Politics

Um, This Winter Smashed 260 Heat And Rainfall Records

Tag an MP who needs to take climate change more seriously.

climate change

If you thought you felt a hint of climate change in the unseasonably warm air this winter, you were unfortunately right.

Turns out this past Australian winter broke a staggering 260 heat and low rainfall records, according to a new report by the Climate Council. The report — which is literally just titled Hot and Dry: Australia’s Weird Winter — notes that this was the warmest winter on record, the second driest June ever, that bushfire season is looking grim as a result, and all this is going to keep getting worse unless the government pulls its finger out and takes action on climate change.

And yeah, climate change is very clearly pinned as the problem here. The report found that the changes were 60 times more likely to be caused by human-induced climate change than natural forces.

In the wake of the report, Professor Lesley Hughes — an ecologist and Climate Councillor — has urged the government to “take meaningful action to strongly reduce Australia’s emissions from fossil fuels” before it’s too late.

It’s a particularly key time to do so, as politicians bicker about how to address calls for a Clean Energy Target. Despite the proven success of renewables, we’re still stuck in endless debate about how to extend the life of ageing coal-fired powers stations because nobody planned ahead for the transition.

We can only hope that this time, decision-makers will listen to science. And if a warm winter isn’t a big enough wakeup call, the report also contains a friendly reminder that spring and summer are also set to be hotter than average. Maybe then we’ll see some politicians sweat.