Australian prime minister Tony Abbot got elected saying, among other things, that global warming science was a bunch of crap.
Now he says that “Climate change is real, as I’ve often said, and we should take strong action against it…” Why the amazing massive ginormous flip-flop? Because Abbot is feeling the heat. So are a lot of Australians as they suffer through tremendous bushfires devastating huge areas of New South Wales. Australia has always been prone to fire, but the scale of this event is astounding. So too is the timing — it isn’t even summer yet down under. But it’s absolutely clear that “fire season” has been getting longer in Oz, starting earlier and ending later. And the reason for this very early outbreak: an extra-hot and extra-dry winter, exacerbated by — you guessed it — man-made climate change. Global warming.
Abbot is especially feeling the heat because U.N. Climate Chief Christiana Figueres on Monday told CNN that there is “absolutely” a link between global warming and increased risk and severity of wildfire such as burning Australia right now. Abbot denies any link whatsoever, claiming the Figueres was “talking through her hat.” He has to resort to such rhetoric to defend his policies, since he has already dissolved Australia’s climate commision and wants very much to repeal the carbon tax. But right now, with the damage and cost of climate change staring him — and all Australians — right in the face, he’s feeling the heat so much that he had to run away from his earlier claims.
Maybe Abbot formed his opinion that global warming science was “crap” by looking at temperature in Australia for the 25-year period leading up to 2012:
Wow! What a “pause”!!! The trend line just barely escaped negative slope, and is nowhere near statistically significant. Twenty five years with no statistically significant warming! Is Australia headed for imminent cooling?
Let’s bring that graph up to date. 2013 isn’t over yet, but it’s well on its way to being the hottest year on record in Australia. By a long shot. September was the hottest on record. By a long shot. And the most recent 12-month period was the hottest on record.
While we’re at it, let’s add some context. Let’s look at all the data available from Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology:
Gee. When you look at all the data, including this year (although only 9 months old), it is abundantly clear that Australia has gotten hotter, and that you have to cherry-pick your time span to make it look like it’s not a problem. But then, cherry-picking time spans to make it look like it’s not a problem is what global warming deniers do. A lot.
As Graham Readfearn so aptly stated, “If Tony Abbott thinks Christiana Figueres is “talking though her hat” then from where is Tony Abbott talking?”