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The Class of ‘39
Friday, 27 September 2019
Albert Park, Melbourne
By Vern Gowdie
Twitter: @RumRebellionAus

Dear Ralph,
My father was born on 6 November 1929.
His birthplace, the Central Queensland town of Rockhampton, was a world away from New York…the world’s financial hub.
Little did he realise how the events on Wall Street, in the week prior to his birth, would influence his life.
In the 1930s, Australia’s economy shrank by 10%. Unemployment rose to 30%.

Times were tough.
In search of employment, my grandfather left his wife and two young sons in Rockhampton, and travelled to Mount Isa (1400 kms away). Back then, there was no regular, fly-in-fly out, commute. Once you were there, you stayed there.
The children of that era knew no different, that was just how it was. You made do with what you had. There was no hysteria about a doomed future.
My father’s childhood was one of waste not, want not. Nothing was thrown out. Socks darned. Pants patched. Sparse wardrobes consisted of hand-me-downs and your ‘Sunday best’. Wanton consumerism — as we know it — did not exist.
With Dad’s 90th birthday approaching, we’ve been going through old photo albums (ones stored in the cupboard and not in the cloud).
Putting together a record of his life has been a somewhat nostalgic trip.

Considering these kids had lived through one of the toughest decades in modern history and were on the brink of another world war, they looked reasonably happy.
If ever a generation had the right to be anxious about the future, this one did.
On the domestic front, Australia was two years in to a severe drought.
According to the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR) (emphasis is mine)…
‘Drought conditions prevailed over eastern Australia from 1937 to 1945. They first emerged at serious levels in 1937, with New South Wales, Victoria, much of Queensland and parts of Western Australia affected. Isolated parts of New South Wales, notably in the central west, suffered record low rainfall...
‘In Victoria, a very dry six month period provided the right conditions for the disastrous Black Friday bushfires in January 1939.
‘…dry weather occurred again and 1940 was one of the driest years of the century over most of the southern parts of the country. Dams were empty in New South Wales and Brisbane had water restrictions.
‘By April 1945 most Victorian water storage facilities were empty, the Murray river ceased flowing at Echuca and Adelaide faced water shortages.’
Did the Class of ‘39 organise a climate strike demanding the government do something to change unchangeable weather patterns?
Did the government invite a distressed child to scold them over their actions or inactions?
Don’t be silly. This generation had genuine issues to contend with. How to make a living.
Ration stamps. Living with the threat of invasion.
There were even some boys as young as 15, who, with false papers, enlisted to fight for their country. That’s real commitment to the cause.
Besides what could they do about the supposed threat of climate change? Drive less? Turn off the lights? Buy less stuff? Consume less meat? Cut back on plane travel?
They were already doing all of this and more. Not out of personal sacrifice, but out of necessity.
In my father’s youth, every hour of every day was ‘Earth hour’. There were no token displays of look at me and my virtuous BS ways.
And yet, in spite of this generation’s low carbon footprint, the weather remained unpredictable.
Serious drought. Disastrous bushfires. Empty dams. Record low rainfall.
Sounds familiar.


The FC Holden station wagon was the SUV of its day…minus air conditioning, electric windows, power steering, airbags and seatbelts.
There were no designer clothes (or by the looks of it, casual shoes) in our youth. That’s how it was for the working class family.
Compared to my parents, our childhood was one of abundance.
There were still hand-me-downs. Pants were patched. And a ‘make do’ attitude was instilled into us.
However, the post-Second World War era was one of relative prosperity. The world was steadily re-building.
Manufacturing bases expanded to meet the growing demand for automobiles, TVs and electrical appliances.
Our frugal parents used credit to buy a home and car.
However, the mod cons of the day were gradually purchased from savings and/or on lay-by.
If you couldn’t afford it, then you went without. The lessons of the 1930s were seared into the consciousness of our parents.
Household thrift meant our carbon footprint (not that we knew we had one of those back then) was fairly small.
No heating. No air conditioning. No backyard pool. Recycled clothing and shoes. One car.
One TV. One bathroom (in a house of seven people). One phone.
Unbeknown to us, we were doing our bit to minimise our CO2 emissions.
Yet, in my youth we also experienced the effects of ‘climate change’ (emphasis is mine)…
‘From 1965–68, eastern Australia was again greatly affected by drought. Conditions had been dry over the centre of the continent since 1957 but spread elsewhere during the summer of 1964/1965. This drought contributed to the 1967 Tasmanian fires in which 62 people died in one day and 1,400 homes were lost.’
Drought. Bushfires.
Did we organise a ‘climate strike’? Oh how it pains me to say it, but no, we didn’t.
A wasted opportunity to miss a day at school.
Besides I can imagine what my dad’s response would’ve been at the mere suggestion of participating in such nonsense…a swift Size 9 delivered to the backside.
Thankfully we didn’t make a dill of ourselves and stage a ‘climate strike’ against the warming conditions in the late 1960s.
Because in 1970, the Washington Post warned us about the ‘dawn of a new ice age’.

