Above: A ute is hit by floodwaters on a street in Charlton, Victoria.
24-10-2022: Once again, whole swathes of Australia’s East Coast have been inundated with floodwaters from incessant rainfall. Parts of three states – New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania – are underwater. Federal Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt said that modelling indicated that some 9000 homes in the north of Victoria had been affected by floodwaters, and about 34 000 homes across the state could be flooded or isolated. The first fatality recorded was a 71 year old man who was found unresponsive in the backyard of his own home near Rochester in Victoria. The recurring floods have had the effect of pushing the price of flood insurance out of reach for many, and even for small businesses. Most cannot afford the premium of $12 000 a year to protect their premises from a “one in 100” chance of being flooded. Given that the current flooding is being described by Emergency Management Victoria as being a “one in 1000-year event”, one might assume that flood insurance cover for this would be astronomical.
The elephant in the room
With housing and public infrastructure at risk from spreading and rising floodwaters, worse could be on its way. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is warning that the cycle of rain and flooding is likely to continue for the next six to eight weeks. The ultimate cause of the repeated rounds of flooding is like the proverbial elephant in the room – runaway climate destabilisation. Everyone knows it is there, but most are too polite to raise a “political” question in a time of crisis. To some extent this is understandable, when all hands are needed on deck to help sandbag properties, or rescue people, animals and livestock from rivers bursting at the seams. Yet it cannot be ignored. Some point to the fact that Australia is being hit by the third La Niña weather front since 2019, when Australia was beset by record breaking bushfires. A La Niña weather pattern is the flipside of the better known drying El Niño which leads to hotter temperatures.
Climate collapse does not cause La Niña patterns, but it makes periods of flooding more extreme as warmer air can hold more moisture. In fact, for every 1 degree rise in average temperatures, it is estimated that the atmosphere can hold 7% more water. It doesn’t take advanced knowledge to appreciate that warmer ocean temperatures lead to more evaporation into a warmer atmosphere – which then greatly amplifies rainfall, especially in the tropical parts of the Pacific. So a global warming fuelled El Niño in Australia is likely to lead to catastrophic bushfires, while a global warming fuelled La Niña in Australia is likely to lead to calamitous flooding. Alas, this is the worst of both worlds.
From lockdowns to floods
Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, became infamous during the fraudulent “Covid pandemic” for suffering the longest lockdowns in any place in the world. This misfortune is now exacerbated by flooding which may also seem interminable. In a bitter connection, the Mickleham “quarantine facility” – in other words, a concentration camp – will now become a 250-bed camp for flood displaced residents. This turn of events highlights a contradiction for many of those who heroically resisted the intense political repression in Melbourne (and elsewhere) during 2.5 years of draconian government led Covid terror. Prevalent throughout the anti-lockdown freedom movement was the view that climate change is fake, that global warming does not exist, and efforts to redress this issue are driven by the “globalists” of the World Economic Forum (WEF). They lied about the science of Covid, they claimed, therefore, they are lying about the science of climate change. Simple – or is it?
What the climate skeptics in the freedom movement, and now some workers, are rebelling against – is the liberal politics of what might be described as the woke left. Whole swathes of the working class recognised that it was the liberal left which joined with the capitalist state during Covid lockdowns, when it was engaging in ferocious repression of the masses. Given the involvement of this liberal left in extreme oppression, quite understandably many in the freedom movement and others fighting against “The Great Reset” therefore want to reject EVERYTHING the “left” stands for – including a base recognition that chemical pollution from industry over the last 250 years has created the atmospheric conditions for a potential collapse of the biosphere. The “left” just want power at any cost, they say, therefore climate change is another one of their manipulations to bring about enslavement and tyranny under “progressive” rhetoric – just like Covid terror.
Such folk would do well to appreciate that even your worst enemy can be correct about something. The Labor Party, the Greens, the old Union officials, the Covid/woke left and so on, are only correct about acknowledging emissions which breed the greenhouse effect. Yet their solutions to this vital problem are galaxies away from a real path forward – as they are politically and materially bound up with the capitalist socio-economic formation. Despite their at times “anti-capitalist” verbiage, they are inextricably tied to the system of private production for private profit. They cannot break with it, and most pretend that a switch to so-called renewable energy (mainly wind and solar power) can power whole nations and the whole planet – without the need for political upheavals.
There is an abyss between the liberal left and the pro-working class and pro-socialist left. Real socialists recognise that to start to address the problem of polluting emissions threatening climate stability without de-industrialisation, the major and strategic means of production must be publicly owned and operated on a world scale. The workers comprise the only class which is capable and has the material interest in operating the world’s resources for the well-being of all, and not corporate mega-billionaires at the expense of the rest of society. The missing link is political leadership, which must arise in the form of Marxist vanguard parties committed to building proletarian states which can condemn wholesale environmental destruction, poverty and hunger to a dim and distant past.
 www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/oct/16/victoria-floods-thousands-of-homes-to-be-inundated-or-cut-off-as-some-swollen-rivers-peak-on-monday (19-10-2022)
Photo credit: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au