Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 | Author:

Can Australia be saved? This is really a scary thing to consider. I did not even really know about Australia’s serious drought and salinity problem until we started talking about it in class. And to think that this drought has been going on for many years now is a very concerning thing. I read about the drought and the effects that it is having on the people but it did not really hit home until I saw that little clip in class about the family and their farm and how there used to be a lake right near them whereas now there is nothing but desert.

It is really upsetting to know that a couple hundred years ago, before we settled in Australia, the land was doing just fine. Then, we come along and completely mess up the ecosystem by planting crops which have roots that are far too small and introduce livestock which eat far too much. Why did we just sit around and let devastation like this just occur (and it is happening all over the world…)? It is because of lack of education. On one hand, the people may not really know what they are doing and what the impacts are of their actions. People sure did not know 40 years ago that CFC’s would cause a hole in the ozone. But, when they did figure it out, there were steps taken to correct the problem and today, the ozone hole is shrinking. So, there is always hope. Farmers need to be educated on how to plant properly so as to minimize dryland salinity and desertification. They should be introduced to the concept of drip irrigation and of planting native trees in the vicinity of their crops so that it may act as a natural fertilizer and be able to (in Australia’s case), minimize the dryland salinity.

It seems simple enough, educate the people on the effects of their farming practices and how they can change them to better the ecosystem. But, it is actually a very hard thing to change a person’s way of life. Even if they understand the impacts of their practices, they may still not care to change. But I believe that if at least a handfull of people were informed every day about something harmful to our environment that they can change by maybe even doing something small, like refusing to buy bottled water any more, then we can change the world and save places such as Australia. 

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  1. Dr. Szulczewski says:

    I really like this case study because it could be us next! The drought in the south two years ago freaked people out, plus we have land that is just like Australia in the southwest. Now we have the knowledge, we’ve always had money (compared to poorer countries), so what are we going to do? Those actions will shape our future.