Tim Flannery: “I do feel vindicated” About Climate Change

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Climate Prophet TIm Flannery, who predicted in 2007 that rains won’t fill Australia’s dams, only to see record busting floods in 2011, and who encouraged investment in “straightforward” hot rock geothermal energy, which kind of went nowhere, feels time has vindicated his climate track record.

Vindicated’ Tim Flannery unfazed by climate change critics

Peter FitzSimons
Columnist and author
October 10, 2021 — 5.00am

Dr Tim Flannery, the 2007 Australian of the Year, is the most famous environmentalist in the country and was one of the first people to warn of the dangers of climate change.

Fitz: Tim, despite the flak, you talk as a prophet ahead of your time. Most sensible people will now concede you were right on warning of the dangers of climate change and the denialists were wrong. Do you feel tragically vindicated?

TF: I do feel vindicated. Not sure about “tragically”. We do still have time to get on top of climate change, but we have to move quickly.

Fitz: Even now, however, your critics bring up some of your predictions that were wrong, or at least not yet true, like predicting Perth “will be the 21st century’s first ghost metropolis”. Have you been scarified by that constant bitter criticism?

TF: Not in the least. It goes with the territory I am in. They always leave off the last half of that quote, which was that they’d be the first ghost metropolis unless they made changes. Well, they made changes. Half of Perth’s water now comes from desalination and a few years ago their water commissioner personally thanked me for sounding the warning they needed to get things done. As to the critics, most of them are just doing a job. They are paid lobbyists for the fossil fuel industry. I cannot take them seriously.

Fitz: Do you believe the federal government has genuinely found religion when it comes to taking action on climate change, with more and more of its parliamentarians now beating the drum, or is it all a put-on?

TF: Certain elements within the government know that it is absolutely vital that they change, for the country, for the planet and to win the next election. And the electorate has changed. They all saw what happened when Warringah changed but Tony Abbott didn’t. And I think even Scott Morrison sort of gets it now. I believe he learned a lesson from the bushfires. We had been trying to get to him for months before then, warning of what was to happen. Then when they did happen he went to Hawaii and the electorate reacted accordingly. There was a lesson in that.

Read more: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/vindicated-tim-flannery-unfazed-by-climate-change-critics-20211008-p58yjc.html

The following is Tim Flannery’s dams won’t fill quote, straight from the ABC transcript of his interview in 2007. Flannery notes in his interview that one of the desalination plants he inspired, the Perth desalination plant, is in regular use. He might have forgotten to mention Perth’s population grew from around 1.5 million in 2007 to around 2 million people in 2020.

SALLY SARA: What will it mean for Australian farmers if the predictions of climate change are correct and little is done to stop it? What will that mean for a farmer?

PROFESSOR TIM FLANNERY: We’re already seeing the initial impacts and they include a decline in the winter rainfall zone across southern Australia, which is clearly an impact of climate change, but also a decrease in run-off. Although we’re getting say a 20 per cent decrease in rainfall in some areas of Australia, that’s translating to a 60 per cent decrease in the run-off into the dams and rivers. That’s because the soil is warmer because of global warming and the plants are under more stress and therefore using more moisture. So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems, and that’s a real worry for the people in the bush. If that trend continues then I think we’re going to have serious problems, particularly for irrigation.

Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/local/archives/landline/content/2006/s1844398.htm

Here’s Flannery on geothermal power;

Flannery backs geothermal energy

PM – Friday, 9 February , 2007  18:22:00
Reporter: Nance Haxton

NANCE HAXTON: Geothermal energy is still in it’s infancy in Australia, with experimental sites in South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, but none as yet connected to Australia’s electricity grid.

One of the industry’s greatest proponents is Australian of the Year, Dr Tim Flannery, who told ABC’s Lateline program that the electricity source is one of Australia’s most reliable options for reducing carbon emissions.

TIM FLANNERY: There are hot rocks in South Australia that potentially have enough embedded energy in them to run the Australian economy for the best part of a century.

