Climate Change Killed My Cheese

Yes a wild claim, but true.

I have had to remove all cheese from my cheese fridge and put it into the normal refrigerator until the weather cools down again in Autumn.  With the cheese fridge hovering at a temperature of 25°C during our record breaking, anthropogenic, climate change induced, heat wave over the last few weeks, it is not working as it should.  I hope the cheese recovers!

All is not well in the land Down Under.

Darren at greenchange.com states;

“On Monday, the highest average national temperature ever recorded was exceeded – the record now stands at 40.3º C (104.5º F). That’s the average temperature across an area the size of mainland USA! It may well have been broken again yesterday, but the BOM haven’t released the figures yet.”

That is just mind boggling.  To show that this is some serious stuff, our Bureau of Meteorology just added new colours to the standard temperature map on the high end of the scale.

So what do media commentators have to say about our extreme temperatures?

Well, most media outlets are keeping people informed about bushfire dangers around the nation, which is great and welcome, but not mentioning much about the potential cause of climate change.

However most of these articles are inundated with comment threads of point and counterpoint  which has become the norm in our online media outlets.  This thread is from the Sydney Morning Herald;

[Quote]

We shouldn’t be surprised that all the climate change deniers are out in force today. It’s really simple guys. The planet is warming, no argument about that. Is it caused by human activity/ Maybe. But why would we as humans not take sensible steps like reducing CO2 etc so we don’t exacerbate the problem. Deniers should be ready to explain to their grand kids why we did nothing.
- Alex

Just like all the climate change hysterics are out in force to eh Alex.
Please post meaningfully or not at all
as for laying down the guilt trip re grandkids that really is scraping the bottom of the barrel
- Jill

Jill – almost all climate scientists agree that there is serious change in the earth’s climate. These changes are considered by the experts to lead to increasing weather extremes and catastrophes. The evidence is strong and growing stronger that it is a result of air pollution caused by humans. Those who don’t believe it are unable to produce evidence to the contrary but nonetheless do what they can to stop action being taken. But we are not allowed to blame them for this – do I have that right?
- yeah-no

Seems meaningful enough to me…better than half truths funded by the fossil fuel lobby and their horde of willing dopes.
- pugwash

It’s called summer people.
- J Walker

Alex – seeing as you believe so strongly in global warming, what are you doing to address this terrible threat to humanity? As far as I can telly you are sitting in front of a computer that is churning out a nice amount of hot air and adding to the problem.
- Terry

How come 8 out of the 10 hottest days on record are before 1960 then?
Go to the bottom and read -
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/fires-in-nsw-21-uncontained/story-e6freuy9-1226549281082
- Gavin

@gavin – climate change is a worldwide phenomenon. You can’t use hottest days on record in one spot, it tells you nothing about global climate. The world’s hottest year was 2005 and hottest decade 2000-2009.
- Baby it’s warm
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/live-nsw-braces-for-one-of-the-hottest-days-on-record-20130108-2cdfn.html[End Quote]

This type of dialogue is not uncommon in the press anywhere I suppose.  However, the vast majority understand that the science is sound, and we have created climate change, much to the annoyance of our biggest polluting industries.  It is a global phenomenon, not just restricted to Australia.

You only have to look at records broken in North America in their summer this last year, and record polar ice cap melt, and record melt in Greenland to name a few.

At least the Prime Minister gets it.  Or does she?  The Australian Government still subsidises the fossil fuel industry to the tune of $10 billion a year.

Check out a recent episode of Democracy Now! The interview with Anna Rose from the Australian Youth Climate Coalition is very good as well and highlights the extreme weather events around Australia over the last few years.


However, for the icing on the cake, George Monbiot had this to say in his latest opinion article.
“Climate change denial is almost a national pastime in Australia. People such as Andrew Bolt and Ian Plimer have made a career out of it. The Australian – owned by Rupert Murdoch – takes such extreme anti-science positions that it sometimes makes the Sunday Telegraph look like the voice of reason.

