When smoke gets in Australia's eyes

The refusal to acknowledge the challenges posed by climate change and China is short-sighted and damaging

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Australians are often seen, by themselves as well as by others, as a carefree bunch, basking in the bounty of "The Lucky Country". But not now. As the decade draws to a close, Australians are distinctly anxious about big shifts in their environment, which are overturning old certainties. And they worry that their government in Canberra has no idea how to respond.

One of those worrying big shifts is in Australia's physical environment. The continent has always been hot and dry, but it is becoming quite unmistakably, and very quickly, a lot hotter and drier.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 27, 2019, with the headline When smoke gets in Australia's eyes. Subscribe