Now, they’re not being fully exploited yet but the technology to extract that energy and turn it into electricity is relatively straightforward

Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2007/s1844491.htm

Plenty more where they came from.

Given Flannery’s concern his quotes are taken out of context, I encourage readers to read the full references and let me know if you believe I missed anything important.

I think it is fair to say there is a reason why Flannery’s views get less attention in Australia than they once did, except perhaps amongst inner city liberal MPs sucking up to Flannery in the hope of squeezing a few more votes out of his devoted fans.

There is one person in the Tim Flannery saga who has been more than vindicated.

When climate skeptic Aussie Prime Minister Tony Abbott was asked why he planned to fire Tim Flannery from his well paid part time government climate advisor post if he won the election, he reportedly said he did not see the point of paying Professor Flannery about $180,000 a year, for sharing views on climate change which Flannery was obviously willing to share freely with the public.

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Howard Dewhirst
October 9, 2021 10:12 pm

What about all of the other desalination plants?
Perth is different as it has a Mediterranean climate with rain falling mainly in winter, and plants needing water in summer; nothing to do with climate change

Reply to  Howard Dewhirst
October 9, 2021 10:38 pm

What, you don’t remember when it used to rain every other Wednesday through every year?

Reply to  AndyHce
October 12, 2021 4:50 am

Not really…

Reply to  Howard Dewhirst
October 9, 2021 11:33 pm

Along with a growing population you get more hard surfaces – roads and pavements. Storm water from roads and pavements drain into the sea. Less falls on soil and flows to the catchment.

Reply to  lee
October 10, 2021 6:58 pm

Actually, you have it backwards. With increased urban development, with more of the land surface covered with roads, buildings, parking lots, sidewalks, etc. it speeds up runoff flows, leading to greater peak runoff flow rates and runoff volumes. This is hydro design 301 stuff for civil engineers.

Of course in a desert environment such as exists in Australia’s outback or in the deserts of the western US, there is a countervailing effect from planting irrigated non-native grass lawns, hedges, trees, etc. that tend to slow runoff flow rates as compared to the native bare dirt or rocks in a natural desert landscape.

The more “hardscape” there is on the ground surface, the faster and greater the peak runoff flows. The more dense the vegetative cover, the slower and smaller the peak runoff flows, all other factors being equal.

Reply to  Duane
October 10, 2021 8:58 pm

“it speeds up runoff flows” which still flows into the storm drains to the sea.

Reply to  lee
October 11, 2021 5:12 am

It does not reduce the amount (volume) of runoff, which is the important point – it increases the amount of runoff. Otherwise the same precipitation on native soils percolates downward and ends up in an aquifer or interflow zone that may or may not end up in a river that flows to the sea. It is the timing and rates that matter, not the ultimate end stage, which is always the oceans.

Reply to  lee
October 10, 2021 10:49 pm

the problem with Perth is the dams are on the Scarp
The city is a large heat island between the ocean and the scarp
only in rear periods does the water get through the heat island to rain in the dams

add to that the hard surfaces directs the rain to the river

historically Perth had lots of catchment zones to allow the run off water to soak back into the ground water – councils have now reclaimed these and allowed housing to be built on them

Progress of high density living removes what the forefathers new

Stupidity of economics

Reply to  Howard Dewhirst
October 9, 2021 11:33 pm

So the only reason for water restrictions and the dobbing that goes with it is the deplorable state of our water pipelines… Even if it rains they say the same stuff. We dont have the dams to take advantage of any rains we do get – nothing built for years as the population has tripled. Should be fun watching all that rainwater go to waste in the current GSM – plant now!

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Howard Dewhirst
October 10, 2021 10:20 pm

What about the ‘Ghost Metropolis’ claims Tim Tim made about Perth as well?

Tim stated that Perth was basically doomed, and now hides behind his weasel words of ‘might’ to deny that he ever said so.

The desal plants have nothing to do with it. Tim is a fake who’s only real skill set is in long dead small fury animals.

Reply to  Craig from Oz
October 11, 2021 9:48 am

As per his above comment, it will be a ‘Ghost Metropolis … unless they made changes’. The only thing wrong with his comment is that the ‘changes’ he referenced were vague and weasely, just as he intended. Anyone with a function brain would expect that the City would alter the water system accordingly.

