A history of droughts and flooding rains from 1782 – 1865 in Australia

Droughts, floods, fire, Queensland. Scientific and Useful, logo. The Queenslander.

Here’s one for all the history-deniers from 1885

Mr N Bartley understood Australias climate 134 years ago better than some climate scientists appear to now.

Rain, rainfall, Australia percentage of average, Feb 2020.

After the fire came the floods, Feb 2020.

Even then Australia already had a century-long rolling cycle of floods, fires and droughts. One natural disaster after another back when CO2 levels were perfect.

These go back to the earliest dates of European settlement. Wherever Captain Flinders landed in 1782 — 1792 he found “found traces of drought and bush fires invariably”.  In 1839, the drought was so bad that fish “putrefied” in the big Murrumbidgee River even though there was not one coal fired power plant on Earth.

The author laments that the droughts “become forgotten in the flood intervals.”

In the modern Wifi era humans can forget even faster.

Below is my summary list of the events described in the story.

Below that, the full letter. From The Queenslander, Sept 19th, 1885.

*Since Captain Flinders was born in 1774 I assume those dates were wrong and he wasn’t commanding a ship when he was 8 years old. Any other suggestions welcome.(thanks Gee Aye, SteveD, James West and Peter Fitzroy)

(1795 onwards?)* .. Droughts and fires
 1788 Drought in Sydney
 1797 Drought near “Melbourne”
1799-1806 Nearly every year “high flood” in NSW the Hawkesbury river rose 101ft
1810 Excessive rain ruled til 1810 then ended
1811-1826 More floods than droughts
1826-1829 Longest continuous recorded drought in Australia
1830 Great Flood. Windsor on the Hawkesbury became an island.
1831 – 1836 Moderately dry
1837 – 1839 A three year drought which almost exterminated the sheep and cattle of Australia, a dried up that great “father of waters” the big Murrumbidgee River itself, leaving the very fish to putrefy in the dry bed thereof…
1840-1841 More floods. In 1841 was the highest known flood in this part of the world. The Brisbane and Bremer rivers were both in flood at once, and the water rose 70ft at Ipswich.
1841-1849 “there was rather more rain than was wanted”
1849-1851 Severe drought and on Black Thursday, terrible fires: “boxed the scattered bushfires of of the colony of Victoria into one vast wild blaze, before a northerly hurricane, which blew coaches and men-of-wars rowing boats over like hats. Farms buildings fences, crops, and lives were lost”
1852 A flood so bad it swept away the town of Gundagai and drowned more than a score or two….
1857, 1863, 1864, 1870, 1873, 1875, 1879 Floods of the Brisbane River with “boats rowing in Mary-Street and Stanley-Street”
1869, 1877 Dry years
1882, 1883 Wet years, and the eruption of Krakatoa brought “the constant glow and iron drought that has scarcely been broken since”. “Since then cholera and floods in the Northern Hemisphere, droughts and disease in this hemisphere, have been rife.”


Droughts, floods, fire, Queensland. Scientific and Useful, logo. The Queenslander.

The Queenslander, Sat 19 Sep 1885
Droughts and Floods.

THE following letter by Mr. N. Bartley
appeared in Monday’s Courier:—

The present severe drought serves to remind
me of a paper which I read 5th
January, 1864, before the Queensland Philoso-
phical Society on ” Meteorology,” and which
led to the establishment in this colony of ob-
serving stations, till then unknown here ; and
as this paper, amongst other matter, contained
a list of droughts and floods in south-east
Australia since the year 1782, it may be of
some interest to repeat that part of it now.
From 1782 to 1792, Captain Flinders landed at
intervals in various places on the south and
east coasts of our continent, and he found
traces of drought and bush fires invariably.
The year 1788, when New South Wales was
first settled, was a year of drought in Sydney;
in 1797 a severe drought was observable at
Western Port, in Bass Strait, near where
Melbourne was destined, forty years later, to be
founded. Then came a wet period, and in
nearly every year from 1799 to 1806 there were
high floods in New South Wales. The Hawkes-
bury River, it is stated, rose 101ft. at the town
of Windsor, crops were destroyed, wheat cost
80s. a bushel, and there was almost a famine,
as may well be imagined.

Excessive rain
ruled till 1810, when it stopped, and in 1811
water was sold at 6d. a bucketful in Sydney.
From 1811 till 1826 there were more floods than
droughts, and the Hunter River rose 37ft. in
1820; but from 1826 to 1829 was the longest,
continuous, and recorded drought in Australia,
and 4d. a gallon was paid for water in Sydney
in 1829. In 1830 came the first great flood
for eleven years, and Windsor, on the
Hawkesbury, was, once more, an island
pro tem.

After this, however, the years
were moderately but decidedly dry ones, and
A.D. 1837, 1838, and 1839 brought a three
years’ drought, which almost exterminated the
sheep and cattle of Australia, and dried up
that great “father of waters” the big Murrum-
bidgee River itself, leaving the very fish to
putrefy in the dry bed thereof, and any
one who has seen and crossed this river in
flood time, ten miles wide (as I have), can
imagine what weather it took to dry it up, for
the main river, though narrow, is very deep.
Then came more floods after the break-up of
this drought; and, in 1841, was the highest
known flood in this part of the world. The
Brisbane and Bremer rivers were both in flood
at once, and the water rose 70ft. at Ipswich.
Generally speaking, only one of these two
rivers is in flood at one time, and the other
relieves it of the back-water; but this time
both were involved, and the water, even in
Brisbane, rose to a great height inside the com-
missariat, now the Government stores, below
the present Immigration Depot. No subsequent
flood ever rose higher that 45ft. at Ipswich,
or more than 7ft. in Brisbane. Since then, and
after the cutting of the bar and the Seventeen-
mile rocks, they do not rise even so high.

