It might not have felt like it if you live in Central Otago or Southland, but the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has just declared July the warmest month ever when looking at both land and ocean together, in its 136 year history.
The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for July 2015 was the highest for July in the 136-year period of record, at 0.81°C (1.46°F) above the 20th century average of 15.8°C (60.4°F), surpassing the previous record set in 1998 by 0.08°C (0.14°F). As July is climatologically the warmest month of the year globally, this monthly global temperature of 16.61°C (61.86°F) was also the highest among all 1627 months in the record that began in January 1880. The July temperature is currently increasing at an average rate of 0.65°C (1.17°F) per century.
We’re entering the time when only radical or revolutionary restructuring of our economic affairs is going to save our children from a horrendous and unlivable future. Add in the depletion of cheaply accessible fossil fuels, an increasingly vicious oligarchic class, and increasing financialisation of…well, everything (and everyone), and we have a recipe for large scale fragility and failure.
So far though, our political class seem content with proposing carefully acceptable and limited variations on Business As Usual. Electric cars, emissions trading schemes and export led growth, anyone? Yet another case of ‘pretend and extend’ from the rentier class establishment.