A couple of years back the Dominion-Post ran a series of interviews with young Australians who’d migrated to Wellington.

Typically they were in their thirties and were self-employed. Most said they were attracted by the capital’s physical features and its scale, as opposed to the anonymity of say Sydney or Melbourne. All complained of Australia’s oppressive income tax regime and over the top bureaucracy.

I’ve had a Sydney home for half a century but rarely visit nowadays. Australia has been a rewarding part of my life, nevertheless I readily understand these migrants’ decisions.

But here’s the point. One of those arrival’s comments stuck in my memory. He was a chap in his late 30s and said he was born and had lived all of his life in Melbourne. He went on to say that the summer temperatures had reached a point of overwhelming oppression which he could no longer tolerate, thus his departure. Anyone familiar with Melbourne will empathise with that. It’s outrageous that the Australian Open continues to be staged there in late January and without exception every year, the heat is a cause for player complaint. When Boris Becker, against the odds, won the tournament in 1996 he said he wouldn’t be returning and predicted if they persisted with a January date, inevitably someone would die.

Early this year Adelaide endured weeks of temperatures in the high forties. That’s not tolerable unless you wish to live a zombie air-conditioned life indoors, such as Dubai, today the favoured holiday spot for Europe’s tattooed classes. Two more years of that and Adelaide will become a ghost town, but for one thing. Home owners will be stuck through an absence of buyers.

All predictions point to Australia’s standard high heat levels soaring to new heights through the global warming phenomenon.

If as seems probable that eventuates, by dint of proximity and common culture, New Zealand is the obvious target for desperate Australians to flee to. It’s not inconceivable that within a decade, a million or so Aussies will cry enough and seek to migrate here, as they alone of any country are currently free to do. Dealing with that would induce huge problems.

Of necessity our first step would be the need to resurrect visas and abandon the automatic right of permanent entry. While building tradesmen, doctors and dentists etc would be welcomed we could not cope with a huge influx.

If this sounds excessive then not so. It strikes me as inevitable. We need to start planning for it now, or, as Jacinda would say, have a conversation about it.

A final comment. I refer only to Australia. The flight from intolerable heat level nations to cooler locations will affect all countries.


Oh, no! Another convert to the new religion. Others will now join baying at the moon in the cathedral of the stratosphere.

    To my mind the “religion” of climate change relates to the claims of man-made change and not any form of alteration which can be attributed to cyclical phenomena.

    I disagree somewhat… response has been downright tepid an the blog needed some fresh direction.
    Mind you, even an atheist needs something bigger than himself to get stirred up. Who knows? Maybe Greta called him. Worked on ol George and Bonehead Bono…. just a thought…

Yes all true.
I moved to Ballarat from Christchurch. Ballarat is about 2 hours west of Melbourne in rural Victoria, and one of the biggest shocks was the change in temperatures. Australia is mostly desert, NZ is temperate due to location and seas.
Out here it very regularly touches 50 in Summer and stays well over 40 for weeks on end, a “cool” night being 30 or so. Its basically awful, as apart from anything else, you spend a lot of time worrying about fire conditions, and its very difficult to do anything outdoors. Even a trip to the beach runs the risk of heatstroke etc.

Urban temperature rise is mostly about urban heat island effect – built up dry reflective concrete structures and little vegetation or water to evaporate away the sun’s energy. It’s (ironically) exacerbated by the now pervasive use of air conditioning that dumps oodles of extra heat into cities on hot days. Away from cities 0.8°C of southern hemisphere warming (we don’t warm as much as northern hemisphere due to more ocean in southern hemisphere) since the 19th century is only equivalent to moving about 100km north.

The only change in West Island extreme temperatures is due to adjustments to the raw data. The raw data shows no change in temperature since World War I:


Sir Bob – how come 1 million Aussies is something to be deeply concerned about, whereas several hundred thousand Asians is not? I know which group would make NZ a much better place in the long run….

The predominant ‘religion’ I see being pushed here is the religion of denial of science. I guess not much has changed in the last 500 years, with some people at least.

A little learning can be a dangerous thing. Most internet conspiracy theories, as in this case, are pushed by those without the required learning or experience to actually understand what is being presented. Climate change is an incredibly complex and evolving science, far beyond the abilities of those who selectively focus on data and then claim some sort of worldwide conspiracy to understand. No doubt you deny man actually landed on the Moon as well?

With zero greenhouse effect Earth’s surface temperature would be 33 C cooler than it is now – that’s basic radiation physics calculated using the Stephan-Boltzmann Law. Over the last century and a half Humanity has increased the amount of the primary forcing GHG (CO2) in the atmosphere from 280 ppm to 410 ppm, which is an increase from 4.2 kg to 6.2 kg over each square metre of the Earth’s surface, this has increased atmospheric temperatures which has increased the amount of water vapour (a more significant GHG but a feed-back rather than forcing GHG) in the atmosphere. The enhancement of the GHE that would result from higher concentrations of GHG’s has been known of for over a hundred years, and ever given the fact that the increase in temperatures is logarithmic with a linear increase in GHG concentrations, no person conversant with the physics involved should think that and increase in temperatures of about 3 C from the 33 C existing GHE from a doubling of GHG concentrations is surprising.

Flamin’ crikey. All the more reason for a common currency and an open border. I welcome the cousins and hope the feeling is mutual.

Good one Sir Bob, i knew you would not fall for the socialist hoax.

    All those poor people who have been suffering in Perth for all these years in high temps.
    Mind you they looked quite happy over all those climate up/down years……I was there recently ….and it’s a lovely spot. there was not much doom and gloom on the beaches.
    Beautiful houses and what a beautiful stadium they have now……….. Worry…….?
    I did not notice this in the pubs at all…………
    They might if they had to be all housed on Stewart Island to cool off. Nothing on the worry pains the Stewart Islanders would have though at the prospect.

Strange. How has an increase in global temperature of about 1.5 degrees per century (most of it at night and in cooler places or in concrete jungles) suddenly made Australia uninhabitable?

Or is it really communication and transport advances that have motivated and facilitated desires to live in the best physical and social environments world-wide – currently solving our aging population problem.

Hottest temperature recorded in Australia 1960 Oodnadatta 50 degrees … fact (allowing for minor variables) against anecdotal nonsense.

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