1841 to 1849 there was rather more rain than
was wanted, but the latter half of 1849, all of
1850, and the early part of 1851 gave us another
severe drought, and ” Black Thursday,” 6th
February, 1851, ” boxed” the scattered bush-
fires of the colony of Victoria into one vast
wide blaze, before a northerly hurricane, which
blew coaches and men-of-wars’ rowing boats
over like hats. Farms, buildings, fences, crops,
and lives were lost of course. This drought broke
in May, 1851, and in 1852 came a flood that swept
the town of Gundagai, on the Murrumbidgee,
away, and drowned a score or two of the in-
habitants. 1857, 1863, 1864, 1870, 1873,1875,
and 1879 saw floods of more or less height in
the Brisbane River, with boats rowing in
Mary-street and Stanley-street, taking people
out of houses in the first four years
named. 1869 and 1877 were dry years; 1882
and early 1883 were wet, and then,
after the Java and Sumatra earthquake
of August, 1883, came the constant evening glow and iron drought that has
scarcely been broken since; the present is, no
doubt, one of the periodic heavy droughts (like
the 1826 and 1838 ones) which visit us at times,
and become forgotten in the flood intervals,
and it seems to be further complicated by the
Krakatoa earthquake of August, 1883, on
which occasion the pent up subterranean gases
which usually form a comparatively harmless
vent in ordinary volcanoes became increased,
and found it needful to burst up a large area of
sea and land in order to find escape. Since
then cholera and floods in the Northern Hemis-
phere, drought and its attendant diseases in
this hemisphere, have been rife.

The con-
ditions of the two hemispheres are essentially
different. One is nearly all land, and the
other nearly all water. So the hottest and the
coldest years of a century differ widely in
the Northern Hemisphere, while the wettest
and the driest year of a century vary but little
there. Here in the Southern Hemisphere the
wettest and the driest years of a century vary
tremendously, while the hottest and the coldest
years of the same space of time show but a
very few degrees of difference. The hottest
year of a century in Europe shows the
immense average of 8° above the coldest one;
while 2° would cover the fluctuations, in Aus-
tralia, of a century, in average annual tem-
perature of any one place. I will conclude
this letter by a statement of the comparative
monthly average temperature taken twenty
years ago of places in England and Australia,
showing how rapidly spring comes on here as
compared with places there :—

temperatures cooma, armidale, Hobart

9.5 out of 10 based on 80 ratings

114 comments to A history of droughts and flooding rains from 1782 – 1865 in Australia

  • #

    Hi Jo,
    Is Bartley talking about Capt Matthew Flinders in the “1782 to 1792” paragraph? Because Wikipedia lists his year of birth as 1774 and his arrival in NSW as 1795. Was there a second Flinders?


  • #

    It is very pleasing to see the use of the phrase “droughts and flooding rains”, Dorothy McKellar’s famous phrase from “My Country”. I remembered this and introduced the poem to Lord Monckton a few years ago and he loved it. This changed everything, the observation that a young girl a century ago knew more about Australia’s climate than the BOM, Tim Flannery and his ridiculous Climate Council and most of the Australian Press. Published in the London Spectator when she was only 19 and living in London, it spoke of the time she lived through the terrible Federation drought on her brother’s property at Gunnedah.


    • #

      And she was not an activist. Those were the days when the very idea that mankind somehow controlled the planet would have been ridiculous. Now 32 years after Al Gore and James Hanson proposed the end of the world in ten years and a century after the poem was written, we are still being told the polar bears are dying, the seas are rising rapidly and the cute narwhales are threatened.

      This is despite the fact that it is transparently obvious this is not true. Half of Bangladesh (population 165 million) is only 0.5metres above sea level and surely they would notice? A huge number of people live at or near sea level. Tim Flannery lives on the banks of the Hawksbury river. Al Gore has a water front place in San Francisco? Why don’t they explain to Greta that there isn’t a problem?

      Then the very idea that mankind controls CO2 levels is ludicrous and plays on the public ignorance of basic physical chemistry, that warming increases CO2 output from the oceans which contain 98% of all CO2. No. Rather we are told that we have increased aerial CO2, that CO2 increases air temperature and that this somehow heats the oceans. And that warmer water absorbs more CO2, ‘ocean acidification’.

      The only voice I read with authority is Matt Canavan.

      And our very own ANSTO had this to say to my email (SEC=UNOFFICIAL) whatever that means..

      To more important and scientific ones – yes indeed the current increase of nearly a third of extra CO2 in atmosphere is due to human activity, unfortunately.

      And climate change is real too.

      If you wish an explanation – you are welcome to come and talk. However, we should prearrange time for this, as I may be busy with other stuff.

      So, I am happy to tell you the truth – we are into climate change, and it is grossly man made, alas.

      (ANSTO: AUstralian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization), CSIRO, BOM. Public servants, each on their own gravy train. No one daring to speak up.


      • #

        I have to say though on careful reading that “1/3 of the ‘extra‘ CO2″ is not the same as the 50% increase in CO2 since 1900.

        It looks like the same thing, but is not.

        Literally “1/3 of the 50% increase” is in fact 1/3 of 1/3 or 1/9th, 11%.

        World ending “climate change’ is ‘sadly’ due to an 11% increase in CO2? Pull the other leg. And he is ‘happy to tell the truth”?

