YET another extreme weather event, so yet another comment piece on climate change, huh?
Whether it is climate change sceptics citing the freezing over of the Antarctic as evidence global warming is a crock, or left wing lobbyists using the heatwave to push for strict new rules, commentary on the matter is a dime a dozen.
But before your eyes glaze over or you flick to the next page, consider this: a simple farming principle should also be used to guide our climate policy.
Let’s hope for the best, while planning for the worst.
I know there are those of you that argue these events are simply part of a natural cycle and that there were hot days in the past, or that this is part of a longer term pattern that goes back beyond record keeping, but the simple fact is this: data shows Australia is warming.
Victoria, in particular, is likely to get less rain in the future according to virtually every model.
This isn’t to say it’s all doom and gloom - farmers have shown over the Millennium Drought they are capable of growing good crops and running successful livestock operations on less rain than ever before.
However, some sensible plans to halt greenhouse gases should be implemented. If, as the sceptics say, humans have nothing to do with the change in temperatures, more the better.
There’s plenty of low hanging fruit without a piecemeal carbon tax that was implemented as action for action’s sake.
Big polluters need to play their part, but there’s also changes that can be made on a more local scale.
Let’s start with housing design – within the Wimmera there are new houses being built without eaves and with black roofs, in an area that can reach over 40 degrees for a week on end! Sharpen up the energy saving requirements of building for a start and it will make a huge difference in electricity consumption.
Food packaging also comes into consideration – since when have we needed the reams of plastic in the so-called fresh food section, stickers on all pieces of fruit and so forth?
Inner city residents also have a part to play. Instead of smugly talking about their low carbon footprint (enabled by public transport options unavailable to rural residents) perhaps they could think more carefully about washing down their soon-to-be Instagrammed meals with bottles of mineral water coming all the way from Italy.
We need to get emissions down, urgently. It may well be that something more drastic has to be done down the track, but let’s get started with the low hanging fruit.