If you’re easily alarmed, inclined to panic, and don’t have access to Tetris or psychoactive substances, you might not want to read this.
A few days ago The Independent tells us of the chaos in Melbourne. Australia is melting:
Leaves are falling off trees in the height of summer, railway tracks are buckling, and people are retiring to their beds with deep-frozen hot-water bottles, as much of Australia swelters in its worst-ever heatwave.
On Friday, Melbourne thermometers topped 43C (109.4F) on a third successive day for the first time on record, while even normally mild Tasmania suffered its second-hottest day in a row, as temperatures reached 42.2C. Two days before, Adelaide hit a staggering 45.6C. After a weekend respite, more records are expected to be broken this week.
Ministers are blaming the heat – which follows a record drought – on global warming. Experts worry that Australia, which emits more carbon dioxide per head than any nation on earth, may also be the first to implode under the impact of climate change.
At times last week it seemed as if that was happening already. Chaos ruled in Melbourne on Friday after an electricity substation exploded, shutting down the city’s entire train service, trapping people in lifts, and blocking roads as traffic lights failed. Half a million homes and businesses were blacked out, and patients were turned away from hospitals.
For those who live in places like Phoenix and Las Vegas, you’re next. (Bear in mind 45.6C is about 115F. Death Valley temperatures. And your water is running out.) No, I’m not kidding. You should move. Now. It’s going to get worse. I’m pretty tired of people hiding their heads in the sand. And sand is all that will be left in a couple of years.
20 thoughts on “Australian end times (more apocalypse stuff)”
Hey man, if there aren't periodic ice ages & heat waves, then what will threaten the survival of the human species? Asteroids?>>Oh…wait…dammit…
I’m glad I live in the snowy wilds of Maine. Not that this location will be any different if things don’t change on this planet in a major way. >>Humans are a weird species….not willing to make any changes until there’s a crisis. Even when all the evidence points to immediate and horrible danger will we not do anything. Then when things .explode. we freak out and act surprised like we never saw this coming.>>It’s disgusting.
I’ve lived in the SF Bay Area all my life, and I’ve never ever before experienced 70 degrees in the middle of winter. We’ve had like three days of rain. Everyone was super excited at first (“They cancelled winter! Oh boy!”).>>But its starting to register now. The headline on the SF Chron read the other day “WORST DROUGHT EVER ON RECORD.” It’s going to be a long, blistering month of July.
If my coffee didn’t jolt me awake this morning, this news surely has.
The heat isn’t that extreme. It hits 40C for a few days around this time in Melbourne every year. I remember trying to cook for a Burns Night party one year, and it was so hot that the pastry was just a disaster.>>The drought, on the other hand…
Have you read the comments on <>The Independent’s<> article? More of the same, “Nah, this is normal. Just another heat wave. We’ll go back to our usual weather next year. This article is alarmist environmental crap, all lies and no facts. We’re fine here in Australia. Come visit.” >>I’m laughing, because it’s better than crying. Maybe playing Tetris is better than laughing… Will go and manipulate coloured blocks now, since I can’t do much more than I’m already doing about climate change. Cheers, fellow planet inhabitants!
I think what people don’t understand is that these ‘freak’ events are going to happen more and more often. That snow in London? They think it won’t happen again for another 20 years. The heat wave in Australia (and I think nearly 6 degrees C is a *significant* chunk more than usual temps of 40 degrees), ditto. My bet is it will happen three times in the next five years.>>When we moved to Seattle 14 yrs ago, people said of the broiling summer heat that year, ‘this doesn’t happen!’ They thought we were insane when we put in air conditioning. Now we’re the most popular house in the n’hood in July and August.>>The droughts, the fires, the rains, the hurricanes–they’re here to stay.>>I chose this city very, very carefully all those years ago. It’s a pity about the earthquakes, but everything else is good: water and food and power supply especially.
Water is running out. >>It’s time we started demanding changes in our wasteful U.S. and Canadian water laws. Now, before it’s too damn late.
