Are you climate ready?

picture of a building shaded by an awningAs the helicopter touched down on a Canadian fire ground, crews dug a hole into the permafrost. What a perfect place to chill our drinking water. Pausing, it struck me what a contradictory paradox this was. Here we were, standing in the northern hemisphere on a subalpine tundra landscape, yet there was fire all around us.

I was witnessing a fire ground where the sun scarcely set, the spectacular northern aurora lights danced above and the ground beneath my feet was frozen. Turning to my Mexican firefighting comrade we quipped that there’s no such thing as a climate change sceptic at the end of a fire hose.

What a perceptive observation.

Today, climate change is impacting communities around the world. A cursory glance across the news reveals floods, fire and famine. What’s alarming is the frequency, the intensity of these devastating events, which capture global attention with their distressing consequences for individual communities and broader humanity.

Here in our bush capital, climate change means we are likely to experience intense heatwaves, a higher risk of severe bushfires and more powerful potent storms set against a backdrop of variable rainfall.

The science tells us the sooner we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions the better the outcome will be for our environment and those who will walk in our footsteps. The bush capital has a proud history of leading climate change action both in reducing emissions and preparing for the impacts.

As a way to build a climate change resilient community, a valuable online self-assessment tool has been released. It provides a powerful insight to help us prepare for the inevitable.

This interactive web tool, the first of its kind for the bush capital, is designed to inform, to educate. As you work your way through the quizzes, a climate ready score provides a useful insight as to how ready you may be in the event of a bushfire, drought, severe storm or heatwave event.

The web tool focuses on all aspects of our lives, offering astute advice and tips on how we can better prepare for extreme, unpredictable weather events be it at home, at work, using public transport or simply exercising.

By thinking globally we can act locally by getting online and taking a proactive step in becoming climate ready. Share your insights with friends, family and colleagues.

Let’s see who is the most climate ready here in our beautiful bush capital. By completing the quizzes, you could enter the competition to win $1000. See more at www.environment.act.gov.au/climate-ready-quiz

Brett McNamara is with ACT Parks & Conservation Service

Brett Mac

Brett McNamara - Regional Manager with ACT Parks & Conservation Service

Brett loves our national parks almost as much as the Gang-gang on his uniform. He is prone to using the word 'majestic' when referring to the bush capital. He loves talking. A lot. His favourite animal is the playful platypus.

Article also appeared on 11 December in The Chronicle