Witches flying on a broom. The History of Witches and Wizards, 1720. See page for author [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guardian: Nine Cattle Killed in One Strike Proves Climate Change

Essay by Eric Worrall

The Guardian has resorted to interpreting evil omens and portents, to try to bolster their push for climate climate action.

How lightning killed nine Queensland cattle in one strike – and what it has to do with climate change

Experts say lightning strikes 1.5bn times a year, but global heating is causing them to shift further away from the equator

Natasha May Thu 17 Mar 2022 16.39 AEDT

Nine cattle were struck by lightning and killed in central Queensland earlier this month during an incident experts say could become more common with climate change.

Grazier John Ellrott said a heatwave that was affecting his property at Morinish and the surrounding Rockhampton region on 7 March culminated in a dry electrical storm. The next day Ellrott discovered his cows dead in a heap in a paddock.

Bluff grazier Cathy Hoare also lost two cows and two calves at her Rockyview property 80km away.

How common is it?

Mark Collins, chair of Ag Force’s Ag Business Committee, said the occurrence was not common, but does happen.

He lost 10 head of cattle 20 years ago in a severe electrical storm.

However, he said it’s unusual to have severe electrical storms in central Queensland at this time of year, since they typically occur through spring to early summer.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/mar/17/how-lightning-killed-nine-queensland-cattle-in-one-strike-and-what-it-has-to-do-with-climate-change

What can I say – back in the old days the ignorant and superstitious blamed witches for mysterious cattle deaths, so I guess there is a kind of cultural symmetry to some people today attempting to blame the carbon demon for anything unusual which happens.

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Tom Halla
March 21, 2022 10:04 am

Exxon was seen adding eye of newt to a cauldron?

Reply to  Tom Halla
March 21, 2022 12:25 pm

Have you price eye of newt lately? No wonder gasoline is so expensive. 😉

Bryan A
Reply to  Rob_Dawg
March 21, 2022 12:38 pm

It must have happened on “Mass Cattlemas Grieve”
Or was it the Dreaded St Gretas Eve”

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Tom Halla
March 21, 2022 2:20 pm

Refers to a Mustard seed. Most of the ingredients of the Witches Brew in MacBeth were herbal.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

Now for a bit of an off topic rant.
Shakespeare did a good hatchett job on MacBeth who was a grandson of Malcolm II and could trace his ancestry back to Kenneth I (Canead) MacAlpin first king of a united Scotland. Lady MacBeth, Gruoch, was also royal her grandfather was King Kenneth III MacAlpin King of Scots. At that time8t to 11th century primogeniture wasn’t how kingship worked in Scotland but Tanistry was used. MacBeth ruled for 18 years and went on a pilgrimage to Rome in 1050, ‘scattering money like seed’.

Very much like the haatchet job done on CO2 by climate science today

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
March 21, 2022 4:02 pm

Herbal? I think every thing mentioned was animal:

newt — frog
bat — dog
Adder — worm
Lizard — owlet

Nary an herb.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
March 21, 2022 4:47 pm

Definitely not vegan.

Craig from Oz
March 21, 2022 6:45 pm

“Chicken isn’t vegan?!”

Reply to  Craig from Oz
March 22, 2022 7:10 am


Great pop culture reference -for those of us that know!

Michael S. Kelly
March 21, 2022 8:38 pm

Definitely not vegan.”

Don’t forget that Shakespeare (26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) wrote after 1521, a time when they had a Diet of Worms…

Michael Ozanne
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
March 22, 2022 6:33 am
Craig from Oz
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
March 21, 2022 7:19 pm

I think we are also seeing a bit of the casual assumption (even when the play was written) that words mean EXACTLY the same then as now.

‘King’. Yes. We all know about what ‘Kings’ are. Royal families. Princesses. Castles. Divine Right. Heir to the Throne and all that stuff.

Slightly different example – the title of ‘Sargent’. We all know what that means, right? Senior NCO. Position of respect and authority and, in many cases, a large degree of Badass.

