A bit of a random post this one. Some of you internet people (probs imaginary) that avidly read my blog will have noticed that i’m australian.
I also, i might say, live in canberra. I really post on my own life, because very little things from my own life seem post worthy.
However in canberra, we have been exposed to the harsh realities that our not so loved cousins in the north- Queenslanders, have been on the recieving end for the past 3 years running.
I mean, gobsmackingly huge, enormous quanties of the stuff. Ever since Monday, i haven’t seen the sun, and it’s always been either drizzling however slightly, or more often raining. That’s right in what was until not so long ago one of the driest developed countries on earth, we have had more than 86 hours of nonstop, unbroken rain.
It’s raining as i write this. It was raining when i fell asleep last night- it will be raining when i wake up. Appraently it’s not going to completely go until next monday.
While Canberra itself is mostly flood proof due to having a handy little dam at the bottom of the lake, some of our close neighbours well… aren’t as lucky. A variety of funny sounding surronding country towns are being exacuted and the local newspaper has gone into full flood alert.
Now everyone in NA or europe is going to go **** please, but let me tell you why this is extradionary. More rain has fallen on the first and second of march than the monthly average.
Australia went through a massive drought throughout the 00s. I remember the one time in 3 years where it rained like this for one day, and that was a big event. it was something to be treasured.
Best way to find out- google maps various parts of inland australia- such as canberra and look at the sports fields. they’re all shades of brown because these pics were taken back in 2006-2004 or so. this drought was something that hit australians everywhere, from our agricultural industry to our own backyards.
In the past two years, every summer (january) has brought massive flooding. 2010-2011 saw massive flooding in the north, with several towns almost wiped off the face of the earth as rivers that 4 years before were glorified storm water drains of mud turned into what was described as an inland tsunami. Simultaneously in the south floods ripped through southern New south wales and victoria. I drove through several of the flood zones on my way south, and the damage and impact was first hand. The damage to brisbane and towns up river was so extensive that a national flood levy was announced to cover the damage.
This year, the same rivers in Queensland did a repeat performance in december, and now the rain has come south and hit us with more rainfall over a couple of days than we might get in a quarter of a year.
Okay, where are you going with this?
It’s an interesting observation. Australia is still one of the few countries that is going through with a carbon tax, owing almost entirely to the fact that the drought in the 2000s, was seen as big evidence of global warming. the evidence was staring us in the face every time kids went out to play or walk on the roads where the tar was melting. the present government was elected into power in 2007, one of it’s election promises was to introduce a carbon tax.
Of course in the previous years public interest in climate change has droped to almost zero, even more so than the rest of the world. Soon after the rains came it just started sliding off the headlines. What does this tell us? Well by itself not a whole lot. when viewed in with the history of australia itself a fair bit.
Australia before the british stuck their flag in it at botany bay some 230 years ago did not have any sort of civilisation beyond the hunter gatherer phase, both in terms of technology and population wise. it’s politically incorrect to say it with all the sensitivity surronding the aboriginal debate at the moment, but the single fact of the matter is that was the kind of level of technology they were at. Although since my ancestors wiped out erm… nearly all of the aboriginals that lived on the eastern seaboard through a combination of starvation, smallpox and armed conflict details tend to be hazy. Anyway back to the point.
Australia isn’t exactly conductive to a agricultural society. This cycle of long droughts followed by a few very wet years is not uncommon of australia- in fact it’s downright typical.
Australian weather works in cycles of 20-40 years or so, and there’s tonnes of proof lying around for that.
Last spate of flooding event? the early nineties. The time before that? 1970-1974. Before that? the 1950s. then the late 20s. Seems legit. No agricultural society could develop naturally in a climate that to all extents and purposes hates your guts like that. Between all of this were long drought periods.
La Nina and Le Nino weather systems are behind this of course, but it’s still fun to muse on.
And of course, it’s still raining.