Australia’s ‘Big Dry’ and the Politics of Global Warming

Australia’s ‘Big Dry’ and the Politics of Global Warming

HONG KONG -- Mum rang the other day. It was only unusual because we had already spoken between Melbourne and Hong Kong twice that week, for her 70th birthday, and this conversation was stilted, though she assured me everything was fine.

Then she blurted out: "You might think me silly but it rained last night. Oh it rained and rained from midnight until eleven in the morning and it was heavy. It's just that," she hesitated. "It hasn't rained for so long."

Such is the drought afflicting Australia -- the worst in living memory -- that it warranted a call from one side of the planet to the other, simply to say it rained, and from an area renowned as the wettest on the continent, occasionally inviting comparisons with the English countryside.

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