Historical context? Closer to ‘servant’.

Other annoyance while we are on the topic – ‘Nation’. Sorry, that word has a modern context. It doesn’t translate back in time. When MacBeth was a boy there was no ‘nation’ of Scotland, there was a ‘Kingdom’ or similar, but not a ‘nation’ as we would know it. Nations evolved and came into being as the population slowly began to change their views regarding their collective identity and sense of geographical belonging. It is a tricky concept to explain quickly, but loosely explained as rather then there being a king and the people under his rule being part of a collective, there is a collective and a king/leader is assigned (via whatever process) to rule/lead/exploit over it.

Point being, if you just casually fling words back and forward in the timeline you are not getting a proper understanding.

Reply to  Craig from Oz
March 21, 2022 8:36 pm

So, Rome was built in a day?

Richard Page
Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
March 22, 2022 8:31 am

Define ‘day’! sarc

March 21, 2022 10:06 am

Guardian dabbling in the occult again.

Reply to  rah
March 21, 2022 10:38 am

They are part of a Cult that subscribes to a religion that inculcates sacrifice of virginal human lives for social, redistributive, clinical, and fair weather causes. A wicked solution to a purportedly hard problem.

Reply to  n.n
March 22, 2022 12:34 am

Too true. Once society accepted abortion as legal and not murder, it accepted any other crazy idea readily. Just be mad and sound convincing as you declare your new right to something or call to arms to fight the climate emergency boogeyman – just like old Adolf.

Tom Abbott
March 21, 2022 10:10 am

From the article: “Experts say lightning strikes 1.5bn times a year, but global heating is causing them to shift further away from the equator”

BS (Bad Science).

It’s cooling now, not warming; 0.7C since the 2016 highpoint. The lightning must be moving back towards the equator now, following this logic.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 21, 2022 6:36 pm


Yes pure bullshit that is the world record 68 cows in NSW in 2005 and more south than this 9 cow event.

Reply to  LdB
March 21, 2022 7:00 pm

So one could postulate that increasing CO2 decrease cattle mortality in lightning strikes.

The same as 1893 being the biggest floods CO2 pushing down flood levels.

March 21, 2022 10:33 am

Why does it happen?
Because it happens
Roll the bones

Walter Pate
Reply to  fretslider
March 21, 2022 11:54 pm

Let’s not RUSH to judgement….

March 21, 2022 10:35 am

Here’s a good link to a listing of U.S. fatalities by year since 2006.

Maybe the stats are different in the U.K., or maybe it’s because cattle deaths are included in the U.K., 😉 and they are not included in the U.S. numbers.

Lightning Deaths | National Lightning Safety Council

Hoyt Clagwell
March 21, 2022 10:39 am

I can connect any weather event to Kevin Bacon in only 6 steps or less.

Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
March 21, 2022 10:46 am

Bacon? Is that when lightning hits pigs?

Gunga Din
Reply to  johnbuk
March 21, 2022 12:43 pm

Not in “Green-Land”.
In Green-Land pigs can fly away from such piddling Natural realities as lightening.
(Besides, they have tree-ring-reading unicorns to warn them CO2-powered lightening.)

March 21, 2022 10:44 am

The Guardian ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Here in South Africa we have very powerful weather witches. Climate change is real and it’s happening. See?


John Ledger

March 21, 2022 1:01 pm

Holy cow, I wonder if they used a bull dozer to clean that up.

March 21, 2022 10:46 am

Lighting killing cattle is not unusual, making a big deal about it and blaming climate change is.

John VC
Reply to  mal
March 21, 2022 11:24 am

Yeppers! A friend here in North Central Texas lost 23 to a lightning strike. Guess no one told those cows not to gather under a big old oak tree during a thunder storm

Mike McMillan
Reply to  John VC
March 21, 2022 1:43 pm

Fewer witches burned at the stake lately, more cattle killed.
Coincidence? … or something else?