        To what phenomenon is the 2/3 of the increase in CO2 due? And what are the politicians in Australia going to do about an increase we do not control?


        • #
          Phil O'Sophical

          It’s even easier to see the nonsense by looking at the graph of CO2 v resultant Temperature increase. Where we are, around 400ppm, it is almost flat. We are way beyond what is effectively saturation of its greenhouse capability.

          So an increase in CO2 will not drive greater temperature beyond negligible amounts, and a decrease will likewise not lower the temperature a jot. But an increase in CO2 will drive the greening of the Earth, so, far from killing the planet (by which they mean human life – the planet will survive come what may), we are, if you believe man’s contribution is significant, actually saving it.


          • #

            and the models are also predicting CO2 cooling:



            • #

              It warms, goes flat, then when increased by 4 – 16 times or more, it cools.
              But that may be just an effect of the properties of “a slab ocean”


          • #
            glen Michel

            Unless there is a massive outgassing from the oceans,which is improbable in the extreme. Even the most catastrophist of scientists would have to agree- or maybe not. If 95% of all CO2 is suspended in the oceans and the rest is ambient in the atmosphere and generated by man and the rest of the natural biosphere it surely puts it into perspective.


            • #

              The 98% is a universally agreed figure. Also CO2 is in rapid exchange with the oceans, just like O2 so fish can breathe in O2 and breathe out CO2. Half of the O2 is generated by ocean phytoplankton, from CO2. Leaving the deep oceans out of the equation is a wild conjecture of the IPCC who argue that the oceans of CO2 are trapped in the deep. Except that it is not true. Also the IPCC without evidence claim CO2 stays in the atmosphere for 80 years on average or ‘thousands of years’. Both are made up figures.

              Only in this way can the miniscule contribution from fossil fuels be built up to be the bogey man. None of it is true.


          • #

            Phil (Irish?) there is a corollary to this. If the earth greens substantially as is obviously happening and the CSIRO concurs, why don’t CO2 levels fall?

            What this means is that the biosphere does not control CO2. CO2 controls the biosphere. More CO2, more Green and extra green does not reduce CO2.

            Compared to the Biosphere (basis of the Bern diagram/theory) the reserves of CO2 in the ocean are infinite. The IPCC pretend they do not exist.


        • #
          Ian Hill

          It’s just arithmetical semantics. If the current level is (nearly) 420 ppm then that’s 140 more than the 280 ppm always quoted as the starting point. So 140 is a third of 420, hence the third extra. But 140 is also 50% of 280. Except that almost all of the extra 140 is natural, but they don’t admit that. Also, I have never believed the 280 starting point – it was likely much higher.


        • #


          And what are the politicians in Australia going to do about an increase we do not control?

          Don’t give them any ideas my friend.

          Soundbite in a few years will be:

          Negative net emissions by 2060


    • #

      I’ve always preferred ths one , probably because it’s not heard as much as mckellars poem


      “We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
      In accents most forlorn,
      Outside the church, ere Mass began,
      One frosty Sunday morn.
      The congregation stood about,
      Coat-collars to the ears,
      And talked of stock, and crops, and drought,
      As it had done for years.
      “It’s lookin’ crook,” said Daniel Croke;
      “Bedad, it’s cruke, me lad,
      For never since the banks went broke
      Has seasons been so bad.”
      “It’s dry, all right,” said young O’Neil,
      With which astute remark
      He squatted down upon his heel
      And chewed a piece of bark.
      And so around the chorus ran
      “It’s keepin’ dry, no doubt.”
      “We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
      “Before the year is out.
      “The crops are done; ye’ll have your work
      To save one bag of grain;
      From here way out to Back-o’-Bourke
      They’re singin’ out for rain.
      “They’re singin’ out for rain,” he said,
      “And all the tanks are dry.”
      The congregation scratched its head,
      And gazed around the sky.
      “There won’t be grass, in any case,
      Enough to feed an ass;
      There’s not a blade on Casey’s place
      As I came down to Mass.”
      “If rain don’t come this month,” said Dan,
      And cleared his throat to speak–
      “We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
      “If rain don’t come this week.”
      A heavy silence seemed to steal
      On all at this remark;
      And each man squatted on his heel,
      And chewed a piece of bark.
      “We want a inch of rain, we do,”
      O’Neil observed at last;
      But Croke “maintained” we wanted two
      To put the danger past.
      “If we don’t get three inches, man,
      Or four to break this drought,
      We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
      “Before the year is out.”
      In God’s good time down came the rain;
      And all the afternoon
      On iron roof and window-pane
      It drummed a homely tune.
      And through the night it pattered still,
      And lightsome, gladsome elves
      On dripping spout and window-sill
      Kept talking to themselves.
      It pelted, pelted all day long,
      A-singing at its work,
      Till every heart took up the song
      Way out to Back-o’Bourke.
      And every creek a banker ran,
      And dams filled overtop;
      “We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
      “If this rain doesn’t stop.”
      And stop it did, in God’s good time;
      And spring came in to fold
      A mantle o’er the hills sublime
      Of green and pink and gold.
      And days went by on dancing feet,
      With harvest-hopes immense,
      And laughing eyes beheld the wheat
      Nid-nodding o’er the fence.
      And, oh, the smiles on every face,
      As happy lad and lass
      Through grass knee-deep on Casey’s place
      Went riding down to Mass.
      While round the church in clothes genteel
      Discoursed the men of mark,
      And each man squatted on his heel,
      And chewed his piece of bark.
      “There’ll be bush-fires for sure, me man,
      There will, without a doubt;
      We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
      “Before the year is out.”
      John O’Brien


      • #

        I’ll still give the prize to Dorothea, for precision and brevity.
        Dave B


      • #

        It also covers the third bogey man, bushfire. The Monckton’s “Profiteers of Doom” are onto this one. Bushfires are caused by Climate Change, apparently, not a country dominated utterly by pyrophytic trees thanks to 50,000 years of bushfires deliberately lit by the guardians of the country.