I definitely see it here in SoCal too. We’ve had weird 80 and even some 90 degree days here this month. And it’s dry. We had rain early in the season, so a lot of people don’t realize we’re way behind again this year. The hills are turning green early because of the early rain and heat – it looks deceiving. Drought conditions now during the ‘rainy season.’>>But Nicola, what about the rising water? Don’t you think that will affect Seattle and environs? Even if most of the stuff is above sea level, bad things will happen…>>Another thing I think about when thinking about where to move to (because yes, I’m getting the hell out as soon as feasible), is where will all of the displaced people go? the ones that have to move because they have no water or too much water or heat or whatever. I’m thinking some places that are ok now are going to get over-populated fairly quickly. I hate crowds.>>Every one of us should be talking about this to every person we talk to.>>Thanks for posting this Nicola
This world can’t run out of oil quick enough. Billions of years to build the thing, two hundred to destroy it. Sheesh.>>Here in CO we don’t have anything like enough snowfall this year, and the mountainsides are brown with beetle-kill trees. I’m writing a futuristic set here in Boulder in 2065. Ash and dirt fall instead of snow.
Oregon is the new California, which means that California is Oregon’s Mexico, and Washington is the new Oregon.>>I plan on enjoying Oregon pinot noir as long as I can, while stockpiling ammo and gasoline. I’m also looking for a KLR250, which I’ve heard is the best motorbike to have in case of a zombie infection.
Yeah, the 43+ days were hard on us. Even the metal stanchions on the new London Eye style ferris wheel here (the Southern Star) buckled and cracked under the thermal stress. The electricity grid went out from the South Australian border to the CBD of Melbourne on the day we had 45 degrees. To describe what it’s like, it feels like you’re standing right in front of a restaurant pizza oven all the time.
Eh. Sounds like South Africa during a particularly hot summer.
Climate change, desertification, melting of the ice caps,freak weather… we are desperately in need of a huge paradigm shift both in scientific advance and in political behaviour and use of resources if we stand a chance. Of course while AC is a godsend in the heat, it does contribute drastically to global warming and energy wastage. We also need cheaper ecologically sound housing.
Congratulations!>>Your blog has been nominated in the Best Lesbian Personal Blog over at The Lesbian Lifestyle. Please visit http://thelesbianlifestyle.com for more information on The Lezzy, the webs only all lesbian blog awards!
<>stacy<>, so is Vancouver the new Washington, and Alaska the new Vancouver?>><>terry<>, that does not sound like fun.>><>lynne<>, whereabouts in South Africa? The temp charts I looked at appeared quite a bit lower.>><>georgi<>, without AC my nervous system shuts down. Cool baths and icepacks only work for a little while (and neither mixes well with computer equipment).>><>goldstardyke<>, woo hoo!
Well, I have to say I’m pretty happy with Vancouver weather today. It was warm for February! I guess that means we’re really screwed as far as worldwide climate goes. >>Have you read this < HREF="http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126921.500-one-last-chance-to-save-mankind.html" REL="nofollow">interview with James Lovelock<>? I thought, “Yes, thank you for saying what’s been in my head so clearly and without drama.”
Yep, saw that a couple of weeks ago. He’s not wrong.
Want to get a look at the real reason why we are in trouble. Read The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner, a British sci fi writer from the 1970’s. Yes, that’s right the warnings came long and hard 40 years ago. And here we still are.>>Over at the alternet.org today two posts hit this topic, one on Australia’s heat wave and the other on America’s movement towards inverted totalianarinism. >>Here in SoCal we are sunning and tanning with apparently no memory of our most recent fires while for me the idea that any group in america will gain total control is already a reality. Just check out the stimulus plans.
I always feel as though I should like Brunner’s work more. I’ve read most of it but it just didn’t do anything for me. Perhaps I was too young; and now I’m too jaded…
Comments are closed.