Global Warming's Impact Down Under

If it were just about the economy, mate, then Australian Prime Minister John Howard would win his country's upcoming election in a walkover. GDP has grown in each of Howard's 11 years in office, and unemployment is at a 33-year low. Yet barring a last-minute shift before polls open on Nov. 24, Howard will be replaced in Canberra, the nation's capital, by Kevin Rudd, leader of the opposition Labor Party--and climate change will be one of the central reasons.

Though Howard is a longtime global-warming doubter, ordinary Australians are less skeptical. The country has been hit hard by a brutal, multi-year drought that has...

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