      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        I’d forgotten it was so long. We recited it for the year 3 and 4 end of year concert more years ago than I can believe. I must learn it again.


  • #
    Kalm Keith

    A great historical and current analysis from Jo on the history and TdeF in the first comments.

    Perhaps the next step is to examine why this sort of post is even necessary here in 2020 when in theory we should be the best informed generation the planet has ever seen.

    Why is this post necessary when one of the world’s biggest industries is the collection and redistribution of “news”?

    Surely it can’t be that the news is being filtered?



    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Surely the $11+ billion on hard illicit drugs has something to do with it. That is a stunner!

      And the toilet paper! I thought it would have run its course already. I was wrong.

      And filtering the news? I remember that they lied to us and banned the news when AIDS came on the scene. Might they do that again?


  • #

    And when will our governments get on with dealing with the land of droughts and flooding rains? When will we do what the ancient Nabateans, Iraqis, Persians, Romans did? Dams, aqueducts, cisterns, storage. I still marvel at the 26 locks and weirs on the Murray river which kept us safe through the Millenial drought. All built pre WWII, the last in 1939. They would be illegal today in our Green phase where the land turns brown through neglect and Climate Change is blamed and farmers are told to stop growing anything.

    A Channel 10 television crew in the middle of the drought travelled along the Murray to document the devastation and found none. So nothing was said.

    That’s 80 years of governments doing nothing. And not a major dam in 50 years as all our water resources are locked up and all the rivers run to sea. Modern governments are about stopping everything. Gaia will provide. Our taxes will not.


    • #

      State lands identified for new dam construction were locked in State land National Parks after the UN Agenda 21 now 30 (Sustainability) was signed by Keating Labor Federal Government around 1990. In NSW the Carr Labor Government abandoned a number of new dam sites that the Coalition Government had set aside 1965-1976.

      The answers are UN Treaties signed by our Federal Governments and legislation duplicated by State Governments that together with Local Government implement the treaties, with little or no reference to we the people. It is reinforced via government departments and councils but also tribunals, non-government councils commissions, etc. A tangled mess of red and green tape and no opposition from the elected government members. We elect people to represent us in parliaments and over the past 70 years or more since the United Nations was established after WW2 and regardless of their roles, forming government or opposition, they have been a cooperative with exceptions who become the outsiders in Club Politics.


      • #

        And they give great parties in New York for ministers from insignificant little countries. Julie Bishop really enjoyed the job. What’s a few hundred million to help out. And the odd signature binding all Australians to another plot hatched by the UN.


        • #
          Kalm Keith

          A big public question at the next election should be;

          Do we really want to continue to be governed undemocraticly by the United Bloody Nations or is there a party prepared to cut the cord?



    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      The Murray/Darling basin is fairly well served by dams. Where would you build the next one?

      My understanding of the current problem is that it is not so much a lack of dams as how the dams were managed.


  • #

    Weather …

    … as usual.

    I think I would prefer modern day Climate Change — it seems to be gentler, not as rough as all that Climate Variation. 😀

    A river rising 101ft? Umm, that’s a major! And scary: it would be navigable by submarine.


  • #
    Dave in the States

    This reminds me when I studied climate proxies for the Western US and particularly California during my time at university. Drought is the normal. Events like floods and snowy winters are episodical through out. California in particular, has been in an general abnormally wet period since the 49ers (not the football team) came in 1849. A wet or dry, or cooler or hotter, period lasting decades or centuries is not unusual. It doesn’t matter about co2 concentration. Keeping our fingers crossed that it doesn’t revert back to the long term normal in our life time.


  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    4.40 mins: “10,000 years ago, the Indian Ocean rose after being 120m lower.

    5,000 yrs ago, we know the sea level was higher than it is now.”

    … 60kms off the West Australian coast in the Indian Ocean, is an archipelago of 122 islands with a dark, rich history dating back 150 years before Captain Cook.

    The Houtman Abrolhos Islands are isolated, stunning, pristine but dangerous …

    Jan 2020, Rugged Paradise: The Abrolhos Islands

    (h/t: @andyoz2 – twitter)

    >> Just don’t mention the carbon (sic) induced acidic, boiling, plastic filled oceans destroying the coral wonderlands.
    Oh … wait …


  • #

    Maitland Mercury – NSW

    Periods of rainy and dry weather 1800s



  • #

    Weather versus climate. An article by Dr Allie Gallant, Climate Scientist Monash University, in the Chelsea-Mordialloc Leader 4 March 2020

    “If you think nights around Mordialloc are getting warmer, you’d be right. The graph (Sorry no graph) tracks the temperature of March’s warmest night at the Moorabbin Airport weather station. On average, the warmest March night has increased by around 2.2°C over 5 decades.
    While the warmest night-time temperature changes each year, shown by the white line, the average warmest night-time temperature has increased gradually shown by the yellow line. The two lines reflect the difference between weather and climate.
    Weather is the state of the atmosphere at a specific place and time. It is what you see and feel outside day-to-day.
    Climate describes the average weather in a specific place over a long time. For example, Melbourne has a temperate oceanic climate.
    While weather changes, climate should be steady over centuries, unless it is forced to change – as is happening now, due to human activities.”

