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  • Australia faces 'massive' rethink to prepare for long-term bushfires and air pollution

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Australia faces 'massive' rethink to prepare for long-term bushfires and air pollution

Source(s):  Guardian, the (UK)

By Melissa Davey

Australia has a “massive adaptive program” ahead to prepare for future protracted bushfires and subsequent air pollution, a professor of pyrogeography and fire science has warned, urging politicians to “tone down the ideology and start solving the problem using the skills Australians have”. 


Innovations such as apps that alert people about air quality and air safety should be rolled out across the country, Bowman [David Bowman, the director of the Fire Centre at the University of Tasmania’s school of natural sciences] said. When uncontrolled fires devastated Tasmania over the summer between December and February, the health department created a clean air room in an evacuation centre for those with health risks and those who could not afford to temporarily move away from affected areas.


“We are still analysing that data but some filters worked well and some worked less well, and it depended on how effectively the house itself was sealed,” Johnston said. “So many houses aren’t well sealed. That’s why in future the most useful intervention for vulnerable people will be a government subsidy scheme for filters and retro-fits.”


Bowman said he had been warning of climate catastrophe for 15 years. But he said rather than blame politicians for inaction, building the capacity of communities to be resilient to the effects of climate change would be key.


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  • Publication date 15 Dec 2019

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