In another ludicrously ignorant piece, Rowan Dean, the silliest little fellow from the Sky After Dark (SAD) menagerie, said “This summer I have had a Road to Damascus style conversion, yes folks I am now a firm believer in climate change. My entire summer holiday was a victim of catastrophic climate change; it was so damn cold, so wet and so miserable every single day[,] that I spent most of my summer with the heater on, rugged up in ugg boots and tracky dacks staring at the wet drizzle outside wondering when it was ever going to stop”1. Again, he demonstrates his inability to understand the difference between weather and climate. Weather is what affects our days, whether (excuse pun) it be rugged up as Dean says he was, or sweating profusely in a 40 degrees C western Sydney, as it was today, January 24th, 2021. Climate is the long-term average of the weather for a region or a planet. While Dean has made this silly error before2, this time his repeated stupidity is exacerbated by his seeming lack of knowledge about the reason why this summer has been relatively cool and wet. It was all over the news last year that La Niña was on its way, and that we could expect the summer to be relatively mild and wet. Who told us? Climate scientists and meteorologists and they have known this for decades. These are the same people that Dean disparages because he is convinced he knows better.
Australia’s weather is influenced by many climate drivers. El Niño and La Niña have the strongest influence on year-to-year climate variability over most of the country. They are part of a natural cycle known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The ENSO cycle loosely operates over timescales from one to eight years. La Niña occurs when equatorial trade winds (which blow east to west) become stronger. This results in a drawing of cooler, deeper water up from below, thereby cooling the surface waters of the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean and warming the surface waters in the western Pacific to the north of Australia. This warming in the western Pacific means the area tends to produce rising air (warm air rises, Rowan), cloud development and rainfall (rain comes from clouds, Rowan). As a result, heavy rainfall can occur to the north of, and within eastern Australia. Conversely, over the eastern and central tropical Pacific, air descends over the cooler waters, meaning the region is less likely to develop clouds and rain. As a consequence, while Australia has heavy and widespread rain, parts of South America have drought3.
Dean then whined about politicians including Josh Frydenberg, David Littleproud and Scott Morrison, clambering “aboard the smoky scorched bushfire bandwagon” and acknowledging that climate change was responsible for last summer’s devastating bushfires. “Then of course the international mob all piled on, from Greta [Thunberg] to Prince Charles to the UN to Piers Morgan and every other climate luvvie screeching to the whole world that climate change was to blame for Australia’s bushfires”1. You have to feel sorry for the scientifically illiterate Rowan Dean; he can no longer find solace in the climate change denial and the Covid-19 denial of his great hero, the Mango Mussolini, who has been dumped from the US presidency. Even worse, not only have the climate change ‘luvvies’ proven to be correct, but the epidemiologists seem to have been correct about masks, social distancing and lockdowns, while not taking seriously his advocacy for the ‘Swedish model’ for dealing with Covid-194. Sweden has had over 1,000 deaths per million population, while Australia has had 35 per million5. Poor, sad little Rowan.