    The problem with the climate scientists and others of similar opinion is that the only proof of climate change they provide is increasing temperatures. Weather and climate are influenced by wind speed and direction, humidity, air pressure, rain, and other factors, but there is never any mention of those. The BOM observations pages show the half hourly temperature readings, apparent temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction and other information. Apparent temperatures vary by more than 2°C with an increase of a few kph in wind speed. So without all the other data, the temperature increase of 2.2°C over 5 decades is a less than useful piece of information, except for those who want to prove climate change. It really is only temperature change.


    • #

      There are many references here to the BoM and their creative accounting practises and locations of weather stations.

      Moorabbin Airport weather station – heat sink?


    • #
      Bill In Oz

      Moorabbin Airport 50 years ago was out in the boondocks
      With paddocks and market gardens all around it.
      Now the entire South east of Melbourne is suburbs
      With residential housing & industry.
      In other words Urban Heat Island Effect has happened.
      Dr Allie Gallant, Climate Scientist Monash University
      Needs to get a grip on this simple fact before she opens her mouth
      And shows her complete ignorance !
      But that would be scientific of course
      And not scare the punters into giving her more money !
      Bah !


    • #

      I have ready this before. I think it is a regular article in the area.

      Anyway, “climate should be steady over centuries”. Who said? This is the Michael Mann theory of ‘climate’. Pompous nonsense posing as science.

      The cycles in temperature are extremely well documented and change is certain. Even our short human history records major periods of cold and warming in the last 3,000 years.

      There is also the absurdity that while scientists admit they cannot predict chaotic weather, that they can predict long term weather with certainty when it is no more than the addition of weather. Some years are wet and some are dry. A lot of dry years becomes a drought. A drought is not a thing which suddenly happens and can be no more than coincidence.

      And for this all the so called scientists can point at are major patterns like El Nino and La Nina and the Indian Dipole, none of which they can predict anyway.

      So we are supposed to believe in the infallibility of Climate Scientists? They are not even meteorologists. It is a fantasy science in total denial.


      • #

        If climate is ‘steady over the centuries’ by what mechanism does the earth emerge from the Little Ice Age…how did it emerge from the Maunder Minimum etc?


  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    ‘From 1782 to 1792, Captain Flinders landed at
    intervals in various places on the south and
    east coasts of our continent, and he found
    traces of drought and bush fires invariably.”

    Pity Flinders did not arrive in Australia until 1791.

    While some of the events are undoubtably true, a sceptic would take all of them with a grain of salt


  • #

    Hmmm…viruses and cooler weather…..bad combo…..

    The powers that be know that too, of course.


  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    CSIRO prove the Federation drought happened, and pre-1910 temperature records are correct.

    Will the BoM now expand their official temperature data base for this inconvenient truth?

    March 10, 2020: “Using coral cores drawn from Indonesian islands, an international research team led by Australians reconstructed climatic conditions in the Indian Ocean over more than 500 years.”


    BoM: “Temperature data prior to 1910 should be used with extreme caution as many stations, prior to that date, were exposed in non-standard shelters, some of which give readings which are several degrees warmer or cooler than those measured according to post-1910 standards.”


    Just don’t mention the science is settled.


    • #
      Furiously curious

      A couple of questions about the IOD. They say ‘the Western Indian Ocean is warming from climate change’…… What is the mechanism? And the IOD obviously becomes more active from 1850, as we move out of the Little Ice Age. What has that to do with human induced temperature rises? Maybe we need more readings from the Medieval Warm period? They list the last 50 yrs of that on the graph (1250-1300), and there looks like things were happening then. What was happening to world temps when there were big moves during the Little Ice Age?
      Warmer temps cause it to be more active? Probably. But the change began way before industrial CO2. And good luck controlling things with a CO2 dial.


    • #
      Bill In Oz

      The chart in that article shows huge gaps in the record
      Was nothing happening with the IOD then ?
      Or is this just some glitch in their recording process ?
      They now know that the IOD brings droughts & floods
      Going back hundreds of years.
      But the data record is Incomplete !
      So how the hell can they say :
      “Climate change did it ”
      Bah !

      PS I notice that the ‘scientist in the link above for Moorabbin airport was a woman
      And so too are the three ‘scientists’ in this article.
      Is this a female ‘sciency’ thing ?
      Thank god we have Jo & Jennifer Marohassy
      To set a much better example to these non scientists !


  • #
    el gordo

    In 1789 John Hunter and Governor Phillip travelled 70 nautical miles up the Hawkesbury River to Richmond and found logs and other debris lodged 30 to 40 feet above the normal level of the river.

    They were horrified, but the land was fertile so obviously it was eventually settled until the floods swept them away.


  • #
    Binny Pegler

    Totally meaningless and irrelevant – That person was not a properly ordained climatologist.
    And so has no right to speak of such grave matters.


    • #

      BOM here.

      Please note that the dates given above are wrong as the hawkebury river floods were in 2001 2006 and 2009 and obviously not in the 1800’s .

      People should not be posting such inaccurate information before we have had a chance to adjust the data using state of the art and robust techniques


  • #
    robert rosicka

    Found this yesterday which I found interesting it’s a history of droughts and floods on the Darling river .
    Between 1890 – 1961 the river only flowed its complete length 9 times .
    Longest spell the river went dry for was a year .



    • #

      I have looked at photographs from the Federation Drought period circa 1900 showing people enjoying a picnic on the completely dry river bed.

