to perform in future environments that may call into question how or why the structures were built in the first place.
The latest round of bushfires, which claimed 27 homes in the Adelaide Hills, has once again highlighted the importance of planning for the worst. Mercifully, no human lives were lost, and it will be important to learn whatever lessons we can to avoid future tragedies.