Red Blood on Green Hands

Concerning our recent flood crisis, there are of course some things out of human control, such as the forces of nature. But some things – like city planning, the building of dams, and so on – are in our control. How all the factors weigh up when a tragedy occurs is not always easy to determine.

But several things can be noted about the Queensland floods, and they both have to do with the Greens. The first is their illogical and irresponsible policy on dams, and the second is their gall in blaming the mining sector for the floods. If anything, they are the ones who should be apologising for helping to contribute to these problems.

But since I am likely to be dismissed as partisan on this, let me instead simply quote from Barry York, who describes himself as a “long-time leftist”. He is quite happy to point to the Greens as being the real factor behind this. This is how his article begins:

“No new dams of significant size have been built in Australia for more than two decades. During the recent long drought, the dam question arose again but the response from experts and governments was along the lines of: ‘Why build a dam if the climate has permanently changed in a way that means there will be less rain in future?’

“Opposition to dams has been a key success in the development of the green movement and the Greens party since the early 1980s. But the term opposition understates the situation: it is really demonisation of dams. In the Green quasi-religion, dams are evil, akin to a Satanic force. Thus, there must never be any big new dams built. Not ever.

“The Green policy is expressed at their website as a principle: ‘There should be no new large-scale dams on Australian rivers.’ Had the Greens been as influential in the second half of the 1970s as they have been since the mid-80s, it is unlikely that the Wivenhoe Dam, on the Brisbane River, 80km from Brisbane, would have been constructed. (After years of planning and building, it was opened in 1984.)

“The Wivenhoe was designed, following massive floods in 1974, with a flood mitigation function alongside the usual water supply role. Like all dams, it is an example of human beings changing the natural world, by unnatural means, into something very useful and necessary to us in terms of our needs, standard of living and future progress. To the Green mentality and ethos, changing nature is destroying nature, dams are an assault on the ‘delicate balance’ in nature, an example of human arrogance going too far.”

Remember this is a lefty talking, not me. Another perspective comes from an English commentator, Christopher Booker: “Ever more alarming facts are emerging to show how Brisbane’s floods were made infinitely worse by cockeyed decisions inspired by the obsession of the Australian authorities with global warming. Inevitably, the country’s warmist lobby has been voluble in claiming that such a ‘freak weather event’ (as the BBC called it) is a consequence of man-made climate change. But far from being an unprecedented ‘freak event’, the latest flood was nearly a foot below the level of one in 1974 and 10 feet below the record set in 1893.

“For years, Australia’s warmists have been advising the authorities that the danger posed to the country by global warming is not floods but droughts: not too much rain but too little. One result, in Brisbane, was a relaxation of planning rules, to allow building on areas vulnerable to flooding in the past. As long ago as 1999, this was seen as potentially disastrous by an expert Brisbane River Flood Study (which was ignored and for years kept secret). Instead of investing in its flood defences, Australia spent $13 billion on desalination plants. (Queensland’s was recently mothballed because of the excess of rain.)

“Last week’s most disturbing revelation, however, was the contribution to Brisbane’s flooding by the South East Queensland Water company’s massive release of water from its Wivenhoe dam upstream from the city (for details see ‘Brisbane’s Man-Made Flood Peak’ on the Regionalstates blog). Instead of controlled releases through the previous week, the company allowed the level to rise to within a few inches of the top of the dam before releasing a vast volume of water, with devastating consequences for Brisbane 36 hours later.

“Last spring, Queensland’s prime minister, the drought- and warming-obsessed Anna Bligh, ordered the water company not to allow any releases from the dam because water was such a ‘precious resource’ that none must be wasted. Unsurprisingly, on Friday, the city’s Lord Mayor asked for a full judicial review of what had happened. But it is time our Australian cousins carried out a very much more wide-ranging inquiry into all the other decisions made by their gullible politicians in recent years, under the spell of a pseudo-scientific ideology which now looks utterly discredited.”