Source: Washington Post
[Click to open in a new window]

Hot. Dry. Cold. Wet.
Come on Mother Nature, make up your mind.
Who would have thought the weather could be so interchangeable and seasonal?
And even more mind-blowing is who would have thought you could create such nonsensical hysteria (and billions of dollars) over something that’s been occurring since the beginning of time.
But someone did…
A climate of fear
Hans Rosling (a professor of global health at Sweden's Karolinska Institute) is the co-author of a fantastic book titled Factfulness.
And it’s not just me who holds Rosling in high esteem. You can see Bill Gates’s endorsement of Factfulness here.
Hans Rosling was also a TED talk sensation…and a believer in climate change. Sadly, he passed away in 2017.
This is an edited extract from page 229 of Factfulness (emphasis is mine):
‘“We need to create fear!” That’s what Al Gore said to me at the start of our first conversation about how to teach climate change. It was 2009 and we were backstage at a TED conference in Los Angeles. Al Gore asked me to help him and use Gapminder’s bubble graphs to show a worst-case future impact of a continued increase in CO2 emissions.
‘I agreed with him completely that swift action on climate change was needed, and I was excited at the thought of collaborating with him.
‘But I couldn’t agree to what he had asked.”
‘I don’t like fear….Fear plus urgency make for stupid, drastic decisions with unpredictable side effects.’
That last sentence has been so prophetic.
Stupid. Drastic decisions. Unpredictable side effects.
The adult climate change zealots are creating the fear their cult leader so desperately wanted to cultivate.
Last week we saw one of those unpredictable side effects.
The climate strike.

The brainwashing of our youth — scaring them witless about the future — is beyond stupid, its reckless and irresponsible.
The parents and teachers who endorse this baseless hysteria should be hanging their heads in shame.
But they won’t be.
Instead they’ll be basking in the warm inner glow of the sanctimonious righteousness that comes from group think.
‘Our little Johnny or Mary was there’.
‘Oh well done you’.
What is it the kids want?
‘"I hope the politicians hear us. They don't really seem to be doing anything," said Albe Gils, 18, who skipped high school and came with two friends to the protest. "It's important that we talk about it now."’
‘"I am here because we want adults to act," said Caroline Muller, 13, who has protested in the past. "It is time to do something."’
There are a lot of demands about ‘adults to act’ and ‘politicians to do something’.
But what about the kids being taught personal responsibility?
Perhaps the education system could remind the students of this extract from President John F Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural speech…
‘Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country,’
If you’re passionate about making a contribution to a better world, then there is only one course of action…
‘Manufacturing the average smartphone is estimated to create around 16kg of CO2 equivalent emissions. If you then add the amount of power the phone consumes over two years of average use then that figure rises to 22kg, but there’s also much more to consider.
‘All smartphones contain hazardous materials like bromine, chlorine, lead and mercury, while more than 1,000 components are made of metals like gold, tin, lithium and tantalum, which, although not poisonous, cause huge damage through land degradation and mining.
‘There are also other ethical considerations to take into account, such as whether the minerals required to build a smartphone have been sourced from countries where workers are not paid properly, treated fairly or where there are human rights abuses or conflicts.’
Ditch the phone and you can tick off a few of the big social issues. CO2 emissions. Land degradation. Worker exploitation.
Go on, do it.
Back your words with actions.
Toss the phone in the bin. This would be a tangible display of your commitment to the cause.
What do you reckon, will these wagging school kids and their virtuous parents and teachers do it?
Fat chance.
Far easier to preach than it is to practice. These do nothings are all show and no go.
In the interviews I’ve seen with the ‘striking’ school kids, not one journalists asked them: Would you like to make a contribution to reducing CO2 emissions by ditching your mobile phone?
Instead, they were given an armchair ride. No hard questions allowed. Airing their grievances. Demanding action. But taking no personal responsibility.
What a pathetic media we have. Fawning over these kids does them no favours.
Failing to teach these kids how to exercise balanced judgement and to take personal responsibility is setting them up for failure in the real world.
The parents and teachers who endorse this mindless stuff need to take a serious look at themselves.
The actions of the dim witted pawns in Al Gore’s grand wealth creation plan have produced an unpredictable side effect on the Depression-era generation (emphasis is mine):
‘The number of elderly people dying in their homes or being rushed to hospital due to the cold is on the rise. A new study from Monash University in Melbourne has revealed a rise in elderly Australians dying because they can't afford to run heating. More than 130 patients were admitted to hospital across New South Wales last winter, suffering complications relating to the cold. The alarming trend follows warnings Australia is suffering through its worst flu season on record, with more than 220 deaths reported already this year.’
Sky News, 1 July 2019
The generation that went without in their childhood — the ones, who through their frugal lifestyles, have produced the smallest carbon footprint — are being forced to go full circle.
Back to rationing their power needs.
Well done Al Gore and your sycophant followers for the ‘success’ of your fear campaign. With an elderly parent, I personally find your over-the-top actions to drive up energy prices repugnant.
The contrast between the Class of 1939 and the Class of 2019 could not be starker.
It’s taken more than 80 years for the pendulum to swing from thrift and self-reliance to spendthrift and self-indulgence.
It feels like we’re approaching that time in the economic cycle when society is about to be given a lesson in what real sacrifice is.
Compared to the crassness of today, the Class of ‘39 really did have class. Happy Birthday Dad.

