Australia's 'Big Dry' and the Politics of Global Warming Luke Hunt Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2006 HONG KONG -- Mum rang the other day. It was only unusual because we had already spoken between Melbourne and Hong Kong twice that week. 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.