In spite of all this, the Greens’ leader is saying the floods are due to coal mining! Here is how one press report puts it: “Bob Brown says the coal mining industry should pay for the Queensland floods because it helped cause them. … ‘It’s the single biggest cause – burning coal – for climate change and it must take its major share of responsibility for the weather events we are seeing unfolding now,’ he told reporters in Hobart on Sunday.”

Needless to say, most are not impressed with this idiocy. Another press article says, “Minerals Council of Australia deputy chief Brendan Pearson accused Senator Brown of ‘rank opportunism’, unworthy of a serious political leader. And Australian Coal Association director Ralph Hillman said domestically-mined coal made a tiny contribution to global carbon emissions. Liberal Senator Eric Abetz said the Greens leader should apologise for his ‘insensitive’ comments. ‘Senator Brown’s comments expose the Greens and his leadership as shallow and cynical; willing to peddle political propaganda in the face of a natural disaster,’ Senator Abetz said.”

Andrew Bolt quotes one authority who thinks rather poorly of Brown’s remarks: “Emeritus Professor Cliff Ollier, a geologist and geomorphologist, explains why Brown should be laughed out of town: ‘There are at least three arguments against relating the Queensland floods to Anthropogenic Global Warming.

‘1. Even other people in the Global Warming game realize there is no relationship between broad disasters and carbon dioxide…

‘2. The second problem is that this is not an isolated event. There was another flood of about the same dimensions in 1974. There was no peak of CO2 at that time. It was not an especially warm year, so Global Warming cannot be invoked (1998 was a hotter year, but no flood). But there were even greater floods in 1841 and 1893. This is well before any possible Anthropogenic Global Warming, which began, according to its adherents, in 1945…

‘3. A third problem is that just a few years ago, global warming was blamed for causing droughts. This opinion was extolled during the last drought especially by Tim Flannery, another non-expert. In 2003 Professor Karoly published, under the auspices of the World Wildlife Fund, a report that claimed that elevated air temperatures, due to CO2, exacerbated the drought’.”

As noted, nature is hard to fathom, and much of what happens is out of our hands. But if there is human fault to be found here, it seems more likely to be laid at the feet of the radical ideologues, the Greens. But they seldom let facts and evidence get in the way of their social engineering.

[1258 words]

33 Replies to “Red Blood on Green Hands”

  1. Yes many people all bear some responsibility as to the outcome of the flood. I place the blame on the councils and the government that allowed housing and businesses to be built on the flood plane of the Brisbane river. Still the people that buy places there must also accept some responsibility for their actions.
    Though you have to hand it to the greens and the global warming brigade for keeping people distracted. Really shows you the power of the MSM to be able to keep people duped for so long. Hopefully next time people might think twice next time the greens and the MSM spruke their Global warming agenda.
    And yet when I lived on the Sepik River in PNG pretty much all the the houses were up on stilts. You only had to ask a local why that was, and the answer you got was, 1, you wouldn’t get flooded out and 2, the crocs would find it harder to get you in the night.
    Sometimes I think we have just parked our common sense somewhere and now have forgotten where we left it.
    Though we must spare a thought for those in the Brazilian floods, over 500 have died, the brisbane floods could have been so much worse.

    Jeffrey Carl

  2. I cannot for the life of me understand how such a grotesque hoax as global warming/nee climate change could be trotted out and so many people swallow the sham hook line and “stinker”. I suspect that the year 2000 computer bug confidence trick was a try out, organised by the same gang, as an attempt to discover how many gullible souls are in our community. Quite often the group most fooled by this fantasy are the intelligenstia. I didn’t precede that comment with the phrase “strangely enough”, because it is becoming obvious that having a handful of university degrees doesn’t make someone wiser, in important matters as the ordinary worker.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

  3. Hi Bill,

    Absolutely spot on with your comments. Exactly the same could be said for the Greens’ culpability in the Victorian bush fires.

    But in all this we must not forget the biggest death dealing policy the Greens’ (amongst others) have by far. That of having a two-track justice system – with full legal protection from murder for those after birth but no legal protection whatsoever for those before birth.

