The wisdom of King Canute

Mavis Price, Castlemaine

There has been a lot of talk recently about using renewables for power generation instead of fossil fuels. This is depicted as a moral battle between the good and the evil respectively. There was a time when to ‘save the planet’ we changed from paper bags to plastic bags to save trees; now we are told to use paper and bamboo so that we don’t use fossil fuels! So which is it?

On Landline in 2007 Professor Tim Flannery (who has a PhD in paleontology) predicted that we wouldn’t have rain in the future, saying, “even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and river systems.” Well, he got that wrong. People make mistakes, however there are consequences. 

That prediction was the argument for building the expensive desalination plant (which has never been used, costs to maintain and needs power to run), and for not building new dams. “Dams don’t bring the rain”, Daniel Andrews said. Well, the rain came anyway.

The water in Forest Creek flooded to the corner of Forest St and Barker St on New Year’s Day 1889. (Photo on page 29 of the Castlemaine Pioneers and Old Residents Association book, A Glimpse of Yesterday in the United Shire of Mount Alexander). I guess we will forever have “droughts and flooding rains” (My Country, by Dorothea Mackellar) despite man’s predictions and puny efforts to control the climate. 

King Canute knew that he was not able to stop the incoming tide, only God can. Humans will never control the climate, whatever is legislated by those in government!

Castlemaine Mail
Your source of independent local news in the Mount Alexander Shire.