In 10 Years, Australia Will Decide the Fate of Our Planet

The main battle for climate will happen in Australia, and it will happen soon

Alan Trapulionis


Much of Australia is already uninhabitable. Wikimedia Commons image

If countries were people, and fossil fuels were the drug, Australia would be the addict.

Not only it is the third-largest exporter of fossil fuels in the world, its entire economy is dependent on it. Australia still makes 40% of its energy by burning coal, with another 50% powered by oil and gas. Hundreds of thousands of people are currently employed in fossil fuel industries, and none of them want to lose their jobs.

This is not a unique situation. All countries are dependent on fossil fuels. Oil isn’t just how countries pay their bills and light their homes — it’s also the stuff we use to make tyres and Star Wars toys.

None of the developed countries want to pull the plug just to score some planet-points.

But Australia isn’t your typical developed country.

Located on one of the driest strips on the planet, Australia really, really doesn’t want the Earth to keep heating up. Even a few degrees can cause massive droughts in an otherwise fertile environment, and most of Australia isn’t a fertile environment.

In fact, most of it is a desert. That’s why 95% of Australians live on the humid coastline down below, which isn’t exactly the safest place to survive the apocalypse. Heavy rains are becoming more and more frequent in that part of Australia, and it’s already drowning in floods.

Woman trapped on a car roof during flash flooding in Toowoomba. Wikimedia Commons image

When other developed countries are discussing these questions, they’re discussing them as if climate change was some urban legend people stole from an overcaffeinated sci-fi movie. They’ll throw in a few buzzwords, score a few political points, and move on.

Neither them nor their audiences truly believe that climate change is a here-and-now problem, because that’s just how humans are wired. It’s extremely difficult for people to think in terms of generations. Something like climate change becomes a “maybe” problem for a hypothetical offspring.