Global Warming happening yet?
Our business friendly mates on the right don’t like Global warming. They would hate to admit that what those tree huggers have been pointing out for years is actually true and that the capitalist consumer culture they love so much might in fact be killing off the planet. Indeed I’ve even had right wing bloggers here on this site claim environmental concerns aren’t just the preserve of the left, and that they care as well. Neato. The fact still remains that our right wing friends and the systems they have created to benefit themselves have a lot to answer for the current environmental problems we face, should they have a role in the changes or should they simply have the changes forced upon them? As the environmental consequences of rampant capitalist consumerisim become more and more apparent, these are questions that Australia is being forced to ask itself now.
Australia ponders climate future
Parts of Australia are in the grip of the worst drought in memory.
Rainfall in many eastern and southern regions has been at near record lows. On top of that, the weather has been exceptionally warm. The parched conditions have sparked an emotional debate about global warming. Conservationists insist the "big dry" is almost certainly the result of climate change and warn that Australia is on the brink of environmental disaster.
Other experts believe such hysteria is wildly misplaced and that the country shouldn't panic.
'A war-like scenario'
The drought in Australia has lasted for more than five years. The worry for some is that this could be the start of a protracted period of low rainfall that could go on for decades. "The really scary thing is last time we had a drought of this intensity that lasted about five years - it lasted for about 50 years," cautioned Professor Andy Pitman from Macquarie University in Sydney. "The politicians truly believe this is a five-year or six-year drought that will break sometime in 2007 or 2008. But it might not break until 2050 and we aren't thinking in those terms at this stage," Professor Pitman told the BBC. Global warming, the drought and the future of dwindling water supplies will undoubtedly dominate talk at barbeques and dinner parties this festive season in Australia. "We're in a state of emergency," said Cate Faehrmann from the Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales. "We need to treat this as a war-like scenario. The people are really worried that we are going to run out of water." She added: "I can imagine Australia being a desert in a few decades' time in some of these agricultural areas. The soil is blowing away, the rivers are drying up. "I think there will be plots of land abandoned and perhaps whole agricultural practices abandoned."