    Now, of course any death is a tragedy and my heart goes out to the families of the twenty confirmed people killed in the Queensland floods; but it is worth putting the flood tragedy in perspective.

    The number of babies tortured and killed by abortion in Queensland is 55-75 per weekday (15,000-20,000 per annum). Therefore, even if the floods closed Queensland abortion clinics for just a few hours for only one day, the floods actually had the net effect of saving lives! Something to keep in mind in our topsy-turvy country known as Australia.

    Mansel Rogerson

  4. This reminds me of the DDT ban in African countries by rich, privileged environmentalists that benefit from living in a western country that has taken precisely such measures to kill off Malaria in there own countries. Only the DDT ban killed tens of millions unlike the handful in this case.

    And then they have the gall to try and shut down debate on an issue they know they are guilty of by smearing people as insensitive who point the finger.

    But they are happy to point the finger at the so-called right wing conspiracy believed to have inspired the recent mass shooting.

    Liars, hypocrites… What other adjective suits these people?

    Damien Spillane

  5. I hope that Sen. Brown and the Greens Party continue spouting their silly, opportunistic, self-serving claptrap.

    Because the more they do, the more people will wake up to the fact that these are false prophets crying wolf who should be ignored. And they will be actually following God’s instructions, too!

    And the more that happens, the quicker the green mentality will lose its grip on all levels of government and eventually even the blind MSM tertiary-trained “journalists” will shift their thinking away from disastrous support for a lunatic fringe group.

    John Angelico

  6. Frank Bellet, you said:

    “I suspect that the year 2000 computer bug confidence trick was a try out, organised by the same gang, as an attempt to discover how many gullible souls are in our community.”

    I beg to differ with the entire proposition that the “Y2K bug” was a manufactured and fictitious scare. I also am inclined to Napoleon’s maxim when it comes to conspiracy theories: “if you have to choose between conspiracy and incompetence, choose incompetence.”

    The existence of the problem was first identified in about 1993 by computer experts at Boeing, when crystallising their ten year forward projections of airline industry trends.

    Despite a lot of foot-dragging, the problem was eventually solved via short-term methods, after the broad extent was mapped out, and the potential impact identified.

    Yes, there was a fair amount of hysteria, much of it uninformed (and as a long-term participant in the IT field, I can confirm how laughable some of the statements were), and it added a technological twist to the “turn of the millenium” milestone stuff that went on.

    So please resist the temptation to use the “Y2K Bug” as an analogy for conspiracy theories in other areas.

    John Angelico

  7. The total content of CO2 in the atmosphere is 0.054%. And anthropogenic CO2 is even less. The Greens have fled the Logics subject when they went to school, or like Chesterton exposed it very properly: “You hard-shelled materialists are all balanced on the very edge of belief – of belief in almost anything.” The Greens are like watermelons: Green on the outside and red in the inside! They all are Antichrists.

    Best regards from São Paulo, Brazil.
    Michael Forkert

  8. Hmmm… many armchair experts here. Or perhaps Monday morning halfbacks? How easy it is to be wise in hindsight.

    I know from first-hand experience that the Y2K bug was no hoax. I worked on the problem for 5 years in financial software systems, although it was recognised as an issue well before 1993. The problem mostly arose from using 2-character fields for the date in software written decades before and not expected to be still around in 2000. There were a lot of scaremongers around but some might easily have proved correct. We had a team monitoring systems at midnight on New Years Eve 1999.

    It’s very easy, but most unwise, to make simplistic assumptions about technical matters. The same might apply to the flood discussion.

    There is going to be a Commission of Inquiry into the flood disaster. It will no doubt be a lawyers picnic but they’ll do a thorough job. I doubt anyone here will be asked their opinion.