      Which reminds me about “environmental river flows” (Agenda 30 – Sustainability), I was last in Wentworth and Mildura middle of 2018 and the river system was in flood, the parklands barricaded where children’s playgrounds were and parkland, but all along the the river. I have since read complaints about Red Gums and wetlands being flooded unnaturally while farmers and towns are denied water.

      The climate hoax is political and disgusting.


  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    25 June 1852: 89 people died in flooding around Gundagai in south-west NSW in what was Australia’s worst flood disaster.


    1852: Gundagai floods — 89 die in Australia’s deadliest flood

    photo: The Gundagai flour mill surrounded by water during a flood in 1900



  • #

    And still BOM et al fail to acknowledge history!


  • #

    Looks like the climate change Kool aid is in plentiful supply in the MSM…


    “Today, news.com.au launches its series Time Is Now, focusing on how climate change impacts Australians’ way of life. The series draws on the insights and extensive research of scientists, in special partnership with Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas and the Australian Science Media Centre.

    “Here’s some of the myths we’ve heard about bushfires.


    “Sure, bushfires are part of Australia’s wild landscape and many species of trees and plants need fire to regenerate but, we need to look at what the experts say.


  • #

    Following on….


    “Connected to the first myth, lots of stories have circulated saying that climate has nothing to do with the bushfires experienced in the 2019/2020 Australian summer. This is nonsense.


    “Much misinformation has been spread in Australia and overseas this summer about arsonists being responsible for our summer of unprecedented bushfires.

    “Plain and simple – this is wrong.


    “This is rubbish. Hazard reduction or back burning is when the dry, dead vegetation that fuels fires is deliberately burned off by fire officials to reduce the overall effects of future or actual fires.

    “While important, a widely spread myth this season is that a green conspiracy has meant that fire officials have been denied the opportunity to undertake hazard reduction burns. This is just not true.


    “When watching the devastating fires on TV it can leave you feeling powerless and unable to do anything.


  • #

    Matthew Flinders was 8 years old and living in Lincolnshire in 1782


    • #
      Peter C

      Well spotted professor.

      Flinders’ first voyage to New South Wales, and first trip to Port Jackson, was in 1795 as a midshipman aboard HMS Reliance, carrying the newly appointed governor of New South Wales Captain John Hunter.


      • #

        Not just well spotted – I was sceptical of the science guy from the past before reading that glaring inaccuracy.

        I don’t think it is wise to just quote verbatim from someone you have no knowledge about. Especially bad to rely on them to pontificate about deniers while claiming to be a sceptic.

        Some further investigation reveals “scientific and useful” to be a very unreliable source. I suspect that whole thing was made up at worst or at best derivative of some other source that was not checked.


        • #
          Peter C

          Your knowledge of Australian History is a testament to your status.

          I was not familiar with Scientific and Useful (until now).


        • #

          Gee Aye, I read some of the other columns and found them fascinating. They’re a testament to what was known at the time. Some screwy ideas, but some ageless wisdom. Would you have done any better in 1885?

          I see that apart from a likely date typo you have no evidence that droughts and fires were not common, and floods.

          I know that those events were real because of all the other Trove/NLA stories I’ve read.


  • #
    John in Oz

    The Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA : 1880 – 1954) Fri 4 Jan 1889

    In this issue are published graphic
    records of the ordeals by fire and water
    through which the Nairne and Callington
    districts have passed within One short
    week. On Christmas Day “heat like
    the mouth of a hell” was over all, and a
    fierce grass fire spread desolation across
    thousands of acres in the neighborhood.
    On; New Year’s Day. “a deluge of
    cataract skies ” turned a still larger area
    into roaring and devastating water-floods
    which boiling against the bridges,
    “hurled down in swift career battlement
    and plank and pier,” while, in less-
    contracted channels it swept away trees,
    destroyed fences, invaded houses, injured
    roads, desolated crops, and drowned
    cattle; Remembering too the havoc
    wrought by the fire-fiend a short seven
    days before, and looking on the railway
    line as a red-handed accomplice, the
    other strong elerment wreaked its fury on
    this also, so that State money was lost
    and State passengers delayed. Nairne
    ratepayers, having suffered individually
    by the fire, will collectively be put in sad
    straits unless the Government aids in
    repairing the damage done by water, for
    it will take a whole year’s rates to rebuild
    bridges and repair roads.


  • #
    Bill Burrows

    Good find of another historical perspective Jo. It ought to provide a strong reality check to all those millennials and bed wetters who believe that history only began on the day they were born! And how many times do commenters have to remind readers of our insightful and classic poems – “My Country” and “Said Hanrahan”? Finally, any discussion in this subject area that fails to reference the climate poster series available from the Queensland Government’s ‘Longpaddock’web site is missing out on a great opportunity to keep everyone better informed of our climate realities. Visit: http://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/rainfall-poster . Everyone should make sure to print off these posters and stick them up on their wall and, most tellingly, ram them down the throats of every media outlet they have access to.


    • #

      Climate hoaxers are doing their best to portray Dorothea MacKellar as a dreamer who created a poem while overseas about her homeland.

      The fact is that her family owned pastoral properties and she had experienced drought and flooding rain first hand observations.

      Smokescreens, mirrors and whitewash.


      • #

        Well, given the “we can tell you what to think” but in the MSM about “debunking bushfire myths” bushfires today, they are pretty desperate to settle the sheep back down to a non-thinking state.

        I often wonder how people live with themselves promoting such stuff. Maybe they genuinely believe it….I guess you only need to see the Leftists inner city green “Borg” in operation to see the group think in action.

