The smoke is a result of preventative burning by the State Government department responsible for managing the risk of dangerous bush fires. It’s an annual occurrence everyone who’s lived there is completely used to.
Consider then, the headline and stub offered;
Yes, technically a deliberately-lit fire in the bush is a bushfire, but it’s not the same as an out of control, random event destroying lives and property. As for the ambient temperature in Sydney right now…. near-record warmth isn’t the most persuasive language that could be employed, is it Mr. Hannan?
Apparently, Peter Hannan was nearly an Olympic sprinter, nearly a more successful rock musician than Keith Richards and nearly a respected journalist writing about science.
There’s more language obfuscation fun to be had in his column, as is his idiom;
Almost eight degrees above the May average. Students of statistics might wish to comment on what, if any, conclusions can be drawn from the information that a data point is higher or lower than the average of a range of data points (clue: the only conclusion that can be drawn is that you need to see more contextual data about the data range and standard deviations before you can draw a conclusion).
It was also the second warmest day this late in year season (sic) on record for Sydney, exceeded only by the 28 degree reading on May, 225, 1994.
We could read that as good news, couldn’t we? In 25 years, we’ve still not beaten the highest recorded temperature. Trend much?
Back burning is a good idea if you’d like people to not die from bush fires (most of which are deliberately set by arsonists or accidents, by the way, somewhat ruining Peter’s usual assertion that climate change causes bush fires).
Warm weather that doesn’t break records isn’t news.
Stop playing truant, Greta fucking Thunberg.