    Mark Johnson

  9. Thanks Mark

    But why is it that everyone who writes or comments here is to be dismissed as a mere armchair expert – except you?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  10. In fact, if more Australians had woken up in 2007, Chairman Rudd would never have been elected: Greg Hunt had warned in Rudd recipe no good in a crisis (written when Brisbane had a bad dry spell):

    IN December 1989 the first act of Kevin Rudd, the new chief of staff to Queensland’s incoming Labor premier, was to cancel plans for the Wolfdene dam. This was despite expert advice that such a dam would be needed for southeast Queensland in the early 21st century.

    The experts were dead right. With approximately 70 per cent population growth in southeast Queensland in the intervening period, Brisbane is paying the price for one of the worst infrastructure decisions in modern Australian history. Wolfdene dam would not have changed rainfall patterns but it would have allowed for perhaps 15 years of accumulated water storage, which in turn would have dramatically altered Queensland’s capacity to deal with the inevitable ebb and flow of rainfall.

    While the Wolfdene dam is one practical example of how Rudd would govern—opting for short-term trendiness rather than showing long-term courage and planning—more deeply, it is a pointer to the failed philosophy he wants to impose on Australia: social democracy.

    The impact is simple: job losses and a continued failure of water infrastructure. …

    Jonathan Sarfati, US

  11. The thing that never ceases to amaze and disappoint me when events such as this occur is that the media and government en masse seek to blame someone for what has occured – subsequently attempting to justify ridiculously expensive and probably ineffective new policies in light of their often faulty conclusions.

    The arrogance of such behaviour is staggering in that it stubbornly denies the sovereignty of God in time, and seeks to replace His governance with our own pathetic attempts at controlling the world in His place. In practice, it seems that we have corporately tried to replace God with government – certainly overreaching the Biblical boundaries that have been put in place for civil government. There seem to be few areas in our national life that are not touched upon by some degree of control by our government.

    May God have mercy on the people or our nation, and may he bring us to a place of humility and repentance before Him. Lord willing these recent events will be profitable for His kingdom in this way.

    Yours in Christ,
    Isaac Overton, ACT

  12. John,
    I note what you say above, but I am constrained to express doubts about the sanguine belief that in our intellectual climate the global warming scam will die a natural death and people will return to some kind of normality. I fear that this will continue, and even if it does not, something else just as crazy will take its place. I have this fear for the following reasons:
    1. We live in a post-modern world, where truth, evidence, reason, logic, rational thinking, etc are disdained and any wacko belief will catch on. Remember that global warming never had any solid science behind it, but it spread world-wide, due to factors which had nothing to do with scientific or logical reasoning. Nothing has happened to change that basic sub-stratum of proneness to hysteria and superstition.
    2. The media have had a high stake in the scam from day one. I know you don’t accept that Y2K was a scam the way global warming has been (I do BTW), but there is little doubt that the media for their own purposes “hyped up” the whole scenario with scares about mass power blackouts, planes falling out of the sky, trains running berserk et al. Likewise in regard to global warming: the media want and need a continual supply of scare stories, and this has been a major one. For one they’re in too deep and have been so for too long to get out of it now; and for another it’s yet again a matter of “follow the money trail”. the hype has been highly lucrative for the scaremongers in the media, as well as for the high profile charlatans like Mr. Gore.
    3. The political left have both embraced and promoted the global warming scare from the early 1990s, when they piled out of communism after the collapse of the Soviet Union and piled into the green movement. It has been “their” darling and up-front issue. By means of this they have promoted their agenda and captured one institution after another. Throughout the Western world they have captured the media, education, bureaucracies, government from the lowest to the highest levels. Global warming has been their clarion call all along the way. Hence there is too much at stake to let it go now, otherwise they risk losing all and any credibility.
    Murray R Adamthwaite

  13. Thanks for the article Bill. I liked this line.

    “Another press article says, “Minerals Council of Australia deputy chief Brendan Pearson accused Senator Brown of ‘rank opportunism’, unworthy of a serious political leader.”

    I think Brendan made a serious mistake there. What on earth made him think Bob Brown was a serious political leader?

