One world, two realities: BigAussieHeat

By Stephan Lewandowsky
Professor, School of Experimental Psychology and Cabot Institute, University of Bristol
Posted on 11 January 2013

Update 11/1/13: video of duststorm added. Australia is experiencing the mother of all heat waves. Records are tumbling everywhere: For the first time in recorded climatic history, the country experienced 7 consecutive days above 39C (90F 102F). Extremes are everywhere, and the Bureau of Meteorology issued a special climate statement.

As stated by Bureau of Meteorology's manager of climate monitoring and prediction, David Jones, ''The current heatwave - in terms of its duration, its intensity and its extent - is unprecedented in our records. Clearly, the climate system is responding to the background warming trend. Everything that happens in the climate system now is taking place on a planet which is a degree hotter than it used to be.''

It's so hot, the Bureau had to add another color to the temperature map--Burning Deep Purple:

This actually means something.

It means that people suffer, like the heroic grandparents who saved their children from a bushfire, taking pictures because they thought they might never see them again alive:

It means freakish dust storms off the coast of Western Australia, awe inspiring in their beauty:

And an even more awe-inspiring video


That is what climate change means.

But this reality is not shared by everyone. There are some politicians who live in an alternate reality. Just today, one of them reiterated their commitment to abolishing Australia's price on carbon, because it allegedly fails to cut emissions and because "genuine domestic emission reductions can be achieved without taxing electricity."

And therein lies the problem. We have one world, one reality, and an alternate fantasy world inhabited mainly by politicians, mining magnates, and their enablers in the media.

In reality, there is some evidence that the price of carbon, however imperfect a first step it may be, is having an effect on emissions.

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