Old Gobie Jumper
Reply to  John VC
March 21, 2022 8:38 pm

How about 56 elk?
Lightning is blamed for killing 56 elk in the Mount Evans Wilderness during the second week of August. The elk were above timberline on a ridge at 12,200 feet, four miles south of the Mount Evans summit, when the bolt struck. “We^ve found big game animals before that were killed by lightning – it^s probably something that happens every year in Colorado,” said Janet George, wildlife biologist for the Division of Wildlife. “But it^s quite rare to find so many animals killed in one incident.” George and District Wildlife Manager Russ Mason rode into the remote area on horseback Thursday Aug. 19 to inspect the animals after being informed of the loss by a hunter who found the elk during a preseason-scouting trip. Forty-eight of the elk were grouped together within a 60-foot circumference, five other elk were located 75 feet away and three others were located about 130 feet away from the main group. “While this is certainly a tragedy for these animals, the elk population in the Mount Evans area and across the state is in excellent shape,” George said. “From a management perspective, this loss has negligible ramifications for the local or the statewide herd.” Colorado is home to approximately 216,000 elk, with the Mount Evans herd estimated to contain more than 2,400 animals. According to Mason, the loss of 56 elk shouldn^t be a big factor for wildlife watchers or hunters. Few people even make the arduous trip back into the area where the elk died and with well more than 2,000 other elk inhabiting the Mount Evans area, wildlife watching and elk hunting opportunities should be maintained this season, he said. Past incidents of big game animals being killed by lightning have occurred in Colorado and elsewhere. In 1997, six bighorn sheep were killed in Colorado^s Kenosha Mountains; in 1986, 12 elk were killed by lightning along the Continental Divide just north of the Eisenhower Tunnel; and outside of Colorado 53 caribou were electrocuted by lightning in Central Alaska in 1972. Of the animals killed on Mount Evans, nine were calf elk, 34 were cow elk and 13 were bull elk. Of the bulls killed, all were under four years of age. No large, branch-antlered bulls died in the incident. The Division of Wildlife plans to let nature take the lead in disposing of the carcasses, George said. “This was a natural event in a remote area and the obvious best course of action is to let nature finish what it started,” she said. “The carcasses are already well decomposed and a variety of wildlife have been feeding on them. “One thing^s for sure, there are a lot of happy ravens, eagles and coyotes up there right now.”

Ken Irwin
Reply to  mal
March 21, 2022 1:16 pm

Cattle are dumb and because the have 4 legs cannot avoid ground strikes – the lightning dissipates across the surface at millions of volts per meter.
Humans with just two legs on the same radius – no problem – your mate standing next to you at right angles gets killed.
See lightning striking the corner flag at a soccer match in South Africa – generally those players on one leg or both feet on the same radius suffered no ill effects those with both feet on the ground radial to the strike got clobbered.


No one was struck directly.

March 21, 2022 11:08 am

Warmer weather will lead to fewer tornadoes. link

Since tornadoes and thunder storms are caused by the same thing …

March 21, 2022 11:24 am

So less cattle, less methane. Isn’t that what they want?

Reply to  markl
March 21, 2022 1:26 pm

So, this would mean that more CO2 = more lightning = more dead livestock = less methane = lower temperatures, therefore CO2 causes global cooling and we are all going to freeze to death. Send money for research

Reply to  markl
March 21, 2022 2:15 pm

All mammals have flatulence that produces methane. The bigger the mammal, the larger the fart.

Wasn’t it Greenpeace that wanted to save the whales? Now they want net-zero. Bizzaro world.

John in Oz
Reply to  markl
March 21, 2022 9:37 pm

Perhaps another example of Willis’ ’emergent phenomona’ in a self-regulating world.

March 21, 2022 11:24 am

Now, if that lightning strike was the 2nd time it had struck that same place, that would be news.

But hitting the ground as some random cattle just happened to be hanging about there – no big deal.

Man, The Guardian is getting desperate to flog its flaccid news efforts.

