Australia plagued by historic drought, not-so-responsive leadership

Wondering how Australia’s doing? It’s dry as a dead dingo, thanks for asking. The “Sunburnt Country” is undergoing a severe drought — the worst in 1,000 years, according to one expert. The lack of precipitation could cut agricultural output by 20 percent, and it’s only going to get worse: a government organization has predicted that the eastern part of the country will see 40 percent less rainfall and a temperature rise of more than 12 degrees by 2070. The 91 percent of Australians who say global warming is a problem apparently does not include Prime Minister John Howard, who has refused to back the Kyoto Protocol. A full 62 percent of Australians are dissatisfied with the government’s response to global warming, but citizens shmitizens: Howard, a gung-ho nuclear-power promoter, recently dismissed another poll indicating that only 17 percent of Australians are pro-nuclear, sniffing, “I can’t have a policy on something like this dictated by an opinion poll.” Sic the dingos on ‘im!