A single swallow does not a summer make, nor does a searing heatwave conclusively prove that climate change is upon us, just as last year’s cool, damp summer did not indicate that it isn’t.
What the heatwave does show us, however, is that global warming will make life very uncomfortable and dangerous if it takes hold.
Friday’s extraordinary heat not only stretched the state’s already busy firefighters, it also took its toll on crops, gardens and small animals, with a number of people reporting on Facebook that birds and pet rabbits had succumbed to heat stress.
The first day of the Eurobodalla Show also took a battering, with numbers down and the exhibits wilting.
In Batemans Bay, five people were treated for heat-related distress and the heat is thought to have contributed to the death of at least one well-loved resident.
Around the state, people also suffered, with numerous callouts for the ambulance service.
While the official temperature was 45.2 degrees, our Facebook readers were reporting temperatures as high as 50.1 at some locations. This was extreme weather.
Sure, as has been pointed out, it’s happened before. Australia is a country of extremes.
But if it was a foretaste of things to come, we will need to take dramatic action in order to adapt to a greater frequency of extreme weather.
Whether or not we believe climate change is man-made, after Friday’s apocalyptic weather we know we had better get ready for it.