Perhaps this is unsurprising. Australia is the world’s largest exporter of coal – the most carbon intensive fossil fuel. It’s also a profligate consumer. Australians now burn, on average, slightly more carbon per capita than the citizens of the United States, and more than twice as much as the people of the United Kingdom. Taking meaningful action on climate change would require a serious reassessment of the way life is lived there.”

Yes George.  Yes we will.  
Who is ready for a serious reassessment of the way we live here Down Under?  I am.

Comments

    • says

      Sorry to be glum Paul, but when climate change really kicks in there won’t be any soy either. In fact, there won’t be much of anything left if we don’t get our act together soon!

      Food for thought (pun intended).

      Gav

  1. says

    To be honest, if things become really dire we’re probably not going to worry too much about hedonistic things cheese or faux-cheese.

    Crops stand a much better chance than livestock. The inputs that go into producing a kilogram of beef or 1L of milk will become prohibitive.

  2. says

    “Taking meaningful action on climate change would require a serious reassessment of the way life is lived there.”

    The thing is, you Gavin, have proven that a serious reassessment does not involve deprivation in any way shape or form. You’ve been making changes for years now, and as far as I can tell from over here in the US, you and your family live a life of abundance. I think most people don’t understand that. In the minds of the public, this reassessment means they’ll have to sit in the dark and freeze, and in general go back to some sort of primitive 19th century lifestyle.

    If people understood that “going green” has other benefits – in particular, saving tons of money, possibly allowing them to quit their jobs early and an overall improvement in quality of life – more of them would want to do the right thing without even having to hear about climate change. Generally speaking, if it’s good for the planet, it’s good for our health and our finances, too. Too few people understand that. But it does mean walking away from the status-seeking mentality that drives the endless acquisition of stuff. If only “keeping up with the Joneses” meant a neighborhood competition to see who can put the most solar panels on their roof!

    • says

      Well said Kathy. I am trying so hard not to buy anything in the January sales. I have bought lots of dried foods ie pasta that is been hugely reduced. I have a very healthy stockpile going. I feel I need to get a jump on it all what with all the flooding we have had in the UK. And now they are saying we are going to have -15 oC next week , snow starts on Saturday.

      el nino or climate change I don’t care what the name is we need to make is slow down or stop. So no plastic trinkets for me shipped from China.

    • says

      Hi Kathy. What can I say, except thanks, and I do think you are right. We don’t see it as depriving ourselves at all, and believe that we have abundance all around us. Many people around me continue to dismiss my lifestyle as a joke, but I continue to live it regardless. I feel very happy.

      I love your take on keeping up with the Joneses. I think that nearly every second house in our street has a solar PV system on their roofs now, some bigger than mine. All because I was daring enough in 2007 to take a chance to lower my own emissions. That and the price has dropped dramatically, so the barriers to entry are lower.

      Thoughtful comment as always.

      Gav x

    • Anonymous says

      no offence to gavin, but how exactly have gavin’s life changes reduced climate change? bottom line is they haven’t and gavin pretty much admits to this… and even if everyone in the country does what gavin has done (grow a vege garden instead of ornamentals?) will that reduce climate change? umm no…
      the kinds of changes required to effect climate change are MASSIVE (removing cars/stop consumerism/huge redutions in natural resources consumption/stop having so many children), and still we are not sure if taking those changes will actually reduce climate change…
      so has gavin done any of these major things? he has solar panels but does he produce all of his own energy? does he still rely on the electricity grid? and does he still have a car? how many children does he have? i notice that gavin works in the technology field- how many techno gadgets does he own? does buying second hand for a month outweigh people’s “need” for an iphone/ipad/i-anything? etc
      what about the energy that they rely upon…all those gadgets and the need for new and better gadgets is destroying out environment…

      i don’t want this to come across as anti- gavin because i’m really not… we are all guilty of these things and we can try and make ourselves feel a bit better by the small changes we are making, but we need to face it that our small life changes aren’t going to make a lick of difference to climate change and it’s worryingly misleading for people to say that growing veges/making cheese and soap etc is going to help reduce climate change- because it’s not

      so i suppose the answer is NO people are not ready to give up their current lifestyles for the sake of the environment… not until they are forced…

