The worst drought in Australia’s recorded history continues – as does the annual mayhem of bushfire season. So regular an occurrence is this that Aussie newspapers host a kind of contest, as readers send in their best photographs, such as these from Melbourne’s The Age:
Some of the most surreal scenes show no sign of the fires themselves, just the sense of a smothered world transformed.
On the other side of the planet, from today’s Guardian:
Britain is on course for the warmest year since records began, according to figures from the Met Office and the University of East Anglia yesterday …
The record year has astounded scientists. “What’s phenomenal about this year is that some of these months have broken records by incredible amounts. This year it was 0.8C warmer in autumn and 0.5C warmer between April and October than the previous warmest years. Normally these records are broken by around one tenth of a degree or so,” said Prof Jones.
Meanwhile, back home: business as usual. Don Cayo in today’s Sun reports on the ‘New West’ conference at which Gordon Campbell was at “his business-boosting best,” pushing the Gateway Project and apparently leaving the issues of smarter, cleaner technologies for energy use to others.
I’ve been asking others why, in the face of dramatic and accumulating evidence with respect to climate change, Gordon Campbell has nothing to say. It confounds others too, who assume that there is no support in a cabinet moving to the right, with an agenda of job creation and revenue enhancement from fossil fuels, to address this inconvenient truth.
But then, beetle-damaged pine forests don’t make for good photo opportunities.
UPDATE, Dec 17, 2007: In addition to reporting on bushfires, Aussie newspapers also have to cover storms – “the biggest we’ve ever seen on the Sunshine Coast in years.”
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The Sunshine Coast resort of Noosa is expected to run out of water by the end of today if power is not restored to the area’s only water treatment plant.
Power failed after a series of devastating storms in the state yesterday.
Heavy rain and wind gusts up to 120km/h brought down trees and power lines, damaged buildings and ripped roofs from homes on the Sunshine Coast, at Toogoolawah and Esk, west of Brisbane and at Tiaro, north of Brisbane, late yesterday afternoon.