(and once again, thanks for reading this tosh for us Eric, and saving us the nausea)

Reply to  Mr.
March 21, 2022 12:16 pm

Wouldn’t be news, then, either. I’ve seen lightning hit the same place several times – and not where anything is sticking up, either. (I’ve often wondered if there is something under the ground in those places. Not owning the property, I can’t satisfy that curiosity.)

Reply to  writing observer
March 21, 2022 1:08 pm

Well there you go.
You sure there wasn’t a mob of cattle lurking under the ground there?

Reply to  Mr.
March 21, 2022 5:59 pm

That wouldn’t be surprising. Many years ago a city slicker friend of ours was visiting us on the prairies, and at a friend’s farm, when he mentioned there were more cattle “down below” she thought there were cattle underground, perhaps like in a subway tunnel!

Reply to  Tomsa
March 21, 2022 7:17 pm

Did she also ask –
“what are their names?”

March 21, 2022 11:26 am

Hold on your horses, or is it the cattle?
This proves that atmosphere is at same time drier and wetter as ‘caca verde’ people were claiming all along.
Drier atmosphere makes for a greater electric charge, and wetter atmosphere makes it more conducive hence such an unprecedented event.
To protect your livestock in the future please wrap your cattle in tin foil, attach a metal chain to the collar so it trails on the ground. In case of a Carrington type solar storm you cattle will be protected from subsequent damage or injury. This is farmhouse husbandry measure advocated by Mr. Michael Faraday, well known cattle farmer from village of Newington in Surrey nearly 200 years ago,

Reply to  Vuk
March 21, 2022 11:50 am

Not only wetter and drier but it’s worse than we thought, vuk.

The cows are 6% deader. Ask griff.

Reply to  H.R.
March 21, 2022 10:58 pm

97% consensus

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  Vuk
March 21, 2022 5:01 pm

Tin is about $30 / kg. Aluminium is about $2 / kg. You rich people can afford tin, I have to use alfoil.

March 21, 2022 11:34 am

We have reaching a new tipping point. Pranksters will not be the only reason for cows tipping over.

Coeur de Lion
March 21, 2022 11:34 am

My daughter was married in SW France twenty years ago. Between the ceremony and the all night party only six cows were struck by lightning.

Michael in Dublin
March 21, 2022 11:47 am

I do believe that geography is also a factor in lightning strikes. I know a city well with large level areas and others that are hilly with far more lighting strikes on the latter. A number of people have also been struck on golf courses but I am not so sure what climate message that has.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
March 21, 2022 12:58 pm

Haven’t you ever watched “Caddy Shack”?

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
March 21, 2022 4:20 pm

Cows are not as resilient as golfers. Lee Trevino, struck at least 3 times in his career, talks about tempting fate:


“Not even God can hit a one-iron”..

Mr David Guy-Johnson
March 21, 2022 11:51 am

Just when I think climate alarmists couldn’t say anything more stupid……

Jeff corbin
March 21, 2022 12:13 pm

This sort of climate change claim reporting is placed to keep the righteous hysteria pump primed.

March 21, 2022 12:14 pm

WUWT ran a video by Jim Steele just a couple of months ago that referenced a peer-reviewed paper that showed the rate of severe thunderstorms has declined almost throughout the world. Once again, the Guardian is wrong and is intentionally misleading its readers.

Uncle Mort
March 21, 2022 12:16 pm

Sounds like Frankenstein’s idea of a barbie.

March 21, 2022 12:24 pm

> “in a paddock.”

Let me guess. A ring of heavy steel and a big tub of water out on an open plain.

Reply to  Rob_Dawg
March 21, 2022 6:23 pm

OR a lateral or pivoted sprinkler boom

March 21, 2022 12:40 pm

Large parts of Queensland powered by”swer” power lines – single wire earth return. Sometimes the earth part fails, and dead cattle next to the pole is an indicator that this has happened.

