The mainland disappears as a sliver sliding off the airplane window. Ahead: a dark blue abyss striped turquoise from the Eastern Australian Current. Lady Elliot Island appears like a freckle on the map of Oceania, 46 nautical miles offshore Australia's mainland.
The largest mining company on the planet announced a few days ago that it was making a major investment in replacing one of its coal export facilities in Queensland because the climate-induced increased frequency of hurricanes made it necessary.
Welcome to our planet, circa 2011, a planet that, like some unruly adolescent, has decided to test the boundaries. For two centuries now we've been burning coal and oil and gas, thus pouring carbon into the atmosphere. And now we're getting pinched.