The new normal? How climate change is making droughts worse

3 October 2018

Nick Evershed, Andy Ball, Gabrielle Chan, and Mike Bowers, The Guardian
3 October 2018

he hardest part of drought is the retreat. Communities withdraw into their shell. Workers leave town as they lose jobs and often housing, animals are sent away, class sizes drop, activity shrinks, dust drifts in through every crack in the house. It’s slow, which is why it messes with your head, creeping forward until something snaps and what begins as confusion reaches consensus.

When Scott Morrison became prime minister in August, nearly seven years after the Queensland dry began, he announced drought was his first priority. He headed up Quilpie way, in the south-west of the state, and stood with farmers as he was asked pointed and persistent questions about climate change.

“Whether it is climate change or it is not,” Morrison said, “is completely irrelevant to everybody here.”

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