Tim Flannery will die withing four days if he does not significantly change the way he is behaving right now. I am absolutely sure of this. But don’t get exited … it is not a threat or even a ominous prediction. Right now he is not drinking any water; if he continues this tack he will die.

Howard Dewhirst
Reply to  Craig from Oz
October 13, 2021 3:50 pm

Yes I do recall that and his passion for geothermal; like many believers he’s not keen on facts. None of the other desalination plants have been used to make water during droughts. Long term care and maintenance on;y

Ed Hanley
October 9, 2021 10:18 pm

Good ol’ Fitz wasn’t just throwing softball interview questions, he was setting them up on a “T” like for little kids, to be swung on and hit out of the park at leisure. It’s convenient when your interviewer is even more successfully indoctrinated than you are. . . Anyway, I’m glad Mr. Flannery is optimistic about the future use of geothermal energy in Australia, because Oz’s Clean Energy Council admits that currently, “The geothermal sector in Australia is still in the early stages of development, accounting for around 0.001 per cent of the country’s total clean energy generation.” Stay tuned. Great achievements are on the horizon.

Steve B
Reply to  Ed Hanley
October 9, 2021 11:09 pm

Fitzy put his head into too many scrums. Hard to know who is further left, Fitzy or Flannery

Reply to  Ed Hanley
October 10, 2021 2:00 am

Considering how much of an impact 0.01% of co2 (officially ) have0.001% of geothermal energy should easily replace conventional energy production anytime soon..
Maybe they can double geothermal energy production to 0.002 %in 2027 by digging a second hole into the ground

Reply to  SxyxS
October 10, 2021 6:15 am

Or keep digging deeper into the one hole they have, SxyxS.

Dig deep enough** and you’ll eventually hit all the geothermal energy you could ever possibly use.

To defeat ‘Climate Change’ one must ignore the First Rule of Holes.

**How thick is the Earth’s crust there?

4 Eyes
Reply to  Ed Hanley
October 10, 2021 3:55 am

Hot rocks don’t work. The conductivity of the rocks is low (I’ve seen on temperature logs just how long it takes rocks to reheat after shutting in a waterflood). This means that the transient to steady state is slow but eventually the steady state resevoir temperature is not much greater than the injected water temperature which means the steady state energy transfer is not much. i.e. the steady state electricity generation is not much. The slow transient from hot to cool fools most people into thinking that they’re on to something at first but then reality bites. Of course you can get around this by drilling and fraccing hundreds of wells which by their very nature are deep and expensive and sometimes have very high frac gradients. We did sums on this in 1982 and couldn’t make a case for hot rocks even then.

Reply to  Ed Hanley
October 10, 2021 7:09 pm

We already have geothermal in coral bay – steam from the artesian basin.

Mike H
October 9, 2021 10:20 pm

I remember in his book, “The Weathermakers” he talked how nat gas could be a solution but there was insufficient supply. Funny, how with the expansion of horizontal fracking and vast supplies, it is no longer a “solution”. Since it is a threat to their green crap investments nat gas must become a CC problem. Shameless shill(s) is all he/they is/are.

Reply to  Mike H
October 10, 2021 2:14 am

It can no longer be a solution for a second reason .
It turned out to be effective and a real alternative.
As the destruction of energy supply is the real agenda and dysfunctionality is the only thing in communism that works (for the less equal animals)
real solutions will always end up on the enemy list.
Therefore,whatever reasonable solution they present on their road to 3rd worl….postmodernism,the solution itself will become the enemy at one point
as globalization of poverty is the main goal.(so no matter how futureproof your car etc. is calledtoday,it’ll be called a dirty threat to the environment/climate tomorrow as
” one can never be woke enough “)

Reply to  Mike H
October 10, 2021 4:06 am

Horizontal fracking works well in the USA, due to the rock stress facilitating vertical cracks. this makes horizontal holes hugely productive and large areas can be drilled from the one surface site.