    Jason Rennie

  14. Frank wrote:
    >> I suspect that the year 2000 computer bug confidence trick was a try out,
    >> organised by the same gang, as an attempt to discover how many
    >> gullible souls are in our community.

    Having worked in IT as a programmer and systems analyst during the 80’s and 90’s, I can assure Frank that many of the problems with computer systems at that time were all too real. I didn’t work on critical infrastructure systems myself, however those that I did work on which required substantial remediation work, would have failed in a variety of ways after 1/1/2000 if the programming had not been changed.

    It wasn’t just obviously simple stuff either, such as dates formatted as YYMMDD needing to be changed to YYYYMMDD for data sorting purposes. I worked on COBOL-based systems where components of dates were stored in double-hexadecimal format (these were *very* old systems indeed), so that a day-of-the-month was a single character (1-9 then a-u). Fortunately most of these systems were reasonably well documented, otherwise it simply would not have been obvious by looking at the code or the data that it was a date (or part of a date) that we were dealing with.

    I agree with John Angelico … when faced with a choice between a conspiracy and a stuff-up, go with the stuff-up every time; you’ll be right much more often than not.

    The current global warming “concensus” (which is an abuse of the meaning of that word!) is much more likely to be caused by a combination of ignorance (on the part of the public, who just accept most of what is fed to them by mainstream media) and greed (on the part of the majority of science community, who are either on the government-funded gravy train and have no incentive to say otherwise, or who say “not my field of expertise; I will trust what others say” without investigating contrary hypotheses).

    I’m not a “denier” about human-induced climate change, but I am certainly very skeptical and think their hypothesis is a long way from proven.

    Stephen Frost

  15. Hi Bill,

    In light of these last two observations about a principle cause of the flood, Bob’s comments become much much more explicable.

    The Greens and their policies and general AGW idiocy seem to have been a principle factor in leading to the way the dam water was handled.

    I’d think they would want to scape goat someone else as quickly as possible because people will be looking to lynch whoever is responsible and it seems they are the actual culprits.

    Jason Rennie

  16. Bob Brown is a complete and utter nutcase!!! But I saw that long ago.
    Jane Petridge

  17. Hi Bill,

    Perhaps the disastrous and deadly ‘no dams’ policy of the Greens, and their pathetic attempt to shift blame should become known as “Floodgate”.

    Mansel Rogerson

  18. Bill,
    I know that this is off thread, but I could not resist sharing it. I have just finished watching Sean Hannity interviewing Sarah Palin regarding the Tuscon shooting and the unwarranted and despicable media onslaught on her in its aftermath. It truly is a quotable quote from her re the leftist media:
    “If it weren’t for those double standards [of the media journos], what standards would they have?”
    Murray R Adamthwaite

  19. So, Emeritus Professor Cliff Ollier, a geologist and geomorphologist, explains why Brown should be laughed out of town eh? Brown should not be laughed out of town, he should be run out of town – at gunpoint!!!
    Stephen Davis

  20. Hi Bill,

    It is interesting to note that, “To the Green mentality and ethos, changing nature is destroying nature, dams are an assault on the ‘delicate balance’ in nature, an example of human arrogance going too far.” If only they could apply that rule to “other” agendas and lifestyles which they support and which are totally unnatural in every sense of the word. Their’s is an example of human arrogance which is worse than those seen in the days of Noah or even Sodom and Gomorrah. They sound like a real bunch of jokers to me, twisting their statements to suit their agenda.

    Very very sad!

