So, what will residents do when Dubbo and surrounding areas get hotter?
It is not something given enough thought. The nation’s leaders focus on pushing their own agendas on climate change and its impacts.
Given they cannot span the political and ideological divides, have a sensible debate and produce some solutions the average person can follow, it is understandable there are few ideas on the “what do we do when …” question.
Dubbo, Orana and the Central West are expected to get significantly hotter in the next 50 years, according to a report by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.
They will have 27 days a year above 35 degrees Celsius by 2070. In 13 years, there will be an average nine more days above 35.
Dubbo currently has 20 to 30 hot days a year. Nyngan has more than 50 hot days a year. There will be fewer colder days and changes in seasonal rainfall figures.
One could say … yes, but that’s all 50 years away so we don’t need to worry just yet. Think again.
This year will, according to experts, be the hottest non-El Nino year ever recorded and the third hottest year ever measured. The two hottest years so far were 2016 and 2015.
These facts are vitally important to humanity. They have also been taken as the latest confirmation of a global warming trend that will ultimately affect every aspect of life on this fragile planet.
The experts say the heat will continually rise unless the most stringent efforts are made to reduce carbon emissions.
The ANU's Sophie Lewis and fellow climate scientist Dr Sarah Perkins-Fitzpatrick, like most of the world's climate scientists, take the view there is a direct correlation between the increased levels of carbon in the atmosphere as a result of industrialisation and global warming.
This means it is time to let go of our fossil fuel dependency. We don't have to burn the very last litre of oil and the last tonne of coal. It is okay to leave it in the ground.
As far as Australia is concerned the coal age is coming to an end, although many in industry and parliament are resisting that eventuality.
Humanity is at a watershed where the need to phase out fossil fuels in favour of the rapidly evolving renewable energy sector is increasingly urgent. Whether our political leaders are willing to accept that reality and get on with the job is another matter.
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