In Aus, the stress fields are oriented differently and produce horizontal cracks. This means limited volumes of shale gas can be drilled from one site, and costs are much higher than in the US.

Most of the gas reserves in Aus are in conventional fields.

R Taylor
Reply to  Dean
October 10, 2021 6:17 am

This isn’t my field, but this sounds silly. A sedimentary basin doesn’t know whether it is in Aus or the US and the dominant stress is from the gravity of overlying material. Furthermore, since the hydrocarbon-bearing strata are more continuous horizontally than vertically, we drill horizontally and it seems we would want horizontal fractures to “extend” the hydraulic conductivity of the holes.

Bill Rocks
Reply to  Dean
October 10, 2021 12:52 pm

R Taylor is correct that at depth, the dominant stress field is normally the vertical load of the overlying rock. At shallow depth, ~ less than 1000 meters the vertical load (stress exerted by the overlying column of rock) can be less than the horizonal stress resulting in horizonal induced fractures. A long time ago, some professionals called these penny fracs because the induced fractures resembled the orientation and shape of a penny lying on a table.

In some tectonically active regions (tectonics means the forces and movements in the earths crust) such as in regions of colliding continents, etc., the horizonal force exerted by tectonic activity is greater than the overlying load of the rock column and you get something other than vertical propagation of the induced fracs.

October 9, 2021 10:36 pm

 The only possible reason for paying Professor Flannery about $180,000 a year would be if he would promise to shut up and never talk about ‘Global Warming ‘or ‘Climate Change’ ever again.,

October 9, 2021 10:40 pm

Didn’t Flanno get $90 million from Kevin Rudd for his hot rocks farce?

Andy Espersen
October 9, 2021 11:11 pm

Nobody is as blind as a person who does not want to see.

Peter K
October 9, 2021 11:43 pm

Poor Tim must have been living in another country or under a rock since 2007. Australia has had a number of floods and a couple of droughts, just as it has done for the past 100 years or more. Two very wet years recently with most of Australia seeing above average rainfall. There are a couple of small patches that have missed out in QLD. The winter of 2021 was down by 1.5C in Central Western NSW. Most dams are overflowing.

Last edited 11 days ago by Peter K
Reply to  Peter K
October 10, 2021 2:20 am

Places with huge deserts are having droughts for thousands of years by default,
otherwise they would be no huge deserts.
But somehow “Experts” forgot about this the same day they forgot about the ice age scare.

Reply to  Peter K
October 10, 2021 4:53 am

1/3rd into oct and the nights are still Under 10 frost again and days lucky to hit20c
and im not in tassie. 2c last night 1 or less tonight
im miserably cold

October 9, 2021 11:51 pm

You can’t fix stupid.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
October 10, 2021 12:21 am

Ya’ gotta wonder where the real stupid lies.

  • Is it the stupid pol crying climate alarmism garbage that pushes policies that drive up electricity prices?
  • Or is it the voter who votes for the pol crying climate scam alarmism that only increases monthly electricity bill?
Last edited 11 days ago by joelobryan
October 10, 2021 12:17 am

The Green-Marxists have always depended on the weak-minded like Flannery to promote their scam in exchange for a dollar.

Lewis Buckingham
October 10, 2021 12:35 am

It was reported yesterday that even if the wall of Warragamba Dam was raised by 14 metres it would have only stopped the recent flood spilling into the Hawkesbury by two days.
This shows how huge the catchment and rainfall can be .
What the report failed to point out, though, is that this delay would allow better flood mitigation of down stream damage while still allowing environmental flows and more storage for the Sydney population.
Sydney is now the biggest in Australia.
But Flannery’s prediction was wrong.
The total water catchment is over 93% full.
Warragamba itself over 96%.
With the prediction of another La Nina condition in the Eastern Pacific, we expect more rainfall over its catchment.

