Thursday, 17 January 2019

Dats Shtraya, Mite.

Acting PM Michael McCormack offers his scientific assessment of the Darling River disaster: Sometimes it rain, sometimes it dont. Dats Shtraya, mite.

The man blabbered the official party line and that’s it. End of story. No mismanagement, no water over-extraction, no climate change, no nothing. Everybody did their best. It just didn’t work.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Monday, 14 January 2019

Menindee: an Act of God?

Screen capture from ABC Broken Hill website, taken at 18:41 (AEDT)

Yesterday Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud met with the water “managers” of the affected states in the Murray-Darling Basin to decide what to do about this mess, report Carrie Fellner and David Wroe, from the Sydney Morning Herald.

Judging by Littleproud’s announcements, not much:
He said he’d offered NSW “any assistance it requires as it responds to these incidents, and to rebuild fish stocks when it rains” and announced $5 million for a native fish management and recovery strategy that would come from MDBA coffers.
$5 million.

Given the high temperature and luminosity prevailing in regional NSW, a new algal bloom is being forecast any time in the next few days. More mass fish death is predicted.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

The Devil in the Details: Algal Blooms.

It is accepted that the recent mass fish kill in the Darling River was triggered by an “algal bloom”. But what on earth is an algal bloom?

Believe it or not, I think some basic, high-school level science could throw considerable light on the whole catastrophe, counter some misconceptions about it and offer valuable, if sobering, lessons for the Left.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

The Darling Dilemma.

2018 annual rainfall compared to historical
rainfall observations. (source)

The Darling River is no longer flowing for lack of water and what little water there is for human and non-human consumption is contaminated with masses of rotting dead fish.

NSW independent MP Jeremy Buckingham’s personal account of the situation around Menindee:

NSW MP vomits after witnessing mass fish deaths in Darling River
By Rachel Clun. 10 January 2019 — 11:35am.

Monday, 7 January 2019

Second in Less Than a Month: Mass Fish Death.

A second mass death of Darling River fish -- just reported by ABC News Online -- comes less than a month after the events of December 20th -- mentioned here -- and it appears to be of larger proportions. ABC News reports up to a million dead fish, versus ten thousand in December.


Sunday, 6 January 2019

“Losing a Third of the Species on a Hot Afternoon”.

I try to keep up to date with environmental news. Yet, I missed this one:


09-01-2019. Importance of flying foxes (Department of Environment and Science, Queensland Government):
Flying-foxes are crucial to keeping native forests healthy. They play an important role in dispersing seeds and pollinating flowering plants. Because flying-foxes are highly mobile, seeds can be moved locally and over great distances. (...)
High mobility also makes flying-foxes very effective as forest pollinators. Pollen sticks to their furry bodies and as they crawl from flower to flower, and fly from tree to tree, they pollinate the flowers and aid in the production of honey.

Friday, 4 January 2019

L'Apocalypse des Animaux.

I stole the title of this post from an old Vangelis album.


The dramatic Queensland bushfires monopolised the public’s attention during a few weeks in late November/early December. That’s understandable. Events of such magnitude, where human lives and property are visibly at stake in our own TV screens, have a way to grab our attention. The media coverage was extensive.

At about the same time, however, the Australian media reported other events. Although I’ve discussed them with some friends, I doubt the wider public really noticed, for they didn’t receive the same level of coverage.

Still, I feel obliged to not let those perhaps deceptively little tragedies pass unacknowledged.