I'm a mixed farmer and volunteer firefighter from Harden in New South Wales, where my family has lived for generations.
Two reports about the changing climate's impact on our lives and economy made national headlines recently, but also hit very close to home.
The final report of the Bushfire Royal Commission found that climate change fuelled the unprecedented Black Summer bushfires, and is driving more dangerous weather conditions in the future too.
Also Deloitte found that left unchecked, climate change will wipe $3.4 trillion off our economy by 2070, along with 880,000 jobs.
These reports confirm what many regional Australians like me are seeing first hand.
I've been fighting fires for nearly 40 years, and the hotter, drier conditions are making fires worse. We used to attend fires by jumping into our own vehicles and driving out. Now, even our large tankers are no match for the flames.
I'm also seeing the economic consequences of climate inaction on my farm. More intense and frequent droughts, floods, and fires have driven up insurance premiums massively, and driven down profits.
To stay viable and debt-free, I've had to downsize my farm.
Luckily, we had a decent growing season this year. But in the past few weeks, I've seen my mates struggle with storms and rainfall, which are becoming more intense in a climate change-supercharged atmosphere. It's just loss after loss.
Already in my family, my sons aren't going to be farmers like me.
There's not enough money in it, and it's too risky. If nothing is done, we're heading towards a future of huge corporate farms and niche peri-urban farms, but a hollowed-out middle.
It doesn't have to be this way. Deloitte's research points to $680 billion of economic growth if we choose a COVID-19 recovery that also addresses climate change-and 250,000 new jobs by 2070.
We know that solutions like large-scale renewable energy are ready to go; and that regions will win big.
Not only because a safer climate is good for farmers and communities, but because large-scale renewables will deliver cheap electricity and attract new industries, like food processing, to the regions.
Everyone wins when our leaders choose to support clean energy, instead of more coal or gas. The ball is now in the Federal Government's court to deliver the safe and stable future we deserve.
- Peter Holding is a mixed farmer and a Farmers for Climate Action supporter.