Editorial: Here, we are praying for some rain

By ANTONY PHILLIPS - Editor

A cruel lesson in the reality of the way the world's weather now works (or, perhaps, doesn't work) can be seen in the contrasting climatic experiences of Hawke's Bay and Queensland.
While Queensland continues to be drowned by one of the worst ongoing floods in recent memory, Hawke's Bay is staring down the barrel of a drought.
The irony for many Queenslanders, particularly those in the Lockyer Valley, a seasonal produce region similar to Hawke's Bay, is that their experience of most of the past decade has been surviving drought conditions.
Now they have had rain and rising waters to such an extent that homes and lives have been lost. In Toowoomba and surrounding towns, an 8m torrent of water, an inland tsunami, caused unbelievable destruction.
When you consider the number and extent of extreme weather events such as the Queensland floods in a warming world, it is difficult to give much, if any, credence to the bleatings of climate-change deniers.
In Hawke's Bay, drought or near-drought conditions are distressingly frequent and a huge stress on our agriculture and horticulture industries.
A late summer drought appears perilously close and will be the worst kind of news for a region hoping to claw its way out of recession this year. The last thing we want to hear is that farmers are being forced to de-stock through lack of viable pasture.
We fear it may well happen, however, as it is evident to all that the land is once again parched. A photograph published in yesterday's Hawke's Bay Today showed the low level of the Tukituki River.


Weather-watchers say there is a slight chance of an anticyclone to the south and a low pressure system to the north of the country delivering some decent rainfall in late summer.
Hawke's Bay, unlike Queensland, will pray for some rain.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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