50° a couple of times in Parramatta. Hot, but not unheard of. But that’s the whole point of global warming. It’s gotten a degree hotter over the past 75 years, give or take.

I haven’t seen any solid evidence about this being the worst fire season in Australian history. In mediaspeak, that generally translates as “I can’t remember anything worse.” 2003 was pretty tough. We lost 500 homes in an afternoon. We’ve had seasons with more deaths. Presumably in the early days of colonisation, far greater areas burned each year because that was part of the residents’ food-gathering program.

Unprecedented risk” is a pretty bold claim. As a species, we’ve gotten a lot better at managing natural disasters. I’d say that we are unlikely to face any greater risk than those of past years. It used to be that we’d lose over 100 000 people each year to natural disasters. In some years over half a million. Nothing like that since about 1980, and nowadays more like 10 000 worldwide. See the graph here:

I don’t know if droughts will get worse. Climate change doesn’t necessarily mean “hotter and drier”. Do you have a source for this.

As for coastline flooding, I can’t see that happening. It’s cheaper to cool the planet through geoengineering than to relocate or rebuild coastal facilities in China alone, let alone globally. My guess is that if and when our coastal cities are threatened, China will act unilaterally to fix the problem, and everyone else will go along with it.


Britni Pepper has always enjoyed telling stories. About people, places and pleasures.

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