I was expecting to wait four weeks, but I received a reply to my complaint about the “worst drought in 80 years” news item in less than 24 hours. Here it is:
Thank you for taking the time to email us regarding a story on the 7pm television news.
The information in our report was based on an interview with climatologist Mr Jeff Sabburg from the Bureau of Meteorology. He was also interviewed by the ABC Country Hour the same day as the annual climate statement was released and said:
“In terms of rainfall deficiencies the comparison is we haven’t seen this across Queensland at least since the 1927- 1929 depression drought. These heat waves we’re getting a number of days in a row above 30- 40 degrees Celsius and then not getting reprieve at night time that’s certainly contributing to the point where there’s nothing much to evaporate away.”
In the 2014 climate statement it also states:
Prolonged rainfall deficiencies continued for inland and south-eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales.
Rainfall was below to very much below average across the South West Land Division and coastal Gascoyne in Western Australia, the majority of Victoria, southeast South Australia, all of Tasmania and a large area covering northeast New South Wales and southeast Queensland.
The story was written based on this information provided.
Thank you for your feedback.
Queensland News Editor
Journalists obviously do not have the time (or, probably, the ability) to check data for themselves. If they did, they would have seen that this claim is absolutely without foundation, as I showed in yesterday’s post. However, such a claim must surely have raised some query, some (dare I say) skepticism, as basically Jeff Sabburg has claimed last year saw the worst drought in living memory. Surely someone at the ABC can remember as far back as 11 or 12 years ago when rainfall deficiencies were demonstrably worse than they have been last year.
The ball now is in the court of the Bureau of Meteorology, who also received feedback from me.
But thanks to Genevieve Hussey for the unexpectedly swift response.
And because I respect and admire any journalists ready to criticise blind faith, whether it be Islam, Christianity, or Global Warming, despite threats,
“JE SUIS CHARLIE”.