Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise has been watching the climate world since 2009. What she sees isn't pretty.

Flooding in Australia

AP Photo/Anthony Skerman - click to see original

Further to my recent post, Does Global Warming Look Like Australia?, an Aussie e-mail correspondent confirms that the alternating drought / flood cycle has a long history. Dorothea Mackellar‘s famous 1904 poem My Country reads in part:

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.

In 1921, John O’Brien poked good-natured fun at farmers who kvetch about droughts – and then about the floods that follow. The first half of the poem Said Hanrahan describes folks bemoaning drought. In the second half, rain begins to fall and the same voices warn that too much water can also be disastrous:

“We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
“If this rain doesn’t stop.”

By the final stanza, the characters are talking about a new danger – bushfires. In other words, it’s always something. Mother Nature (with whom green activists naively insist we should ‘live in harmony’), has an unending string of calamities up her sleeve.

The Boston Globe, known for presenting newswire photos in full-screen glory, has a not-to-be-missed collection of Australian flood photos here.

Over at the Telegraph, James Delingpole (and a guest poster) allege that much of the flood damage and lost lives could have been avoided had the government made different decisions. Apparently, concern for a species of endangered fish and turtle stymied dam plans, and a preoccupation with global warming prevented the taking of appropriate precautionary measures.

(I don’t mean to suggest that endangered species aren’t a legitimate concern. Unfortunately, though, green politics sometimes distorts those discussions. Nor has there been much serious consideration of the difficult decisions that sometimes need to be made. What gets priority? Saving human lives, land, and businesses – or preserving a particular sub-species of insect?)

Australian blogger Jennifer Marohasy has also been writing about government, greens, and flood management. See here, here, and here.

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h/t RAC

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UPDATE: Baa Humbug, from Brisbane, has contributed a recent comment over at JoNova’s site. He says, in part: “My property is under 2 mtrs water. House set high but water within 2 ft of steps. My driveway underwater, I can’t get out. Waiting for high tide at 1:30am to see what happens…Fingers crossed.” Comment #48 here. An Australian who goes by the online handle Baa Humbug was mopping up from floods prior to Christmas. It’s my understanding that he lives near Brisbane – one of the hard-hit areas. Has anyone heard from him recently?

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This entry was posted on January 11, 2011 by in historical perspective and tagged .
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