KatoombaClose Precis
Forecast issued at 4:16 pm EDT on Sunday 10 October 2021.
Detailed Katoomba Forecast
10 OctMon.
11 OctTue.
12 OctWed.
13 OctThu.
14 OctFri.
15 OctSat.
16 OctSummary
http://www.bom.gov.au/images/symbols/large/storm.pngRain at times. Possible storm.http://www.bom.gov.au/images/symbols/large/showers.pngShowers.http://www.bom.gov.au/images/symbols/large/showers.pngShowers.http://www.bom.gov.au/images/symbols/large/showers.pngShowers.http://www.bom.gov.au/images/symbols/large/showers.pngShowers.http://www.bom.gov.au/images/symbols/large/showers.pngShower or two.http://www.bom.gov.au/images/symbols/large/partly-cloudy.pngPartly cloudy.Max. Temperature8 °C10 °C13 °C19 °C13 °C14 °CMin. Temperature6 °C6 °C6 °C8 °C7 °C7 °C
Now if the CO2 theory is right, one would expect that increased sea surface temperatures would increase evaporation of sea water leading to more rain.
The CO2 theory is not that CO2 is the ultimate greenhouse gas, its that the water vapour increase is the major greenhouse effect.
Since Sydney is coastal and not a Mediterranean climate, one would expect the dam to fill, which it does.
More water vapour, more rain.
Prof Flannery is off script anyway.
What he predicts is contrary to an exact reading of his own theory.

Reply to  Lewis Buckingham
October 10, 2021 3:55 am

Can I add Flannery has blamed the 2020 bushfires on AGW completely overlooking the prolonged drying out of the biosphere in south eastern Australia due to the combination of the Indian Ocean Dipole and the Southern Annular Mode weather systems as readily explained by the Bureau of Meteorology in 2019
He is of course has company as the AGW cause of the disastrous fires has been pushed quickly and continually by the left media such as the ABC the Guardian and the Fairfax press

Reply to  Thomho
October 10, 2021 5:48 am

Australian climate – floods which fill the great inland rivers; Cooper and Diamantina, which in turn fill lake Eyre and recharge the Artesian basin. Droughts; which allow it all to dry off. Fires; which occur naturally via lightning and stupid people. Tim Flannery as a biologist knows that the Australian fauna and flora are adapted to this climatic cycle. It’s only people with the memories of goldfish see every, flood, drought, fire as the end to life.

Iain Russell
Reply to  Chris*
October 10, 2021 9:18 am

Criminal arsonists, not stupid people.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Iain Russell
October 10, 2021 8:30 pm

Most of the time it’s stupid people.

Reply to  Lewis Buckingham
October 10, 2021 4:54 am

see the natives are restless over the proposal
doubt it will go ahead anytime soon
so much wokeness in aus

Mason Crawford
October 10, 2021 1:05 am

Tim Flannery is definitely a climate alarmist as evidenced by his math. Only a climate alarmist could equate 15% to half!

Jan de Jong
October 10, 2021 1:13 am

He is vindicated. Idiocy is more popular than ever.

October 10, 2021 1:18 am

Tim and a load of old flannel

Few feel vindicated by being constantly wrong

Last edited 11 days ago by fretslider
Ed Zuiderwijk
October 10, 2021 2:06 am

A deluded prophet interviewed by one of his groupies. What do you expect?

Rich Davis
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
October 10, 2021 7:20 am

Aha! So as his critic we now have proof that you’re being paid by fossil fuel interests!

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
October 10, 2021 7:59 am

This is right up there with the claim that having one of Mann’s acoloytes re-run the same data through the same flawed statistical methods, and getting the same results, proves that the hockey stick was right.

a happy little debunker
October 10, 2021 2:09 am

He is a paid lobbyist for the climate change industry. I cannot take him seriously

There, all fixed….And it didn’t cost anyone a single dime!

October 10, 2021 2:33 am

They don’t call him Flim flam Flannery for nothing and Fitz aka bandanna man is a massively biased lefty who is wrong on nearly everything he touches. It’s always a great love-in interview when everybody has the same opinions.

October 10, 2021 4:41 am

I wish the UK government would listen to the prophets of doom, or even to their own technical advisers.

