An unfortunate side-effect of Australia's battle with the Delta strain over the last eight weeks has been to distract attention away from the catastrophic impacts of climate change in the northern hemisphere.
In the last two months flooding has killed hundreds of people across Europe, in China and in India and epic heatwaves have sparked massive wildfires in America, Canada, Turkey, Spain, Greece and elsewhere.
Most of these events, many of which are reminiscent of Australia's "Black Summer" in 2019 and 2020, and the unprecedented flooding that occurred across the eastern part of the country earlier this year, have been linked to anthropogenic global heating.
In Turkey, which has now been battling deadly wildfires for more than a week, eight people have died. Another 10,000 have been evacuated. In Greece, which experienced a major fire on the island of Rhodes, the electricity grid is close to failure with temperatures of up to 45 degrees in some inland areas.
Italy and Croatia have both experienced wildfires, storms and even tornadoes.
Climate scientists regard these unfortunate developments as confirmation of long standing predictions that as the world heats up "black swan" weather events - and the fires and floods that accompany them - will become more and more frequent.
Dann Mitchell, a professor of climate science at the University of Bristol, said the south eastern European heatwave "is not at all unexpected, and very likely enhanced due to human-induced climate change".
"This year we have seen a number of significant events ... these black swan events have always happened, but now they sit on the background of a hotter climate, so are even more deadly."
Nick Bond, the Washington state climatologist, said the heatwave across much of America's north and Canada in late June and early July was alarming.
"It blows my mind that we could get the temperatures that we were observing ... before the middle or the latter part of the century," he said.
It has been reported that while such extremes had occurred in the past human carbon dioxide emissions had made the "heat dome" 150 times more likely, and the 2020 Siberian heatwave which saw temperatures in Verkhoyansk peak at 38 degrees 600 times more likely. The town of just over 1100 people lies within the Arctic Circle.
Climate change is no longer "a threat". It is a reality that is melting icecaps and permafrost, elevating sea levels and increasing the frequency of climate extremes which, in turn, bring devastating floods and bush and wildfires in their wake.
All of this means that it is more urgent than ever for the nations of the world to step up the actions they are taking to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050 if not before.
While the Prime Minister's recent attempts to bring his government around on this issue have been very welcome the truth is that this now seems unlikely given Barnaby Joyce's return to the Nationals leadership.
Australia is not the only country that is under fire over its failure to do more. China was criticised on Wednesday for failing to commit to peak emissions before 2030, and to net zero before 2060.
"Peaking emissions by 2030 in China cannot get the job done," former US special envoy for climate change Todd Stern said. "I don't think it represents a best effort to hold to 1.5 degrees."
While few would endorse the recent actions of Extinction Rebellion in Canberra the urgency of the issue about which its supporters were protesting cannot be denied.
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