  3. says

    Having woken up to -21C this morning, I am starting to understand why most Canadians just don’t get global warming. It is very different when you are in the thick of it. Your weather is scary hot, Gavin.
    I really like Kathy P’s comment. Some folks have been saying the same thing for years.
    Good luck with the cheese.
    Barb from Canada

    • says

      That’s just the simplistic attitude of some people, Barb. One of our far-right politicians came out the other day arguing that tying the debate to single weather events is simplistic. Citing that amongst the current heat that most of Australia is experiencing there are pockets of unprecedented coolness. The interesting thing here is that his political camp is notorious for such simplicity–whenever it is cold or it rains Andrew Bolt, an well-known Australian right-wing commentator, plays this up for weeks on end.

      I think it’s an argument we shouldn’t make. We have a whole kit of robust, indisputable arguments at our disposal.

    • says

      Well I gave up my car to walk to work 5 yrs ago. Today, I will bundle up and walk in -20C weather. I still get offers from my co-workers for rides- they just don’t get it.
      Most politicians are in the pockets of big business, so they don’t care to change the status quo. I can only do what I can do, and I try to influence (in a nice way, of course) those around me.

    • says

      Well done Barb, I still believe that small actions by many are more important that most things that governments pretend to do.

      I don’t care what anyone says, it does make a difference. X

  4. says

    Urgh. We top the coal burnig list? Not a first place I’m proud to win. Hope your cheese survives Gavin. Of it doesn’t turn out exactly as it should, given some of your other experiments and different outcomes, I’m sure you will have an utterly delicious product none the less.

  5. says

    I am with you all the way. My biggest thing is to avoid going to shops at all costs. If you do not go you cannot spend. Hubby and I are giving serious thought to a few months of not spending throughout this year.

  6. says

    Me too! Even when you think you can do no more, there’s always something! We also don’t see ourselves as being deprived on the contrary we are much more content and the freedom that living this lifestyle enables is awesome.

  7. says

    The only thing I can say is: dont read the Age comments online as it will only drive you mad.

    Oh and keep up the good work. Those people on there are Liberal stooges and simply dont want to agree with any climate change policy of the Labor governments like the carbon tax

  8. says

    Climate change killed my tomatoes last summer. I mulched like crazy and drip-irrigated in the (relative) cool of the evening, but the harvest was still lousy. Moral of the story: watch your tomatoes this season Gav!

  9. says

    I will go and check our cheese cave temperature immediately! It is not as hot up here in far north queensland tropics as it is down there so it should be ok.

  10. says

    Oh Gav – good luck with the cheese! And thanks Barb for walking to work in -20 degrees! I agree – every little bit helps.
    I had a rotten tomato year last year but was away for nearly a month! This year I was only away for a week – but it was last week!!! two or 3 over 40 degree days up here in Canberra and it hasn’t rained in God knows how long. But when I got home I harvested 1.5kg of tomatoes and 12 kg of potatoes. My darling darling friend got a couple of eggs every day or so when she came to make sure my chooky girls were Ik and had enough food and water.
    Got ripped off mightily a few years ago by dodgy brothers grey water but am up for getting a replacement now. Saving for solar.
    And as for the nay-sayers? I disagree with everything you say but acknowledge your right to say it – so far ….
    Greenie xx

  11. Anonymous says

    Gavin, Hope your cheese is going to be alright. We make cheese ourselves and I know I would be really upset if I had my cheese in the cave compromised.
    I have read the other comments about the weather change, and I can tell you that Here in Michigan, U.S.A. the highest summer weather in history was the past 10 years. Michigan in the past ( when I was growing up in the late 50’s and 60’s) had maybe a week of 100’F. weather but nothing like the weeks and weeks of above 100′ we have now. Michigan is also surrounded by the Great Lakes and along with the high temp. it is so humid that you can hardly stand it to be outside. I hope that you will be having lower temps. soon.
    Susan from Michigan,U.S.A.

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