Wednesday, 16 May 2007

More than one year...

I was accused of taking one year, admittedly the worst on record, and extrapolating rashly.

The above is the rainfall chart for the last three years. Still not pretty.

Today there was a conference regarding the rising levels of suicide and depression in Australian farmers. It takes more than one year of bad weather to break a farmer's spirit.

The picture above is of Lake Wendouree in central Victoria. It didn't get to that state in one year.

The chart above is the level of water in Melbourne's catchments. For some years rainfall met demand but there was not sufficient to actually build reserves. As of this morning's papers our catchments are at 29.3% of capacity. It takes more than one year for that to happen. (The Thompson Reservoir, the reservoir that would 'drought proof' Melbourne is at 17.5% capacity.)

There is talk of ceasing to provide irrigation water to the farmers of the Murray-Darling basin. That situation does not happen after just one year.

So...does this point the finger at climate change? Or is it just one of those 'things'? A pigeon in the turbine of life? Or ostrich, perhaps. We certainly have plenty of sand.

I am told that it is the height of hubris to think that humans could effect climate change.

It is the height of stupidity to think we couldn't.

We effect climate change on the small scale every day - heating and cooling our little pieces of a local climate in houses and cars. We build our lives around modifying our environments.

Why is it that some people think that we and our actions cannot impact on the larger environment? The arguments seem to be either that it is so big that nothing we do will have an impact or than any impact we have is out of all proportion to the natural cycles.

If the people concerned about the environment are showing the height of hubris, the people who think they can chuck any crap they like into the environment and not stuff it up for everyone else are showing far too much humility for my liking.


  1. I noticed too that this year is much drier than before but not thinking much of the reasons. But this year, everywhere the climate seems to go haywire..

  2. We live on this planet - how can what we do NOT have an effect on the atmosphere as well as the earth itself. Funny that we want to live exactly the way we want to live without taking any responsibility for the adverse effects our life styles might have on the natural world. Funny, too, how we admire scientists most when they agree with our own narrow ideas.

  3. Selfishness always colours the choices for humans, I would suspect.


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