The new year has started with obvious signs that global warming is not an invention of scientists, as some politicians claim. Devastating bush fires in Australia, destructive floods in Jakarta and a heatwave in Norway that has people sunbathing rather than skiing are proof of climatic conditions having been shaken up. Yet the doubters have not changed their views, putting their nations’ economies and industries ahead of international efforts to keep temperatures from rising. They need to change their ways or the disastrous consequences of their poor judgment will be ever-more evident. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, like United States President Donald Trump, is a climate change sceptic. He refuses to accept that the fires that have claimed at least two dozen lives and destroyed nearly 2,000 homes in southeastern states are the result of exceptionally hot and dry conditions brought about by global warming. Parched vegetation has fuelled unprecedented blazes. Still, he contends his government’s policies, criticised as unambitious and ineffective at reducing emissions, are producing a “vibrant and viable economy, as well as a vibrant and sustainable environment”. Australia is one of the biggest per capita greenhouse gas emitters in the world; 80 per cent of its electricity is produced from burning coal, and the coal-mining industry is a major export earner. The nation is, like many other countries that have signed up to the Paris climate change accord, well behind on its promised targets. Last year was the hottest on record for Australia and all-time high temperatures were attained in many other parts of the world, with 2019 predicted to be among the five hottest years ever. Norwegians do not need to be told about global warming; the northern village of Sunndalsora recorded a record high temperature of 19 degrees Celsius, 25 degrees above the January average. Indonesians also suspect the high levels of moisture in the air – in part blamed for Jakarta’s heaviest rainfall in 24 years – are the result of climate change. Dozens of people have so far been killed in the floods and tens of thousands displaced. The warning signs abound and politicians need to accept their failings.