When somebody is down on their luck they are fair game for getting a cheap swipe. Drought continues [in Australia] and so the rural community are in the gunsights. It is the farmer’s environmentally unfriendly land management practices that are contributing to global warming, so it is said . It might never rain again! Repent and implement green-friendly practices (shoot the stock and plant native trees) and all will be well!
The drought is continuing despite the earlier predictions that a La Nina is with us and should have brought good winter rains. Obviously man-made global warming.
Unfortunately folklore highlights the 1982-83 El Nino when Malcolm Fraser called an early election during a drought, he lost the election to Bob Hawke and immediately the drought broke with good late autumn and winter rains. Bob Hawke was thenceforth recognised as having divine qualities.
The truth is rather more prosaic. El Nino droughts often break in autumn as they are followed by a rapidly developing La Nina, but not always. If the break does not come in autumn then the next likely period is late spring after the equinox. The current La Nina commenced as a rather weak event but is gathering strength. The Climate Prediction Center in Washington is backing its development. There has been a very active summer monsoon over Asia reflecting the benefits of the La Nina event. A late spring break for Australia after the equinox remains a good prospect.
Rather than further scaring the rural communities with fairy-tales about man-made global warming our communitiy leaders would do better to acquaint themselves with useful knowledge about climate and its prospects and reassure the farmers and their families that climate is only following a well-worn cycle. It would seem that government assistance is available as support and the prospects for rain are not hopeless. Life on the land is tough and survival depends on optimism grounded in fact, not pessimism enhanced by fairy stories.
Jennifer Marohasy took this photograph yesterday (September 26, 2007), it was one of many failed winter wheat crops that she saw north of Dubbo in central western New South Wales