        I went to a university-driven science thing once, the Leftist group think was like watching zombies in action. I kept my mouth shut, being in hostile territory, but you can understand how bad stuff could happen back in history if people believe invented bad stuff about another group of people, then given the means to do something further…..


        • #

          I would say most of the non-elite zombies actually do believe in that sort of rubbish. The elite on the other hand who fund that sort of crowd mostly likely don’t or don’t care either way. They are just in it for the regime change to increase their power and wealth. The zombies will be dealt with appropriately once they have exhausted their usefulness for the elites. Too bad most of the rest of us re also asleep as to what’s happening but then again that’s how the cookie crumbles.


  • #

    In geological time frames, the last 200 years is just a blip.
    We appear to be nearing the end of the interracial warm period (when civilisations thrive)
    If we enter into a maunder minimum type period or worse a mini age, we’re completely unprepared
    That’s when there will be human population declines of an ” unprecedented ” scale


    • #

      Do civilisations thrive during an interracial warm period due to all the hybrid vigour of the resultant babies?


      • #
        el gordo

        Cold dampens the ardour and there is always the risk of genetic bottlenecks.


      • #
        Kalm Keith

        It’s ” interracial ” because each pole has different characteristics and they have never met.

        Before the last interracial warming began about 20,000 years ago both races were large, but have since shrunk to relative insignificance.

        This may change, but not in our lifetimes, my race is almost run.



  • #
    James West

    Some interesting info, but might want to check the alleged dates for Matthew Flinders landings. 1782 was before even Arthur Phillip landed and there was any European settlement. Also, I think Flinders would have still been around 10 years old.


  • #
    Bill In Oz

    Finally SLOMO gets his act happening !
    Italy added to the banned list !
    “The Federal Government has expanded its coronavirus travel ban to include Italy.

    Bans are already in place for travellers from China, Iran and South Korea. The ban for Italy will begin at 6:00pm tonight.

    Foreign nationals who have been in Italy, mainland China, Iran and South Korea will not be allowed into Australia for 14 days from the time they left those countries.

    Australian citizens and permanent residents travelling from those countries will be able to enter Australia, but need to isolate themselves for a fortnight.

    The decision to add Italy to the list is a reversal from last week, when Australia added extra screening for passengers from Italy but stopped short of a travel ban.”



    • #

      The bans are almost irrelevant now. The airlines are stopping flights because there are no passengers. The only people who want to fly to Australia either have the virus or are in a high risk area with poor health services.

      I have an American friend just departing the Grand Princess. He said the passengers were advised there are no virus test kits available at the Air Force Base in Texas where they will be quarantined.


      • #
        Bill In Oz

        Re “The only people who want to fly to Australia either have the virus or are in a high risk area with poor health services.”
        Yes you are exactly right !
        That’s why the quarantine needs to be extended to the other countries where it is now entrenched
        Including the USA, UK & France.


    • #
      Sceptical Sam



      He was waiting for my letter.

      I should have written sooner. Now they’ll shift the blame for their dilatory behaviour onto my tardiness.



  • #

    Post updated: Good point and thanks to commenters. :- )

    *Since Captain Flinders was born in 1774 I assume those dates (1782 – 1792) were wrong and he wasn’t commanding a ship when he was 8 years old. Any other suggestions welcome.(thanks Gee Aye, SteveD, James West and Peter Fitzroy)


    • #


      I suggest everyone get onto Trove and do an exact word/phrase search for scientific & useful (using the ampersand).


      It was a long running column in a multitude of aus and NZ newspapers in the late 1800s. Some fun facts, some useful and useless hints, rampant speculation and entertaining bollocks.

      Mr Bartly appears to have put in a few dates and events that are well known and padded it out with a bunch of made up and embellished events. Regarding Flinders he probably half remembered that he sailed about 10 years after Australia was settled by Captain Cook (yes I know).


    • #

      You learn about Bass and Flinders in primary School. Perspective from the point of view of ten to twelve year olds is that these early explorers were already ancient old guys as anybody may look from the perspective of a ten year old.

      George Bass joined the Royal Navy at the age of 14 as ….. an apprentice Surgeon. He liked boating, and on his 1895 trip to Australia, asked if he could strap his eight foot rowboat across the stern of the HMS Reliance. On that voyage, he became friends with a young Midshipman Matthew Flinders, and when the two of them arrived at Sydney Cove, they would go off boating in this tiny rowboat called Tom Thumb. The pair then jury rigged a small pole in the middle and mounted a rudimentary sail on it.

      George was 24 and Matthew was 21.

      They ‘tooled’ around Sydney Harbour, and one day, they just rowed out through Sydney Heads and turned South ….. in this eight foot skiff mind you.

      They went to Botany Bay, and then further South over the next few trips, some over a number of weeks, as far South as what we now know as Wollongong, and then even further.

      They then went way up the chain of command and asked the new Governor, John Hunter if they could go even further.

      He approved and ended up giving them a larger boat, an 18 foot whaleboat, and George now on his own went as far South as Western Port Bay, all the way, mapping as he went.

      He had a hunch that there was an open seaway between Van Diemens Land and New South Wales. (as the Mainland was called) If so then this might save weeks on the trip as the ships would ‘ride’ the Roaring Forties, hit Van Diemens Land turn South and follow it around and then up the Coast to Port Jackson.

