February 19, 2011

The Other Side Of The Story

This Episode Brought To You By-Quadrant On Line

Historic amnesia

by Gerrit J. van der Lingen

For their propaganda, global warming alarmists rely heavily on historic amnesia. This can be well illustrated by examples from Australia.

A large part of Australia has harsh climatic conditions. About 80% of Australia, mostly in the centre of the continent, has an arid to semi-arid climate. Other parts repeatedly suffer from severe droughts or floods.Tropical cyclones regularly strike the northern and northeastern coasts. Most of these weather phenomena are caused by naturally-occurring ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) climatic events.

Indigenous plants and animals have adapted to these severe conditions. The ability of Australian plants to handle fires is quite unique. Eucalypts, the largest tree family in Australia with more than 900 species, have adapted to all climate conditions, from hot arid regions to cold snowfields. They contain inflammable oils that make them susceptible to fires, and many species rely on fire for their seeds to germinate. Another adaptive example is the Paperbark (Melaleuca rhaphiophylla), which has little dormant buds under thick bark. These buds can only sprout when subjected to heat by fire. The bark protects the buds against fire and also provides starch to feed the sprouting buds until they have developed enough green leaves to start photosynthesising. Such trees are therefore called “sprouters”. Paperbarks are also deep-rooted (up to 15 metres) to reach groundwater below scorched surface soil.

Marsupials were the first mammals to develop in Gondwana, of which Australia formed a part. Australia started to drift away from the supercontinent about 55 million years ago, before the placental mammals started to evolve. Marsupials have a slower lifestyle and require less food and water than other mammals. But they have also developed other survival strategies. For instance, during extreme dry conditions, kangaroos can keep embryos in suspended animation until rain arrives. The Thorny Devil lizard (Moloch horridus) collects dew during the night on large spines, which then flows between its scales to its mouth.

These adaptations to harsh climatic conditions, especially heat and drought, must have taken millions of years to evolve. This inescapably means that severe climatic events have been a common natural occurrence in Australia in the past, as they are today. However, this doesn’t seem to deter climate alarmists from blaming every severe drought or flood on human CO2 emissions. Good examples include the 2010 bushfires in Victoria, the recent catastrophic floods in Queensland and the destructive cyclone Yasi.

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1 comment:

  1. As I read this, I was reminded of "The Thorn Birds", a novel that took place in Australia in the first half of the 1900s. Much of the story was woven around the harsh and extreme weather in various parts of the country - drought, fires, floods, and extreme temperatures. The author also wrote of the almost-miraculous recovery of the flora and fauna after these events.

    History - and facts! - to the rescue.