I have always admired Australia for its way of life and for its down to earth people. But just when the devastation wrought by Super Storm Sandy in our country is beginning to be forgotten (but not by the people who lost their homes!), Australia is suffering thorough a monumental heat wave. Temperatures above 50 degrees Centigrade (122 degrees Farenheit) in some places have actually caused the Australian Bureau of Meterology to add additional colors to its weather charts.
The Australian Government Climate Commission admits that this weather is almost certainly a result of climate warming caused by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But amazingly, Australia still gets over 75% of its electricity from the dirtiest fossil fuel of all, coal, and is the largest coal-exporting country in the world. The previous Prime Minister was in fact a major "climate change denier". Perhaps this experience will begin to change minds of the public and affect government policies.
I also have always admired our Northern neighbor, Canada, as one of the most civilized countries in the world. But now Canada is being run by an ultra conservative government which wants to harvest oil from shale. Shale oil is definitely the dirtiest type of oil and the environmental destruction wrought by obtaining this oil is devastating. Canada, say it aint so!
I just read an article by David Roberts entitled "If you aren't alarmed about climate, you aren't paying attention." The link is http://grist.org/climate-energy/climate-alarmism-the-idea-is-surreal/
Read it and you won't be able to sleep for several nights.
I also read an article in Nature by Jeremy Grantham entitled "Be persuasive. Be brave. Be arrested (if necessary)". It urges scientists to stop being non-emotional and begin to become desperate. I agree. The currently predicted four degrees of warming will affect our civilization so dramatically that there is no certainty that any adaptation is possible. And the possible seven degrees of warming predicted if nothing at all is done will prove too horrible to conceive. I urge my fellow scientists to become desperate and let people know.