TROUBLING

Australia's Climate Disaster

You might want to cancel your tickets to the Outback. Australia is undergoing a huge climate crisis at the moment-with prolonged drought and bush fires on one end of the continent, to flooding and mosquito fevers on the other, along with the widespread decline of wildlife, it's now a troubling example of the huge consequences of global warming. One paleontologist notes to the Los Angeles Times, "[The climate change is] tearing apart the life-support system that gives us this world." Nearly 400 people died earlier this year from fires and a heat wave, and because rainfall has remained at 50 percent for the last decade, many farmers have been forced to abandon their land. Even the Great Barrier Reef is expected to be "functionally extinct" by 2050. Al Gore, get yourself down there-you're the flat land's only hope.