    Nigel Onamade

  21. Hi Bill! Thanks for your article. it’s worth is shown by the comments it evoked.
    Stan Fishley

  22. Hi Mansel, I liked you comment, however, I just have one thing to add to ‘full legal protection after birth’ unfortunately, even this is not true. 52 babies were born alive after botched partial birth abortions in Victoria last year and were left to die in pan rooms at the Royal Womens. So protection after birth does not even exist under Victoria’s current legislation. The greens must be opposed to the absolute last drop of energy all of us have. Even if it means standing in elections against greens members to draw votes away from them and the madness they would wreak on our country.
    Catherine Dodd

  23. Dear Bill, A brilliant article as usual. In relation to both the Victorian bushfires and the QLD floods there were just too many people with authority and power who had neither wisdom or trust in a merciful and bountiful God who has been watching over this continent since He created it. None of them ‘proclaimed his justice in the great assembly’ [parliament councils etc]. They preferred instead to believe what the leaders of a godless movement said and now they are reaping what has been sown. Just before the flood I read where Anna Bligh had made it clear that she was determined to have the same brutal laws on abortion for QLD as Victorians have. Therefore it matters not what ‘song came from her mouth’ after the floods if she does not change her thinking on unborn life she will never please God. That goes for all the politicians and bureaucrats. They have to say in the depths of their hearts that they delight in God’s law which says ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ The reality is that most could not care less about the hidden holocaust taking place in Australia.
    Patricia Halligan

  24. Hi Catherine,

    Thanks for your correction to my comment. You’re quite right, I’d forgotten that legal protection is not even given to babies once they are born in Victoria.

    But if I may make one correction to your comment: I think the 52 babies you refer to died after “failed” abortions in 2007, not last year. Here is the report that Peter Kavanagh brought to the Parliament’s attention, where the Victorian Government’s own statistics are quite open about these neo-natal deaths occurring ‘as a result of terminations of pregnancy’:

    It is significant that this reflects the situation before the Abortion Law Reform Act 2008 completely legalised killing babies for any reason and at any time right up to birth.

    How many more born alive babies are being left to die in the infamous “crying rooms” in hospitals around our State now? Presumably an increase comparable to the six-fold increase in late term abortions at the Royal Women’s Hospital since this despicable legislation was passed; as reported by Channel 7.

    And I couldn’t agree more with your comments about standing for Parliament to oppose pro-murder candidates from any party. I stood as a Christian Democratic Party candidate myself at the last Victorian election.

    Mansel Rogerson

  25. Bill,

    It may well be true that “last week’s Brisbane River flooding would have been largely avoided if the dam operators had raised their releases of water on the weekend before last Monday’s deluge.”

    The important issue is whether the above comment was known BEFORE, not after the event. I think it was not known but am not certain and am happy for hydrologists to work that out.

    Graeme Cumming

  26. Hate to say this, but an especially hot year or a particularly cold one is WEATHER not CLIMATE. Whether or not global warming is or is not – and this is one place I still believe it to be the truth – and disagree with you, Bill, – no one can deny that there have been large numbers of unusually catastrophic weather events in the last month (Brasil, Sri Lanka and the Phillipines all having suffered floods as well as the Eastern States of Australia) and, indeed, in the last decade. I might add that most Christians in the UK would, while upholding Scripture as God’s word and believing in the sanctity of life (ie being against abortion, euthanasia etc) and in the institution of marriage between one man and one woman, NOT 2 men or 2 women and believing that Jesus Christ is the only way to God and, indeed, standing up for these truths publicly through the media and communication with MPs, believe that global warming IS happening and has been contributed to by the rapacious habits of greedy humans who care little for the beautiful world God has created. I realise that the Green party in Aus is rather whacky (more so than here) so I have the utmost respect for your stance against many of the Aussie Greens but I really feel that we Christians should have taken more notice of God’s command to steward the earth’s resources wisely. Perhaps the Green Party is filling a gap that we have left open. PS evidence that the planet IS warming has been collected unintentionally (ie with no axe to grind at all) by Rothamsted Experimental Station in Harpenden, Hertfordshire – an agricultural research establishment that has only incidentally collected data.
    Katharine Hornsby

  27. Thanks Katharine

    We will have to agree to disagree about global warming. The truth is, the planet has always been warming and cooling, and human responsibility for it simply cannot have been a factor until just recently. There are many thousands of scientists who have expressed major doubts about the climate alarmists and their case.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

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