Australia, always a land of extremes

Tim Blair’s having a good laugh at a Rolling Stone article, by Jeff Goodell which is prophesying the end of Australia.

As Yasi bears down on the coast, the massive storm seems to embody the not-quite-conscious fears of Australians that their country may be doomed by global warming. This year’s disasters, in fact, are only the latest installment in an ongoing series of climate-related crises. In 2009, wildfires in Australia torched more than a million acres and killed 173 people. The Murray-Darling Basin, which serves as the country’s breadbasket, has suffered a dec­ades-long drought, and what water is left is becoming increasingly salty and unusable, raising the question of whether Australia, long a major food exporter, will be able to feed itself in the coming dec­ades. The oceans are getting warmer and more acidic, leading to the all-but-certain death of the Great Barrier Reef within 40 years. Homes along the Gold Coast are being swept away, koala bears face extinction in the wild, and farmers, their crops shriveled by drought, are shooting themselves in despair.

Australia is geologically the oldest continent on the planet. It has seen its fair share of climate change over the eons. If the rocks which make up this great land could talk, what a story they would tell. From before the time of the dinosaurs and into the Mesazoic era, where the likes of Muttaburrasaurus roamed the land, this land has seen change. The Aborigines migrated from south-east Asia 60000 years ago when an ice age resulted in the seas receding and a land bridge forming. Here they encountered the megafauna, before their chapter in history ended. From then until European settlement, the climate has been a dynamic phenomenon, and today it remains so. While the Aborigines did not record written history, leaving only their artwork and their word of mouth to document events, we do not need to look back that far to see that Australia is a land of extremes.

Circa 1903, Dorothy McKellar wrote that iconic poem.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

And Goodell thinks that droughts and bushfires, as bad as they were, are unnatural. The following are climate events that had they occurred today, would be considered unnatural by the warmist mob.

  • August 1868: tidal waves strike the NSW coast.
  • August 1870: mosquito plague in Wagga Wagga.
  • December 1874: bushfires ruins Christmas celebrations in Windsor.
  • December 1875: Christmas Eve saw a cyclone on Exmouth Gulf that killed 59 people.
  • January 1878: cyclone hits Palmerston, damaging “every building”.
  • March 1878: another cyclone devistates Cairns.
  • January 1882: Palmerston is again hit by a cyclone.
  • January 1884: Bowen, QLD is “completely destroyed” by a cyclone.
  • April 1887: a cyclone strikes Broome, the bodies of a pearling crew, being washed ashore.
  • December 1888: NSW wheat yields drop to their lowest level in 30 years.
  • January 1889: a heatwave strikes NSW, with bushfires erupting all over the state. Temperatures hit 50°C. Clocurry, QLD reaches 127.6°F.
  • February 1893: Brisbane suffers its worst flood in 100 years.
  • January 1894: 50 are dead after a cyclone strikes the WA coast.
  • January 1896: cyclone Sigma kills 18 in Townsville.
  • January 1897: cyclone kills 28 in Darwin.
  • February 1898: severe bushfires devastate Gippsland.
  • March 1903: ten killed by cyclone in Townsville.
  • March 1906: Croydon, QLD almost destroyed by cyclone, two months after a cyclone hits Cairns and Innisfail.
  • December 1908: hurricane kills 50 in Broome.
  • November 1910: cyclone kills 40 in Broome.
  • March 1915: Southern Australia in the midst of a severe drought.
  • January 1918: cyclone levels Mackay, killing 30.
  • February 1918: winds of 180kph kill two people in Melbourne.
  • January 1919: three killed in Victorian bushfires.
  • April 1924: Marble Bar, WA suffers a streak of 161 days over 100°F.
  • February 1926: bushfires kill 30 in Victoria.
  • February 1927: cyclone damages Cairns.
  • January 1929: Sydney surrounded by bushfires as snow hits southern Tasmania.
  • April 1929: seven drown in Tasmanian floods.
  • February 1932: nine killed as bushfires ravage Gippsland.
  • March 1934: cyclone kills 75 in Queensland.
  • April 1935: cyclone kills 135 in WA.
  • January 1939: 70 killed in Victorian bushfires.
  • January 1939: nation swelters through record heatwave.
  • February 1949: four killed as cyclones hit Queensland.
  • November 1952: bushfires ravage Sydney suburbs.
  • February 1954: floods drown 16 in NSW.
  • February 1955: nine die as the Hunter River floods.
  • April 1958: cyclone destroys “almost every building” in Bowen.
  • April 1960: floods damage Hobart.
  • March 1961: bushfires destroy three small towns in rural WA.
  • January 1963: cyclone Annie kills two near Brisbane.
  • January 1964: cyclone Audrey floods NSW and Queensland.
  • February 1964: cyclone Dora  hits Queensland.
  • May 1968: four year drought breaks in NSW.
  • January 1969: Victorian bushfires kill 23.
  • January 1970: cyclone devastates the Great Barrier Reef.
  • January 1974: Brisbane floods kills eight.
  • December 1974: cyclone Tracey ruins Christmas for the residents of Darwin.

I won’t go any further because we all know that any disaster after this point was caused by humans.


About Climate Nonconformist

Hi, I'm the climatenonconformist (not my real name), and I am a global warming skeptic, among the few in generation Y. With Australia facing the prospect of a carbon tax, we need to be asking the simple question; where is the evidence that our emissions are causing any dangerous warming?
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