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Informer: Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me?

The smokey haze over Wollondilly in south west Sydney during the Green Wattle Creek bushfire in 2020. Picture: Simon Bennett
The smokey haze over Wollondilly in south west Sydney during the Green Wattle Creek bushfire in 2020. Picture: Simon Bennett

Environmentalist views of ' tree-hugging hippies' back in the 60s and 70s were often laughed off.

But their message to protect and respect the environment is one that some of the world's leading scientific and environmental minds now want us to listen to.

Climate change has been a big topic in Australia this week, with the federal Liberal and National parties at loggerheads over the country's future emissions targets.

And if you're like me, the idea of trying to understand climate science is like being asked to do a long maths equation.

Net-zero? What's that? What's the difference between net-zero and zero? Is there even a difference?

It turns out there is a difference. Australian National University's Centre for Climate and Energy Policy Director, Frank Jotzo, said that while it was possible to replace fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil with clean alternatives, there were some sources of greenhouse gas emissions that would be around for a "very long time, perhaps forever".

And if you want to find out more about Australia's Net-Zero by 2050 target, check out this explainer.

However, there's a significant roadblock to the government's goal: the National party.

National MPs are seeking "compensation" for regional communities that could be affected by the plan to reduce emissions. In fact, deputy Nationals leader David Littleproud said, "money makes the world go around, mate", when asked what would be needed for the party to agree to the target.

Considering towns across the country are still recovering from drought, the 2019/20 bushfire season, floods, storms, and most recently tornadoes - I don't know that we can doubt the impacts of climate change.

Heatwave warnings have already been issued in the NT and just yesterday, 16-centimetre hailstones fell in north eastern Queensland.

Not to mention those record-breaking temps last year.

Perhaps the changing weather got the best of one Newcastle councillor who was called to order after appearing "unclothed" at a council meeting.

But it's not just the weather heating up in AUS; nearly 70 per cent of people aged 16 and over have been vaccinated.

Victorians are also starting to get fired up for the state's 'Freedom Day' on Friday, with retail, dining out and household visitors back on the agenda for those who are vaccinated.

While happy travellers prepare for long, hot summer days in QLD before Christmas, WA's borders will probably remain firmly shut over the festive season.

I think I'll end on the words of renowned environmentalist and beloved documentary maker Sir David Attenborough:

"[Climate change] is an urgent problem that has to be solved. And what is more, is that we know how to do it - that's the paradoxical thing - that we are refusing to take steps that we know have to be taken."

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