Robert B
March 21, 2022 12:49 pm

It’s not the greater frequency of lightning strikes, but the greater spread of the legs of cows in the increasingly hotter weather due to climate change (also, cows spread their legs further in extreme cold). This increases the potential difference between legs when lightning strikes nearby, increasing the voltage going through their body and into their hearts. A bit like opening the doors wider in the Capitol building let more Trump supporters through.

This is consistent with predictions of modelling, done this morning.


Reply to  Robert B
March 21, 2022 2:06 pm

Climate change makes weed longer and more dense so cows grow a lot faster and cover more earth area. Duh!

David Sulik
March 21, 2022 12:59 pm

I’ve got some sheep scapula and a hot iron poker that I can lend to them if they want to try the ancient Chinese method.

March 21, 2022 1:01 pm

I warned him not to give those cows kites to pass the time………

Reply to  HotScot
March 21, 2022 4:43 pm

In one ear and out the udder.

Gunga Din
March 21, 2022 1:03 pm

More “weather cows” ( https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/17/explosives-may-be-used-to-dislodge-frozen-cows/ ) but now they have been promoted to “Climate Cows”.

March 21, 2022 1:09 pm

Well, a few winters ago, we had a thunder blizzard. So, strange thing do happen.

Joao Martins
March 21, 2022 1:12 pm

Nine Cattle Killed in One Strike ” ???


March 21, 2022 1:22 pm

So, spring / early summer storms occur a few days before spring. That seems like it isn’t catastrophic. The result is similar to something that occurred 20 years ago, so again, nothing new. Sounds like a good reason to destroy your standard of living and economy to me!

March 21, 2022 1:34 pm

March 7 when this incident occurred was 20 days shy of spring this year. But spring is when these rare incidents are supposed to begin. I guess that this means spring was 20 days earlier this year. Gotta be climate change. Proof positive Griff?

Reply to  DHR
March 21, 2022 1:43 pm

Correction – 13 days.

jeffery p
Reply to  DHR
March 21, 2022 1:54 pm

This happened in Australia. It’s Fall there now, not Spring. Or did I get the date of the lightning strike wrong?

March 21, 2022 1:41 pm

“carbon demon” Eric ??

This ain’t no underling Eric, this is the big red dude himself. Six protons, six neutrons, six electrons.

The number of the beast …. 666

comment image

…. and, with that trident, he’s selling Lithium too.

Gunga Din
Reply to  philincalifornia
March 21, 2022 6:06 pm

Think of the children!
What a world…what a world…

March 21, 2022 1:59 pm

Are they actually serious? I have seen as many as 30 cattle killed by lightning strike on a fence line. What a bunch of lie spewing wankers.

March 21, 2022 2:00 pm

death by methane suicide

March 21, 2022 2:05 pm

To be fair, the article doesn’t say it proves anthropogenic climate change – rather that God may BBQ more cows in the future.

George Daddis
March 21, 2022 2:45 pm

It “could” signal ….just about anything.
If I bought a lottery ticket I “could” win $millions$ (or so the Georgia state government tells me.)

michael hart
March 21, 2022 2:52 pm

If they gave the cattle some seven-league boots, then they could quickly escape such storms. I reckon the Guardian would buy that.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
March 21, 2022 4:30 pm

I lived for decades in Eswatini (Swaziland) and I can tell you that witches are blamed for far more than lightning strikes.

In general parlance, witches are everywhere, witchcraft is ubiquitous and in certain areas, especially high lightning strike areas, nearly everyone practices it. People are particularly pre-possessed with the idea that lightning can be directed towards someone’s homestead in the Mankayane Region. Up there in the highlands, people frequently direct lighting to nearby homesteads of people thought to be directing lightning towards their own place. Sooner or later, lightning strikes one of other of the homes, and this confirms to the bewitcher that their medicine (which they refer to as “cooking up lightning”) is working – they got the formula right.

