Quickhit: Last decade set to be warmest on record

Full story on ABC Online:

The World Meteorological Organisation says 2009 is set to be the fifth warmest year since records began in 1850.

The WMO, which released its annual climate statement in Copenhagen overnight, also says the first decade of the 21st century is likely to be the warmest on record.

The report also notes that only the USA and Canada have had significant areas subject to cooler-than-average conditions, with Asia, Africa, South American, Europe and Australasia experiencing frequent extreme weather events including repeated record-breaking heatwaves.

I guess though that to the Glenn Becks and Sarah Palins of the world if it’s not happening right in front of them in the USA then it isn’t really happening. The rest of the world not only doesn’t matter it doesn’t even really exist.

Categories: culture wars, Science


4 replies

  1. I tried to point that out to someone last year, I think – yeah, we weren’t suffering under enormous heat waves, but we are NOT THE WHOLE WORLD. And it was too much for him to handle.

  2. It’s a hard position for most Australians to wrap their heads around, I think – we grow up with most of our media coming from abroad so what comes naturally to us is looking at what the rest of the world (at least the US and the UK, and increasingly China) is doing. We’re not much better than North America when it comes to thinking about Africa and South America though, or even most of Asia (what, there’s bits other than Bali, Bangkok, Honkers and Singapore?).

  3. Pity the majority of folks in the US, particularly those not online. Our news sources are awful, corporate, narrow focus. I read the Guardian.co.uk daily and since Monday, have been unable to post comments (can’t get the reason yet from various depts. on the online newspaper)- since I wrote comment that the show “DemocracyNow” is the only global daily news show inside the Bella Center in Copenhagen. (I posted a similar comment here,too.) I’m a longtime listener, now also online viewer http://www.democracynow.org
    As a New Yorker, I do have a geographical skewed view of the world, but, in my defense of my childhood – the map used in the US schools for decades had North America larger than Africa and other distortions. There’s a funny cartoon by
    Saul Steinberg (google, my copy/paste skills are none) that was in the New Yorker Magazine of a New Yorker’s (typical person’s) view of the US west of the Hudson River (one of Manhattan Island’s boundary, so to speak).
    Want to get really scared? Sarah Palin as President. See http://www.blackagendareport.com on page 2 (new articles just went up today)- list of
    pages is at bottom of home page.
    I haven’t been to Australia, but one of my favorite authors is Shirley Hazzard.

    • I think it’s a Northern Hemisphere thing, not just an American thing, Sanda – although everybody keeps an eye on American commercial and political culture, because the US is currently the world hegemon (how much longer for, who knows?) . Sure, the individual countries in Europe aren’t too bad at noticing each other, but they’re not so good at keeping an eye on the rest of the world. Japan and China and Russia all keep an eye on each other and the US, not so much the rest of the world. India keeps an eye on China and the Talibani/Wahabist Islamist-influenced states, not so much on the rest of the world.
      Southern Hemisphere nations tend to keep a wary eye on the whole Northern Hemisphere, but we’re not so good at noticing more than our immediate neighbours in the South either.

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