Australian denier bites the dust — literally

australia-drought.jpgGlobal warming takes down its first major political victim:

“Conservative Prime Minister John Howard suffered a humiliating defeat Saturday at the hands of the left-leaning opposition, whose leader has promised to immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.”

Why the stunning loss? A key reason was Howard’s “head in the sand dust” response to the country’s brutal once-in-a-thousand year drought. As the UK’s Independent reported in April:

… few scientists dispute the part played by climate change, which is making Australia hotter and drier….. Until a few months ago, Mr Howard and his ministers pooh-poohed the climate-change doomsayers.

You can read about Howard’s lame attempt to change his position rhetoric on global warming here.

Now we are the last industrialized nation with a leader who refuses to take any serious action — hopefully that dubious distinction will be corrected in next year’s presidential election.

For Australians, the drought, called “the first climate change-driven disaster to strike a developed nation” was enough to change their views on global warming dramatically. Of course, Katrina could have been the first — but we have no way of knowing for certain if climate changed caused that hurricane to become so deadly. Let’s hope we don’t need to suffer anything as brutal as what Australia is going through before we commit to serious action.

Related Posts:

5 Responses to Australian denier bites the dust — literally

  1. beefeater says:

    What action is the new guy going to take against a once in a 1000 year drought? The mayor of Chicago was once voted out of office because of his response to a blizzard too.

  2. ScruffyDan says:

    “Now we are the last industrialized nation with a leader who refuses to take any serious action”

    If only that were true. Canada has done nothing to address climate change, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, with his Bush-Howard view of climate change, has recently successfully blocked any climate change deal involving binding targets.

    See here:

  3. Earl Killian says:

    The US, with two separate droughts in the southeast and southwest, would be wise to consider following Australia’s lead on a number of water saving innovations. A dual-flush (3 liter and 6 liter) toilet is now compulsory in new buildings in every Australian state except NSW. An early prototype saved 32 000 litres of water a year per household during a trial.

  4. Earl Killian says:

    “News at Nature” had some relevant poll data. The rest of this comment is excerpted from their article:

    Climate change has been a defining issue in the election campaign, which was conducted during what government officials have said is the worst drought in Australia’s recorded history.

    Exit polls conducted on Saturday confirmed its importance, notes Connor. Among 2,500 people surveyed as they left polling stations, the economy and health were the top two issues, with climate change and industrial relations equal in the third spot, he says.

    “It is clear that climate change was a top-tier issue in the election,” says Connor. “Rudd has a responsibility, and we believe an intent, to take a leadership role on climate change.”

  5. Michael Thomason says:

    ‘Australian denier …’? Is that 15 or 30? (the word ‘denier’ refers to the make-up of ladies’ hosiery!
    The headline should read ‘Australian Deny-er …’.