That Region has one of the highest lightning strike rates in the world. There is a huge amount of iron in the ground there. It is straight south of the Ngwenya Iron Mine. I figured that the people living there would be used to it, would pass it off as nature at work, not no! Every nearby strike is assumed to have been directed there by malevolent neighbours and jealous relatives. So instead of learning to cope, they learn to cast spells and fortify their homes against harm with lightning rods and elevated cables. Everyone knows, everyone else is jealous.

Losing 10 cattle to lightning would be interpreted as a very bad omen. It would indicate that the family’s protective saints had relaxed their grip and stood back, allowing the ever-present risk of lightning into their lives, because of something they had not done. It is not considered a punitive act by the ancestors, that is a European thing. In Africa it indicates that their relationship with those protective souls in the next world has been upset.

So, consider the Guardian’s interpretation. Is it a evil-witch-based calamity of the Euro type, or the African abandoned-ancestor type? The Guardian considers that “we did something bad” and that the dead cattle are the direct, punitive consequence; actually, vengeance.

How European.
How puerile.
How wrong.

I understand that according to Romanian witchcraft, their intention to write the article was sufficient to cause of the preceding event. It is upside down cause-and-effect, kinda like most climate science.

March 21, 2022 5:24 pm

It’s an old cattle problem. Step-potential from just a single lightning strike near a cluster of 9 cattle could easily kill them all in one hit. Their feet are further apart than humans which means the ground potential across their bodies is higher during the discharge. The photo in TheGodian shows them together not spread out over the paddock. No need to conjure the idea of an extreme number of strikes … just blatant propaganda and/or newbee farmers?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Russell
March 21, 2022 8:42 pm

GE developed downed conductor detection algorithms primary to stop cattle slaughter in Texas when lines are knocked down but protection doesn’t trip. The step potential of the cows is huge and pop goes the cow.

Awful way to die.

March 21, 2022 5:26 pm

However, he said it’s unusual to have severe electrical storms in central Queensland at this time of year, since they typically occur through spring to early summer.”

Pure sophistry. Unusual, but not uncommon…
Here in the Mid-Atlantic USA, thundersnow is unusual, but not uncommon.

Cloud to ground lightning strikes, kill people and animals. It’s called sh_t happens! Whenever cold fronts encounter warm fronts.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  ATheoK
March 21, 2022 8:40 pm

We had a thunder blizzard in Red Deer Alberta Sunday morning
Always fascinating

Clyde Spencer
March 21, 2022 6:05 pm

… an incident experts say could become more common with climate change.

It seems that the alarmists are desperate to find anything and everything that could possibly get worse if the mid-latitudes were to get as warm as deserts or the tropics. It really is ludicrous!

Gunga Din
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 21, 2022 6:22 pm

If it’s not actually getting worse, they’ll make it sound like it is.
“Did you know there have been more named winter storms since 2013 since there had been in the 30 winters before 2013?!?”

Craig from Oz
March 21, 2022 6:46 pm

More importantly, were the cows fully vaccinated?

Gunga Din
Reply to  Craig from Oz
March 21, 2022 9:08 pm

Even more important than that, were they fully flatulated?
(Feedbacks and all that.)

high treason
March 21, 2022 7:12 pm

Have we really outgrown fear and superstition? The tactics of only a couple of hundred years ago are being used yet again. If humans really have outgrown such superstition, we would be calling out this rubbish, but alas, some people are still stupid enough to make feeble excuses to justify tyranny to be imposed on all of us. For those that have taken heed of Aesop’s fable-the lamb and the wolf, the message that tyrants use the pithiset and feeblest of excuses to justify their tyranny. Which is worse-the tyrants that use pithy, feeble excuses to justify their tyranny, or the woke bedwetters that make equally pithy and feeble excuses to justify the tyranny. Looks like the woke bedwetters are tyrants themselves!
The human brain has not evolved in 10,000 years – we are as smart and as gullible as those that sacrificed virgins in live volcanoes. Indeed, the same people that were fine to see human sacrifices in the past are fine with human sacrifices from experimental quackccines and destroying cheap, reliable energy, which is the cornerstone of our civilization.

