Australia needs water for terraforming or it will keep burning. As bad as the current situation is, the future may be much worse. Global climate change is playing havoc with the natural environment. Australia is now at the forefront of the havoc. Of course, other nations have been there for some time, like Tuvalu or Bangladesh where sea level rise has been making the habitable areas shrink. However, now the havoc is continental in scope and affecting a white western nation.
Can the hellish catastrophe in Australia finally force humans to deal with their atmospheric waste? Australia may have been one of the first places to show how the actions of modern humans can be so destructive to the overall environment. In the late 19th century, the plagues of rats and rabbits which followed modern human agricultural practices were shocking. The ranching of livestock brought enormous destruction to Australia’s natural environment. Humanity could have an enormous impact on the environment, which was not always beneficial.
Australia has also served as an example of how modern humans can bend the environment to its will. Though it is a continent, Australia is the smallest continent. Human intervention can actually work on Australia’s scale. The Dingo Fence is a perfect example where a large scale construction project had an impact on the whole of the continent. The Dingo Fence has been somewhat effective in keeping dingos out of the sheep ranching areas of Australia.
Australia can now serve as the front line for an experiment in terraforming. Urban centers and agriculture are dependent on twentieth-century water distribution networks of dams and aqueducts. Droughts are coming more often and are getting longer. Eventually, the infrastructure is overwhelmed and there is a conflagration. Australia is now real-world proof of this truth.
There is only one way to deal with this situation and that is to build desalinization plants. How many Australia will need depends on how much climate changes affect the continent’s rainfall patterns. Desalinization plants are very expensive in dollars and energy terms. It takes an enormous amount of energy to desalinate seawater.
Burning any fossil fuel to power these desalinization plants would be counterproductive. Today, solar and wind capabilities are barely able to make the case they can meet CURRENT demands on the energy grid without causing increased emissions as happened in Germany. Nuclear power will allow Australia to have the necessary energy to run these desalinization plants at some kind of reasonable price.
Desalinization has become the only answer for a continent on fire. Australia needs climate change to be mitigated. Desalinization plants will allow the irrigation of vast tracts of land if done on a sufficient scale. Some of this irrigation will be for farm and ranching areas, but not all. There will probably also be a need to irrigate wild areas. Climate change could severely reduce Australia rainfall totals and turn wilderness areas into tinderboxes.
Given the long-term advantages that climate has provided Australia, preventing large-scale climate change is strongly in Australia’s interest. The aforementioned solution is expensive but necessary to handle this environmental crisis. Controlling the climate is beyond current scientific abilities, but the nation can seek to ally itself with those that have been the great climate moderators of history: plant life. Plants and trees filter the atmosphere and transform it by producing oxygen from carbon dioxide and water. They can help tamp down the urban heat islands created within cities as well.
A large program dedicated to the replanting of native species in the many different microclimates that make up Australia can help stabilize Australia’s climate. Because normal rainfall patterns will likely be changing, Australia may need to irrigate new native stands of trees. It will take decades for the trees to have a positive effect on climate. These huge stands of native plant life will also act as a buffer to pollution from the rest of the world. Desalinization plants can facilitate the irrigation of large areas that the state must return to its native flora to mitigate climatological disaster.
Desalinization will cost billions to pull off on a continental basis, but it will gradually pay dividends. In the end, a Fission4Water project can preserve Australia’s climate advantage. With so much money necessary to pull this off, Australian citizens will need to be heavily involved to give politicians the will to spend the money.
It will take tremendous belief to make an investment that will not have any short-term benefits. There will be huge dividends over the long run, though. Fission4Water’s plan for Australia’s water infrastructure will preserve Australia’s climate advantage and prevent Australia from being burned to ashes by the neglect of others on the planet.