      So, Hunter gave George the brand new 17 ton sloop Norfolk, virtually just a large yacht really, and commanded by Matthew Flinders, they set off South again, and discovered and mapped what was later called Bass Strait, in George’s honour, proving it open water and cutting weeks off the London to NSW trip. (That boat Norfolk was the first boat constructed in the colony, well, at the Norfolk Island prison really from those famed Norfolk Pines)

      Now virtual stars, Bass and Flinders reputations were made.

      George Bass was given command of his own boat, now released from his Surgeon’s duties with the RN, and in 1803 he set off for South America, and was never seen again. He was 31.

      Matthew Flinders still only in his late 20s, went on to his further huge career.

      Perspective as a child when rote learning the explorers at primary school is completely different from what it really was.

      Step out three paces in the room you are now in. That’s the length of the boat these two sailed and rowed out through the wilderness that was Sydney Heads at that time.

      Talk about a ripping yarn, all of true. Young men in boats.



      • #

        Excellent Tony.
        Thank you.


      • #

        Nice. It’s a real shame modern Australia lost all that good adventurous spirit and instead is mostly focused on greed, self-importance and fake ideologies.


      • #
        Kalm Keith

        1895 trip to Australia

        Meant to be 1795 ?


      • #

        G’day Tony,
        1895 = 1795. How’s that for an equation??
        Dave B


      • #
        Peter C

        Excellent Tony,

        I would just add one point:

        George Bass was given command of his own boat, now released from his Surgeon’s duties with the RN, and in 1803 he set off for South America, and was never seen again. He was 31

        This correct, but Bass commanded a private venture vessel, not an RN ship (or boat). His idea was to profit from the urgent need of the New Colony of New South Wales for supplies. Bass took leave from the Royal Navy and sort financial backing from his friends and Family to make a voyage and make his fortune.

        He purchased a ship. KK will love this. The ship was called (the good ship) Venus!


    • #

      One of the good people to apply their talents at ABC was David Hill.

      Hill has authored a brilliant little book called The Great Race. It details Mathew Flinders life as an explorer. There is a tremendous amount of detail as Flinders had a 6 year term in prison under French guard in Mauritius to catalog his voyages. Hill made use of Flinders tomes and diaries to produce an easily read version.

      Flinders is credited with naming Australia. If not for him, Australia could be very much like Canada with a French side and a British side.


  • #
    el gordo

    Gundagai, on the banks of the Murrumbidgee, was gazetted as a town in 1838. The indigenous population warned them that its prone to flooding, but they ignored local knowledge and the town was swept away in the flood of 1852, which killed a third of the inhabitants.


    • #

      Gundagai has a massive road bridge that runs for 400m over an expansive flood plain area….


  • #
    Environment Skeptic

    This recent post is the best ever. The poems and history are beautiful!


  • #

    But you are missing the point!

    All those old droughts and floods were just ordinary natural droughts and floods.

    The droughts and floods we’re having now are unpreeecedented and caused by coal, SUVs, and air travel.

    Ask Tim Flannery if you don’t believe me.


    • #

      But Climate Council comrades tried to warn somebody just before each event and got nowhere.



  • #

    Just wondering if someone on the more sceptical side is going to get the opportunity to rebuff the comments of a Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick on the News .com site. She is evidently a climate scientist and lecturer at the UNSW . I read some of her comments. They were trite and she presented little actual evidence. She seems to be working on the assumption that all readers are 10 year olds.


    • #

      UNSW dismissed the late Professor Bob Carter and a colleague for daring to question the hoax.

      The ship of fools that was trapped in Antarctic Ice is also at UNSW and Tom Foolery I think.


      • #
        Peter C

        Carter was at James Cook University (not UNSW)

        Carter retired from James Cook University in 2002, maintaining the status of “adjunct professor” until January 2013, when Carter’s position of adjunct professor was not renewed.


  • #

    It looks like NEWS is taking a stand on climate change. Specifically, ‘A climate scientist has jumped into news.com.au’s comments section to debunk the climate change myths that just won’t die.’ I tried to post the following comment but NEWS wouldn’t post it. Censorship?

    ‘Why do you only put up a scientist that supports the anthropogenic climate change hypothesis? Is NEWS taking a stand? How about a scientist that doesn’t support it? There’s plenty to choose from but may I recommend Dr Will Happer. He understands a thing or two about energy being a world leading physicist. He invented the sodium laser guide star for use in adaptive optics to correct for atmospheric distortions in 1982, as part of the Strategic Defense Initiative (also known as Star Wars) and says climate change is a scam. From 1991-1993, Happer was Director of Energy Research at the U.S. Department of Energy, overseeing a research budget of $3 billion. He could have made a lot of money by going along with the AGW narrative but he wasn’t prepared to do so. He was sacked by Al Gore for being too picky with the science. He later said that it didn’t worry him as he didn’t need the job that badly anyway. Happer has published over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers. Awards include an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in 1966, an Alexander von Humboldt Award in 1976, the 1997 Broida Prize and the 1999 Davisson-Germer Prize of the American Physical Society, and the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award in 2000. If you want to know more check out the CO2 Coalition website, a nonprofit think tank in the United States. It consists of 55 climate scientists and energy economists. The Coalition publishes White Papers, Climate Issues in Depth papers, and op-eds.’


    • #

      I tried posting the above comment on Andrew Bolt’s Herald Sun blog hoping for better luck. Silly me, it’s part of NEWS. My comment sat there ‘pending’for a while and was then deleted. So much for NEWS’ boast ‘We live to engage with readers…’.


  • #

    The new three ‘R’ s
    Responsibility, Remuneration and who the hell gives a F*(K/
    Those people who cannot work from home deserve a pay rise!