No major reservoirs built since 1991, population increase 57m to 67m. Our water supply infrastructure is no longer fit for purpose.

Vulnerability to drought off the scale. But follow Greta and everything will be OK.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Jphn
October 10, 2021 12:20 pm

You spelled ‘profits’ wrong…

October 10, 2021 4:49 am

its been bliss NOT hearing his voice at all for some time

Reply to  ozspeaksup
October 10, 2021 4:13 pm

2014/15 financial year the then Coalition Liberal-National Government led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott defunded Flannery’s non-government organisation office of climate change or whatever he called it.

PM Abbott was criticised and misquoted when he said that the IPCC climate data was “crap”, the leftists claimed that he was in denial and said climate change was “crap”. Around that time Christopher Monckton warned Australians that the globalist climate hoaxers were working to remove him from office (and the same for the Prime Ministers of Canada and New Zealand who were like minded sceptics).

Coach Springer
October 10, 2021 5:41 am

Seasonal bush fires = climate change = vindication. Shocking reasoning, unsurprising reasoning.

Reply to  Coach Springer
October 10, 2021 4:08 pm

Australia is the land of “droughts and flooding rains” and seasonal bushfires have been taking place since the major climate change around 130,000 years ago when rainforests covered the land, and as the weather conditions became hotter and drier the rainforests were replaced with eucalyptus that tolerated the change, today rainforest covers about 3 per cent of Australia.

Reply to  Dennis
October 10, 2021 4:23 pm

What the climate hoaxers ignore about bushfires in Australia is that The Australian Aborigines had developed their seasonal burning tradition to contain the damage bushfires cause.

They burnt areas regularly every few years in rotation when weather conditions were favourable, the patchwork burning kept fuel for bushfires low and therefore fires were cooler and less damaging, wildlife could escape the fire. Each section burnt was extinguished when it reached the previously burnt areas around it. This created open conditions between trees, encouraged growth of natural grasses to attract animals and made living conditions for the people much easier.

Of course the Aborigines developed their burning tradition from observing nature and natural bushfires.

Unfortunately the leftists have adopted a protect the forests attitude and all but ignore the management of the land developed by the Aborigines and as a result too many areas have been subjected to very damaging and hot wild fires. Notably following years of dry drought conditions and the heat of summer.

Thankfully in parts of Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, the traditional seasonal burning has been reintroduced in more recent times.

October 10, 2021 7:21 am

Like interviewing an old Rock star about his career achievements, without ever mentioning that nobody is buying the records any more….having heard them all as background music on TV advertising far too often….

October 10, 2021 7:35 am

Flannery was and still is detached from reality. His opposition to dams being built is irrational, claiming rain will decrease to the point that dams won’t fill flies in the face of the science that a warmer atmosphere actually supports more moisture to fall as rain.
However it was an interview with Neil Mitchell on Melbourne radio discussing plans to build more dams in Australia’s northern tropical areas that revealed how irrational his thinking is.
When asked why he was opposed to the plans, he replied that the dams won’t be built where there is sufficient rain to fill them, but when asked which dams was he referring to and where were they going to be built, he had to admit that he didn’t know where they were being planned to be built.
He was unable to respond when Neil then asked him, “if you don’t know where the dams are to be built, how do you know there won’t be enough rain to fill them?”

Flannery is seriously delusional. Fitzsimons is another clown. Who is still listening to them?

October 10, 2021 8:11 am

So he is constantly wrong and he is proud of that fact. Typical leftard.

Iain Russell
Reply to  2hotel9
October 10, 2021 9:19 am

But he knows where the quids are!

Reply to  Iain Russell
October 10, 2021 12:43 pm

Of course, it is not about the climate at all, it is all about stealing tax payer dollars.

Pat from kerbob
October 10, 2021 11:08 am

I go with Clive James in Reef Death Dies Hard.

“It remains dangerous to get between Flannery and a camera”

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
October 10, 2021 4:25 pm

The High Court of Australia will announce a decision on the Professor Peter Ride case this week.

