Although I have always been suspicious of the IOD-based explanations for the drying of southern Australia, it is refreshing if despairing to see from Ian Smith an
utter refutation of the arguments for these IOD-based explanations – and for simple, known proof global warming is the culprit and that within a decade or so Melbourne and Hobart will be in the same climate zone historically occupied by Coober Pedy, Birdsville and Tibooburra.
The slowness of the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology at coming up with answer to such serious problems as rainfall declines in southern Australia and increases in northwestern and central-western regions of the continent I am now convinced could have been avoided easily with available statistics from pre-Quaternary paleoclimate data and from known atmospheric circulation changes that show a major poleward shift in both hemispheres (ruling out the hyped “Asian Haze” explanation) of the tropical Hadley circulation since the 1970s.
If the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology had done the sensible thing and been willing to accept this cause of rainfall changes over the continent, they could have persuaded ordinary Australians and foreign governments that Australia is a rogue state not only with the highest per capita greenhouse emissions in the world, but with per capita emissions that are anything more than not at least an order of magnitude lower than those of any other country. Australia’s water resources have such sensitivity that acceptable per capita emissions would probably be two orders of magnitude lower than those from Europe, Asia, New Zealand or North America.
Had the Australian public and foreign governments taken in all the information known even in 1996 about paleoclimatology, Australian ecology and changes in rainfall over the western half of the continent, the greenhouse mafia would have been under immense pressure rather than ruling as if they were regarded as having the “Mandate of Heaven” as outer suburbanites with their cheap housing and car-dependent lifestyle give them. Ideally, we would have seen rallies and public pressure force the greenhouse mafia out and a rigid policy whereby every cent of transport and energy planning was devoted to railway building or freeway demolition developed – along with efforts to greatly improve Australia’s network of conservation reserves that would make housing or energy (or both) less cheap to provide more incentive for innovation in the place that ecologically needs it most.