Preparing for a warmer world. Talk, as they say, is cheap. Actions are far more expensive. So what really are the prospects of the nations of the world solving the problem of global warming? Even getting agreement on a form of words declaring the best of intentions is proving difficult enough.

Political leaders have been described as saluting the notion of controlling climate change but, as with Chinese President Hu Jintao and US President Barack Obama yesterday, there has been much emphasis on the difficulty of actually reaching an overall deal in Copenhagen in December.

And any agreement that is made looks very much as if the difficult bits of actually curbing carbon dioxide emissions in a meaningful fashion will be promised by this lot of leaders but left to their successors in 10 or 20 years to actually carry out.

An August record. The world’s ocean surface temperature was the warmest for any August on record, and the warmest on record averaged for any June-August summer season, according to the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. Worldwide records began in 1880 and the NCDC, part of the Us Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also reported that the combined average global land and ocean surface temperature for August was second warmest on record, behind 1998.

For the June-August 2009 season, the combined global land and ocean surface temperature was third warmest on record. For the year to date, the combined global land and ocean surface temperature of 58.3 degrees F tied with 2003 for the fifth-warmest January-August period on record. This value is 0.99 degree F above the 20th century average.

A day of shame in NSW. They’ll be legalising hanging paedophiles from tree branches next. The special legislation being introduced today to evict Dennis Ferguson from his Ryde public housing flat is the act of a government that has given in to mob rule.

Obama steadies. The burst of media activity by US President Barack Obama at least seems to have stopped the rot in his popularity rating. The latest Gallup poll puts his approval figure at 53% after briefly getting down to 50%.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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