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The Australian Floods

The rest of world has finally noticed the Queensland floods, with water covering an area the size of Texas. Much of the current flooding is a result of the Christmas arrival of tropical cyclone Tasha which actually came ashore as the Pacific equivalent of a tropical depression. Like most tropical events, it isn’t the wind, it the water that causes massive damage.

Queensland was late to the party as Western Australia and New South Wales had already been dealing with flooding in December. The La Niña generally increases rainfall in Australia, but the effect of the extra moisture in the air due to climate change is certainly suspect.

Grain prices are sure to rise, as the droughts in Russia and floods in Australia are putting a lot of acreage out of production. Crop losses will certainly be in the hundreds of millions dollars. Mining is also affected, so commodity prices will also go up.

8 comments

1 Kryten42 { 01.01.11 at 11:30 pm }

Yeah, as I said elsewhere, flooding up Nth, burning down Sth! (though, thanks to the heavy Nov/Dec rains, it hasn’t been bat at all so far. But now everything’s drying, and there will be a LOT to burn when it does!)

We are already feeling the pinch here because of the destruction of many crops. Fruit and veggies that are grown up Nth are getting pretty expensive here now (like broccoli is around $5-$6/kg, used to be $2-$3, grapes and cherries, around $12-$14/kg, bananas, pineapple, mango, peaches etc,etc are all doubled.

I cannot believe I am saying this (seriously!) but our new Liberal (Coalition actually, but similar to your Republicans, right-wing essentially) is so far being much smarter and saner than the moronic Labor Party (your Democrat’s, supposedly left-wing) they recently replaces! They are killing the stupid MyKey ticketing debacle and cutting our losses, and are NOT going to but the expensive and useless here DC-10 Water bombers. We have leased two Convair 580 water bombers from Canada, as they are far more suited to our conditions in Vic, and we can get 2 for the price of one DC-10, and they are cheaper to operate. 🙂 All up, we are readying a fleet of about 50 fire fighting aircraft for this season, including the familiar Erickson Skycranes, Elvis, Elsie and Marty. 😉 😀

Strange isn’t it… Up Nth they wish they were dry, and down Sth we wish we were wet! 🙂 I just wish everyone stay’s safe!!

2 Kryten42 { 01.01.11 at 11:32 pm }

Oh, BTW, I should pint out that I mean the Gov change was fr our State (Vic), not Federal (though, many are already wishing the federal Labor Gov was Coalition too! *sigh* People are beginning to seriously discover that Gillard was a really bad choice and that she really is incompetent! *shrug*

3 Kryten42 { 01.01.11 at 11:58 pm }

Here’s the official rainfall map for Queensland for the past 3 months:

3 Monthly rainfall totals for Queensland

Our SBS has good coverage here:

SBS World News Australia Wild Weather Coverage

The floods currently cover an area the size of Germany and France combined. In some areas, the floods are so high that roof tops are submerged.

4 Bryan { 01.02.11 at 12:30 am }

I sincerely hope that there isn’t another political party anywhere in the universe that compares to what the US Republican Party has become. In most of the rest of the world they would be considered terrorists.

I agree on the DC-10, you don’t have the infrastructure to support the aircraft to make use of the features. The turn-around times would be too long for effective use, and the fuel costs would quickly become prohibitive. It works well in California, but would be worthless is most other Western states.

I figured the difference out, and have noticed that the parties seem to be different depending on whether they are operating at the Federal or State level in Australia. The US Democratic Party works that way, but the Republicans are whackoes at all levels of government.

For future reference, Texas is the size of Germany and France combined, and Alaska is even larger.

As for the fire issues, California is getting a lot of rain this year, and like Victoria, that means a lot more fuel for future fires. Much of what springs up in California after a rainy period will dry out quickly when the rains stop, and will provide the kindling for wild fires.

They really need to build an aquaduct to redistribute the water, as we have discussed before, but politics almost always trumps reality.

5 cookiejill { 01.02.11 at 2:15 am }

Yeah. We’re due for another 3″ dumping on Sunday. It’s been really cold at night (OK..cold for us 40 degrees) so they are expecting our mountains to be covered with a little powder. But, after seeing what Australia is going through, we have no reason to kvetch.

6 Kryten42 { 01.02.11 at 7:01 am }

Kvetch away cookiejill! You are as entitled as we are. Crappy weather is crappy weather anywhere! 😉 🙂 Stay comfy and safe. 🙂

Well, I guess I meant Historically our Liberal party and your Republican Party were ideologically aligned (Conservative values). It’s one of the reasons Howard was such a Bushmoron ass-kisser! 😉 And yes, the parties here (on both sides) tend to be different between federal & State.

Gillard may have some kind of ideology, but it’s not at all clear what that might be. It is becoming very clear she’s an idiot (which I suspected long before she threw her previous boss under a fleet of busses with the help of the labor power brokers). her latest debacle is shaping up to be the NBN (National Broadband Network).

Broadband chief’s link to scandal

The laughable thing for me is that the press are making this about the two Alcatel-Lucent exec’s who are managing the NBN, rather than the company that was actually hired by Labor to manage the project that they worked for, the same company which has admitted to the bribery charges! Hello??! Let me see… The NBN project is a massive (for us) multi-billion $ project, and there was no public tender process (it was all done in private). and the company who won this supposed *private tendering process* has just been fined $US137 million on bribery charges to win other such contracts in similar ways! And then Gillard instantly defends them all and the process and refuses any kind of investigation at all? And she wonders why some people think she’s hiding something? Aha. She’s either a crook, or a complete moron, or a crooked moron! (Personally, I think she’s too stupid to be crooked).

Nothing to see here folks! Move along! Sharpish!

See… the USA isn’t the only country to be run by crooks, or morons… or crooked morons! 😉 😛

7 JuanitaM { 01.02.11 at 10:07 am }

See… the USA isn’t the only country to be run by crooks, or morons… or crooked morons!

No, it’s just that we do it with such goofy abandon. 🙂

8 Bryan { 01.02.11 at 5:05 pm }

Jill, we both know that a wet winter means a lot of growth in the back country which will burn during the dry months. The slow-growing desert plants aren’t as susceptible to fire as the trash brush that leaps up opportunistically after a soaking rain. We also know that where there were fires this season, erosion and mudslides are going to be a problem.

I hate to say it, but I think the winter storm track has been established, and y’all are in for a lot more of the same in the near future.

After watching for a while, I get a gut feeling that she is playing a role in a script she didn’t write. She doesn’t seem to know why things were done that makes me think she wasn’t involved in the actual decision-making process. Until the “screenwriters” are identified, there’s no way of knowing what’s really going on. The worse case is multiple people making different decisions about separate areas with no overall plan or concept. The goals in some areas seem at odds with the goals and actions in other areas.

Of course, there’s always the possibility that Australia has gotten its own version of George W Bush. Instead of a Moron in Chief you have a Prime Moron.

Now, now, Juanita, give Ms. Gillard a chance. The US can’t be number one in everything. 😉