This is a mix of old and new.
2013 has been the hottest year on record for Australia, and the seventh hottest year on record.
For the past week, temperatures in Oodnadatta in South Australia’s far north have hit more than 45 degrees Celsius.
“The bitumen road’s melting but you don’t really blame it,” local Lynnie Plate told PM.
We also experienced the hottest September in Australia’s history and the warmest 12-month period, according to the Bureau of Meteorology:
Australia’s record for warmest 12-month period has been broken for a second consecutive month. This continues a remarkable sequence of warmer-than-average months for Australia since August 2012.
Unfortunately, our new prime minister started 2013 by treating this extreme weather as a joke.
At a political campaign rally in January 2013 in Lidcombe, during the heatwave, Tony Abbott said:
Isn’t it bizarre that this government thinks that somehow raising the price of electricity is going to clean up our environment, stop bushfires, stop floods, stop droughts? Just think of how much hotter it might have been the other day but for the carbon tax!
The victims of these extreme weather events are everyday people, who are now facing attack from Tony Abbott’s ultra-conservative policies on health care, minimum wage, cuts to the national disability insurance scheme and education funding, and cuts to front-line federal public services.
Heat waves and bushfires, floods and droughts impact everyday people the most.
The carbon price under Labor was tied to many sensible and fair measures to improve the material conditions of everday people, including tax cuts for minimum wage earners, and direct financial support to compensate for price rises in electricity.
It is fair to ask whether Tony Abbott accepts that climate change is happening and influencing our weather now that he is Australia’s prime minister.