Janine Dixon writes in The Conversation (17.1.20) about attempts to quantify the costs of this summer’s destructive bushfires, reminding that GDP is well suited to many things, but not necessarily to measuring the impact of disasters.
‘Estimates of the economic damage caused by the bushfires are rolling in, some of them big and some unprecedented, as is the scale of the fires themselves.
‘These types of estimates will be refined and used to make – or break – the case for programs to limit the impact of similar disasters in the future. Some will be used to make a case for – or against – action on climate change.
‘But it’s important they not be done using the conventional measure of gross domestic product (GDP). GDP measures everything produced in any given period.
‘It is a good enough measure of material welfare when used to measure the impact of a tourist event or a new mine or factory or something like the national broadband network, but it can be misleading – sometimes grossly misleading – when used to measure the economic impact of a catastrophe or natural disaster.’
- Take care when examining the economic impact of fires. GDP doesn’t tell the full story »
- With costs approaching $100 billion, the fires are Australia’s costliest natural disaster »
- What employers need to know: the legal risk of asking staff to work in smokey air »
- Koalas are the face of Australian tourism. What now after the fires? »
- Scientists find burnt, starving koalas weeks after the bushfires »
- Bushfire recovery package to tackle Australian tourism’s ‘biggest challenge in living memory’ »
- Tourism loses $4.5b to bushfires as overseas visitors cancel »
- Counting the cost of Australia’s summer of dread »
- Fire crisis cost could balloon: economist »
- Worst-case economics »
- Summer’s legacy »
- The K’gari-Fraser Island bushfire is causing catastrophic damage. What can we expect when it’s all over? »
- Labor steps up criticism of bushfire grants after damage report by federal agency revealed »
- It can’t all be insured: counting the hidden economic impact of floods and bushfires »
- Wildlife recovery spending after Australia’s last megafires was one-thirteenth the $2.7 billion needed »
- Climate change is bringing a new world of bushfires »
Nearly 80% of Australians affected in some way by the bushfires
Nicholas Biddle and colleagues write in The Conversation (18.2.20) about the results of a new ANU study which gauged how people were impacted by the bushfire crisis and how it changed their views on a range of subjects, from climate change to the government response.
‘Last month, the Australian National University contracted with the Social Research Centre (SRC) to survey more than 3,000 Australian adults about their experiences and attitudes related to the bushfires.
‘… Our research shows the vast majority of Australians were touched in some way by the fires. We asked about eight different forms of impact, from lost property to disrupted holiday plans to difficulty breathing from the smoke.
‘About 14.4% of our respondents experienced direct exposure to the fires, either through their property damage or evacuations.
‘… And 77.8% of our respondents reported indirect exposure to the fires, such as having a friend or family member with damaged or threatened property, having travel or holiday plans disrupted, being exposed to the physical effects of smoke or feeling anxious or worried about the fires.
‘Breaking the data down by individual category, the severity of the public health challenges becomes more clear. Nearly six in 10 respondents (57%) said they were physically affected by the smoke, while 53.6% said they felt anxious or worried about the fires.’
- Nearly 80% of Australians affected in some way by the bushfires, new survey shows »
- Bushfire crisis: more than half of all Australians found to have been directly affected »
- Time to think differently – but just how differently? »
- ‘Overwhelming and terrifying’: the rise of climate anxiety »
- The history of fire in Australia – and how it can help us face the bushfires of the future »
- Australia needs a national fire inquiry – these are the 3 key areas it should deliver in »
- Grave fears held for hundreds of important NSW south coast Indigenous sites »
- ‘It’s heart-wrenching’: 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of Gondwana rainforests burn in bushfires »
- Hundreds of thousands of fish dead in NSW as bushfire ash washed into river »
- How to get back to normal after the bushfires? ‘I feel life has changed into a Mad Max movie’ »
- 1 in 10 children affected by bushfires is Indigenous. We’ve been ignoring them for too long »
- 3 billion animals were in the bushfires’ path. Here’s what the royal commission said (and should’ve said) about them »
- ‘Devastating’: more than 61,000 koalas among 3 billion animals affected by bushfire crisis »
- More than 100 Australian plant species entirely burnt in Black Summer bushfires, study finds »
- ‘Unacceptable costs’: savanna burning under Australia’s carbon credit scheme is harming human health »
- Slow burn – Australia’s summer of bushfire crisis »