Stormy times

Living with uncertainty

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  • Published 20170124
  • ISBN: 9781925498295
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

IN SEPTEMBER 2016, South Australia was buffeted by the most ferocious storm in half a century. Apocalyptic clouds gathered as thousands of lightning strikes hit the saturated landscape. The nation watched the unfolding crisis as an intense low-pressure system, two tornadoes, flooding rains and high tides demonstrated nature’s raw and unforgiving energy. Cyclonic winds felled transmission towers in the north, triggering a blackout that plunged the state into darkness. Meanwhile, torrential rains threatened flash flooding, provoking two days of collective trepidation as swollen rivers broke their banks, destroying crops and inundating houses.

The blackout was met with incredulity, triggering a political storm centered on the state’s reliance on wind-energy generation. That transmission towers laid strewn across the landscape was an inconvenient truth – the power of wind rather than wind power was the problem. It was a cruel visitation in a state already buffeted by economic headwinds.

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About the author

John Spoehr

John Spoehr is strategic professor of industrial transformation and founding director of the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute based in the Flinders Business School at...

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