Green fundamentalists haven’t just brainwashed the soppy-minded middle classes. Journalists in normally intelligent newspapers seem to have fallen prey to their propaganda, too.

“Central Desert awash in wake of monsoon deluge,” Nicholas Rothwell and Andrew McGarry write in The Australian today:

Rain is falling in the Central Desert, its misty veils hanging like nets around the peak-line of the MacDonnell Range at Alice Springs and bringing to life the sandy bed of the town’s Todd River…

The rain has also deluged the opal mining town of Coober Pedy, in South Australia’s north, which received its biggest rains in five years: 50mm fell in less than 12 hours.

“It’s just great – basically the first decent rain we’ve had in two years,” Mayor Steve Baines said…

That’s what the weather does in Australia. Our climate runs on boom-bust cycles. Even bushfires play their part. Think of those native species that need fire as part of their lifecycles.

Indeed, if you want a media account that tells it how it is, you can’t beat this Quadrant editorial from five years ago:

Here we go again. Once again there is grandiose talk of “drought proofing” Australian agriculture, of mounting huge projects to take water from one part of the continent to another, of turning back rivers and making them flow inland, of pumping sewage from the cities to the country, and of more and better irrigation. Not to mention vast amounts of relief to farmers who have been and will, most of them, be in the future better off than the recipients of welfare in the cities.

It is bizarre that while every galah in the pet shop has signed on to slogans about global warming and other simplistic environmental scares, it is possible for such nonsense to be talked at a time when large parts of Australia is in the grip of a drought which, while severe, is not exactly unusual or unprecedented. Even if it proves to be the worst for a century. Surely we have learned by now that the pattern of rainfall in our country is cyclical, affected by factors like the El Nino phenomenon, and drought is as much a fact of life every few years as flood and bushfires. That is what our native flora and fauna have evolved to deal with, as every explosion of life when eventually the rains come shows…

That’s what the weather’s like in Australia.

Peter Fray

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