Posts Tagged ‘Clive James’

Australia – A country “of droughts and flooding rains”

March 5, 2011
Page 1 of My Country (Core of my Heart) by Dor...

page 1 of Core of my Heart (My Country): Image via Wikipedia

A lovely little essay by Clive James in Standpoint gently chiding the pretension of the alarmists who see global warming in every weather event and bringing some much needed perspective into weather and climate after the decade of Murray-Darling droughts and the recent Queensland floods:

The Drumming of an Army

…….. Before the floods, proponents of the CAGW view had argued that there would never be enough rain again, because of Climate Change. When it became clear that there might be more than enough rain, the view was adapted: the floods, too, were the result of Climate Change. In other words, they were something unprecedented. Those opposing this view — those who believed that in Australia nothing could be less unprecedented than a flood unless it was a drought — took to quoting Dorothea Mackellar’s poem “My Country”, which until recently every Australian youngster was obliged to hear recited in school. In my day we sometimes had to recite it ourselves, and weren’t allowed to go home until we had given evidence that we could remember at least the first four lines of the second stanza, which runs like this.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains……

…. It was Green pressure that stymied the construction of dams. Probably, from now on, dams will come back into favour, in recognition of the fact that the climate of the sunburnt country, in all her beauty and her terror, is still the way it always was. After the First World War, the desirability of up-river flood control was already well understood. Indeed Australia pioneered such engineering, and the Tennessee Valley Authority borrowed the idea from Australia, not the other way about.

If, from now on, dams are built instead of desalination plants — which in recent years have been proved to yield a fraction of the water at a multiple of the cost — then we will be able to tell that sanity has returned to at least one section of the vast area covered by the pretensions of the climatologists.

Dorothea Mackellar’s poem “My Country” was published in 1908 and her description of the Australia “of droughts and flooding rains” remains just as accurate a century later and is quite indifferent to global warming. .

“My Country” is an iconic patriotic poem about Australia, written by Dorothea Mackellar (1885-1968) at the age of 19 while homesick in England. After travelling through Europe extensively with her father during her teenage years she started writing the poem in London in 1904 and re-wrote it several times before her return to Sydney. The poem was first published in the London Spectator in 1908 under the title “Core of My Heart”. It was reprinted in many Australian newspapers, quickly becoming well known and establishing Mackellar as a poet.

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