What Machiavelli would do about climate change

Niccolò Machiavelli was an Italian diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, writer, playwright and poet of the Renaissance period. He has often been called the father of modern political philosophy and political science.

Strategies to boost disaster resistance

Disaster-resilience strategies for three regions in Queensland have been released as part of the State’s Resilient Queensland in Action plan to address the Sunshine State’s ability to recover from natural disasters.

The first three strategies cover the Central West, Mary and Fitzroy regions, with the Resilient Queensland in Action plan outlining the first 18 months of activities and initiatives delivered as part of the Queensland Strategy for Disaster Resilience…


Building resilience against climate change

Climate change, it would seem, could not happen at a worse time in human history. It is clear that things are now spiralling out of control. Every year we are told is the hottest year, till the next year comes around.

Then a new record is broken. It is getting worse — from forest fires, to the increasing frequency and intensity of storms, to blistering cold waves, and spiralling heat. The fact is climate change is real; it is happening and it is making the poor in our world more marginalised. The farmers, pastoralists and all the others who work the land, use the water, and make …


What Machiavelli would do about climate change

Major climatic shifts have long been a feature of human society. But the scientific evidence overwhelmingly points to man-made rather than cyclical causes of contemporary climate change. And with those changes, we’ve seen nearly annual rises in global temperature averages. Today’s climate change has also caused general climate instability resulting in water supply shortages and devastating droughts; tropical systems dumping feet of water on cities such as Houston; and people freezing to death during cold snaps linked to the polar vortex.

Our experiences with climate-related extreme weather are reminders that even as we invest in long-term solutions looking forward, we should also look to the past for information about how human societies attempted to mitigate the disastrous immediate effects of climate change in their own times.

One place to look is the age of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, Borgia and Medici popes and Niccolò Machiavelli’s “The Prince.” The Italian Renaissance, often seen as the dawn of our own modern age, occurred during one of the greatest periods of climatic instability, known as the Little Ice Age, which…


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