Aussie Climate Activists in Damage Control Mode as Winter Weather Strikes the East Coast – Watts Up With That?


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

In the wake of Deputy Leader of the Nationals Senator Matt Canavan’s two word tweet poking fun at climate tropes, academics and other climate activists have scrambled to reassure people global warming is still on track to wreck the world – just as soon as the current cold wave dissipates.

Matt Canavan suggested the cold snap means global warming isn’t real. We bust this and 2 other climate myths

June 11, 2021 2.22pm AEST

Nerilie Abram Professor; ARC Future Fellow; Chief Investigator for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes; Deputy Director for the Australian Centre for Excellence in Antarctic Science, Australian National University
Martin De Kauwe Senior lecturer, UNSW
Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick ARC Future Fellow, UNSW

Senator Matt Canavan sent many eyeballs rolling yesterday when he tweeted photos of snowy scenes in regional New South Wales with a sardonic two-word caption: “climate change”. 

Canavan, a renowned opponent of climate action and proponent of the coal industry, appeared to be suggesting that the existence of an isolated cold snap means global warming isn’t real.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has previously insisted there is “no dispute in this country about the issue of climate change, globally, and its effect on global weather patterns”. But Canavan’s tweet would suggest otherwise.

The reality is, as the climate warms, record-breaking cold weather is becoming less common. And one winter storm does not negate more than a century of human-caused global warming. Here, we take a closer look at the cold weather misconception and two other common climate change myths.

Myth #1: A cold snap means global warming isn’t happening

Canavan’s tweet is an example of a common tactic used by climate change deniers that deliberately conflates weather and climate

Parts of Australia are currently in the grip of a cold snap as icy air from Antarctica is funnelled up over the eastern states. This is part of a normal weather system, and is temporary.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/matt-canavan-suggested-the-cold-snap-means-global-warming-isnt-real-we-bust-this-and-2-other-climate-myths-130878

The tweet which triggered this unseemly scramble to reassure the faithful;

Even up in the tropical North we’ve been forced to blow the dust off our winter woolies.

The “cold snap” is mostly temperatures in the 20s and 30s, pretty mild compared to what a lot of people in the USA experience every year. But it is cold enough that many people in Australia right now likely wish we had a little more of that global warming climate scientists keep promising.



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