October 10, 2021 11:15 am

Where are the Australian climate psychologists when you need them to expertly describe the actions, claims, and motivations of climate cultists and their followers? Beyond that of course there is fact checking which has been relegated to bias defense teams instead of facts like those commonly understood in prior generations. The ever expanding Climate Crusades are impressive not just for their breadth but for their insulation from rational questioning.

October 10, 2021 4:00 pm

Tom Foolery

Iain Russell
Reply to  Dennis
October 10, 2021 5:46 pm

Flim Flammery!

October 10, 2021 4:04 pm

The man who predicted that the Sydney Harbourside Opera House would be underwater by 2000, that many dams would never fill again because of insufficient rainfall and who owned two waterfront properties on the Hawkesbury River just north of Sydney.

October 10, 2021 6:46 pm

It is obvious this professor dude is talking out of his hindquarters about subjects he knows nothing about. He is certainly no hydrologist or botanist when he claims that drier weather “causes less runoff due to more stressed plants taking up more water in the soil”.

Utterly ignorant poppycock!

I think everybody can understand and agree that drier weather causes less moisture available to plants, and that having less moisture results in less density of plant growth. The reduced vegetative cover density in turn lowers the resistance of the ground surface to precipitation runoff … which speeds runoff and increases both peak flows and total volume of runoff. Engineers cal this “time of concentration” or Tc… and that peak flow rates and total runoff volumes from a given storm in a given watershed are inversely proportional to Tc.

Practically speaking, anybody who knows anything about desert landscapes (such as a lot of Australians do) knows that deserts are far more prone to dangerous flash floods than are densely vegetated landscapes.

The second part of his claim, concerning “plants taking up more water” and thus reducing runoff simply reveals his complete ignorance of surface water hydrogeological modeling. Tc’s are proportional to the maximum flow distance, slope, and vegetative cover, as explained above … and are typically measured in single or double digit minutes for smaller watersheds, or in hours for larger watersheds. The time it takes for a green plant to take up excess moisture via its roots is measured in days, not minutes or hours … and thus is negligible for purposes of determining storm runoff.

Virtually every one of the world’s millions of civil engineers, ag engineers, farmers, horticulturalists, and foresters understand these principles far better than does this obviously in-over-his-head pretender.

Reply to  Duane
October 10, 2021 7:10 pm

There are also other factors affecting runoff peak flows and total runoff volumes, called “antecedent moisture content” and porosity that works in the opposite direction from vegetative cover density. If soils are very dry and porous such as sands in a typical desert environment, the initial runoff is soaked up by the soils before surface runoff begins. Whereas wetter and less porous soils like clays runoff faster, and saturated soils runoff even faster still. All of this is accounted for in typical hydrological runoff models that engineers use to design storm water management systems.

Finally the average slope of the ground surface has a very large effect – runoff peak flows and volumes are proportional to surface slopes.

Again, for this self proclaimed “expert” to make the claims made in this interview is misleading and wrong.

October 10, 2021 8:10 pm

It’s climate science he does not understand, for he is the Wombat Man.


October 10, 2021 10:45 pm

I love the picture

shows what a jester he really is

shame he still gets airtime by the likes of the ABC

need to defund these socialist national broadcasters

October 11, 2021 1:53 am

Plenty more where they came from.

You can say that again as there are still plenty of doomsters about-

BOM severe weather outlook for 2021-22 suggests floods, cyclones on the cards (msn.com)

But don’t let those declining numbers lull you into a false sense of security. 

Sounds like those pesky dams are gunna fill and runneth over again or maybe not eh Tim? Howsabout I toss and you choose?

Reply to  observa
October 11, 2021 3:09 am

Was that in the Glasgow Chronicle special edition for the climate conference later this year?

Same here in the getting ready for summer left leaning media publications and television.

October 12, 2021 4:49 am

I am still waiting for the climate change idiots to show PROOF that manmade climate change is anything other than a hypothesis. I am waiting for them to make some specific predictions using the “science” they have uncovered and for that prediction to be 100% accurate. Until that happens, it is just a bunch of government shills that get paid tens of millions of dollars per year, saying exactly what they are paid to say!

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