"Cyclone May Be Tipping Point In Australia Climate Policy Debate"
"Australia has endured two of its deadliest summers on record, blamed in part on global warming, but record fires, floods and cyclones have not persuaded it to take strong action on climate change.
But some experts hope that Wednesday's arrival of giant Cyclone Yasi on the coast of Queensland, already hit by massive floods last month, will help bring more of a sense of urgency to the political debate over climate policy.
Environmentalists have despaired that one of the world's highest per-capita carbon polluters will ever embrace the need to cut emissions, given that most politicians and voters have not made a strong connection with disasters and manmade global warming.
They say they are baffled why weather-beaten Australians are not pushing for stronger policies to cut carbon emissions from power stations, mines, transport and refineries."
David Fogarty reports for Reuters February 3, 2011.