Robert B
March 21, 2022 7:27 pm

“While it was at first thought that the lightning iL the storm which broke over Toowoomba on Sunday night had not caused any damage, it is now learned that Mr. Ted Hehir, of Drayton, had three valuable milking cows killed, while a fourth is suffering from shock. The milking herd was in a paddock about 200 yards from Mr. Hehir’s home, which is situated on the main road. An examination of the carcases of the dead animals revealed that they had suffered severe injuries, all three being badly scorched and blackened. One had her horns buried some distance in the ground, indicating that she was knocked to the ground with considerable force. There was a black mark, two inches wide, extending from the hip to the head on each of the animals. Mr. Hehir’s loss is no small one.”

23 April, 1932

Only three killed, not 6. Must be climate change.

March 21, 2022 8:11 pm

Lightning Science: Five Ways Lightning Strikes People


“Ground Current”

“When lightning strikes a tree or other object, much of the energy travels outward from the strike in and along the ground surface. This is known as the ground current. Anyone outside near a lightning strike is potentially a victim of ground current. In addition, ground current can travels in garage floors with conductive materials. Because the ground current affects a much larger area than the other causes of lightning casualties, the ground current causes the most lightning deaths and injuries.Ground current also kills many farm animals. Typically, the lightning enters the body at the contact point closest to the lightning strike, travels through the cardiovascular and/or nervous systems, and exits the body at the contact point farthest from the lightning. The greater the distance between contact points, the greater the potential for death or serious injury. Because large farm animals have a relatively large body-span, ground current from a nearby lightning strike is often fatal to livestock.”

March 21, 2022 11:37 pm

I love the way a friend of mine described the Guardian “just a ranting left wing rag”!
To quote Professor Philip Stott “I’ll believe in ‘man made’ global warming when the Guardian stops advertising cheap flights”!

Walter Pate
March 21, 2022 11:51 pm

Shouldn’t we be burning witches then?

March 22, 2022 12:38 am

I guess they got tired of blaming aliens.

March 22, 2022 1:15 am

However, he said it’s unusual to have severe electrical storms in central Queensland at this time of year….

And unusual to have yet another 1 in 1,00 year rain event?

UK-Weather Lass
March 22, 2022 1:55 am

The Guardian of 2022 is not to be confused with the Guardian of yore. It is now a purveyor of agenda driven drivel and untruths written by a chattering class that has forgotten what neutrality, objectivity, and morality is, just like the sponsors who wouldn’t support it but for its compliance with their demands. It must think it is in such splendid company and that will prove its greatest weakness. It was once loveable and friendly for all its many flaws. Now it is just dangerous.

March 22, 2022 2:38 am

It reminds me of the old “joke”: Putting “climate” in front of “scientist” is like putting “witch” in front of “doctor”. 🙂

March 22, 2022 5:26 am

Why is anybody surprised after the last two years?

Just like many people once believed that garlic would ward off vampires, many people STILL believe that some cheap, filthy, two-layer piece of cloth in front of their mouths will ward off COVID. Invisible “killers” require a ritual to be safe, and it rarely matters what the ritual is.

Humans are extremely vulnerable to superstitions because it meshes well with the pattern-matching way our brains work. Logic and reason are hard — seeing a picture of Elvis or Jesus in a piece of toast is comparatively easy.

Matt G
March 24, 2022 1:03 pm

The Guardian is trash and has been so for many years.

Lightning can and will kill many species of animals, humans or otherwise when exposed and close together.

Highest Mortality Due to Single Direct Lightning strike was 21 back in 1975.
The lightning flash that killed 21 people in a hut in Manica Tribal Trust Lands in eastern Rhodesia [now Zimbabwe] on 23 December 1975: With regard to this event, the primary sources of information consisted of (a) a news release from the Reuters News Service for 24 December 1975 and (b) a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records for 1977.


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