During my childhood and adolescence near Broken Hill, I experienced fires, floods, dust storms and drought at first hand. In adulthood, it dawned upon me that our Australian landscape might have lessons for the entire world to learn. I began to understand that the extremes of the Australian climate demanded a special kind of recovery mechanism dependent on a number of interrelated factors:
Unless these three elements were allowed to operate, Australia could not have produced megafauna and a highly carboniferous geology.
Forty years later, I know Australia is a laboratory for the world where climate and landscape management can be demonstrated. Leading international scientists confirm that this country offers great opportunities to teach sustainability. Remote monitoring from satellites offers new insights into landscape function – in all climatic zones.
Four basic ecological processes are largely ignored in present environmental strategies: