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27 September 2006

(No) Global Warming

After what I was told was a particularly mild winter in Melbourne, spring arrived early, and in September we had a day when the temperature topped 30 degrees - the warmest September day in Melbourne ever! A few days later strong winds arrived and that brought the first of the dreaded bush fires - almost a month ahead of schedule, not boding well for the season - summer only officially starts on 1 December! Well the fires were not the only flare-up! Al Gore made a fleeting visit here to promote his film - the "Inconvenient Truth", and used the opportunity to point out that Australia together with the US are the only developed countries that have not signed the Kyoto Protocol. A few denying voices were still to be heard, that we were experiencing normal weather fluctuations, - but thankfully those voices are becoming less in number and less vocal - I think the facts are now beoynd argument!

However the fluctuations are also noteworthy: less than a week later the temperatures swung around from heat to wintery cold. Inland fruit growing areas experiencing frost, and destroying a large percentage of the stone fruit crops. Markedly higher prices are being predicted for fruit this season, coming close on the winter season when bananas were costing the up to $15 (equivalent of R80) per kilo due to shortages caused by cyclone Larry in March / April of this year.

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