Vern Gowdie,
Editor, The Rum Rebellion

.................................................. ........................


Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend. - Plautus

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post #2 of 336 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 07:57 AM
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Another good post Harry! I will forward it to a few people that need to read it....but probably won't.
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post #3 of 336 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 09:55 AM
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I enjoyed the read but I am not sure what your point is. Are you a climate change denier? Do you think a smart phone does not save many kilometres of unnecessary driving? Do you think people should be free to damage their environment with no legal consequences? Until the vast majourity of the population is aware of how we are effecting climate it will be impossible to do anything about it. At my age I am not worried for myself but if I was a teen aged person I would be concerned that no serious efforts are being made to stop it.
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post #4 of 336 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 11:34 AM
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The point I got was everyone needs to do their part not just adults and government. Stop having to have the newest of everything, learn to be happy with what you have, but that is just me
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post #5 of 336 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 11:43 AM
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Rob there is not necessarily any correlation between pollution, which is a severe problem, and man made climate change, which is questionable. If smog was a climate driver then we should expect to see aberrations in the local weather around cities like Los Angeles and Beijing. I've never heard of any and you can guarantee that if there were you would have heard about it because it would be irrefutable proof that smog does drive climate. It's also come to light recently that actual measured climate data has been replaced with calculated data. It's been done here in Canada and by NASA and NOAA in the states. The only reason to change the facts is because the facts don't fit your agenda. Then there is the hype about rising sea levels and if Greenland's ice sheet melts it will cause a rise in sea levels of 20 feet. I was very suspicious when I read that so I looked up the area of Greenland and compared it to the area of the world's oceans. If all of Greenland's ice sheet melted it would result in a rise of inches, not feet. And it's not melting. It may be melting near coastal areas but that could be a result of warmer ocean temperatures instead of climate. We know that currents cause changes in surface temperatures and that has nothing to do with man made climate change (el nino and nina e.g.). The snow pack in central Greenland has been building for a while. So too in Antarctica. The warmest decade since 1850 was the 1930s as Harry's article points out. We've been cooling since then. If you remember back to the 70s the scare was that we were headed into a new ice age (we are in fact overdue by about 2000 years I believe). I just got got back from Grande Prairie, Alberta where I work seasonally in the fertilizer industry. It was a bust this fall again for the second fall in 3 years. Summer temperatures were so low that crops didn't mature in time and coupled with continuous rainfalls it has prevented most farmers from getting their canola crops off the fields. The same was true about the weather here in BC. We only had about one week this summer with temperatures in the 30C range. Quite unusual for the sunny Okanagan.

If you want to see graphs using the original recorded data this is the best video I've seen about it and I think everyone needs to watch it. I hope that one underlying theme this gentlemen presents strikes everyone who watches it. It's how to recognize when you are being lied to and manipulated. If you notice all the various graphs that are being presented by governments have different starting points. Some start in the 60s, some the 80s, some the 90s, etc. WHY? Why not start them all at say 1900 or 1850. For everything but satellite data we have records that go back that far. And of course the answer is that if they go back that far the graphs won't show the intended results. We saw our Trudeau government do the same thing with their gun control agenda. They started their graph in 2013. Only going back 5 years should seem odd to anyone so why then? The answer is that 2013 was the lowest year in recorded history for gun violence so anything after that would be an increase.

Here is the video to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=8455KEDitpU

Here is another video of the same person, Tony Heller, speaking to a Washington State Senate climate change panel in 2017. Skip to about the 9 minute mark and you'll get to her him describe his credentials and they are quite impressive. At around 14 minutes you'll hear about how the original data has been altered. https://realclimatescience.com/2017/...-presentation/
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post #6 of 336 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 01:01 PM
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I suppose these teenager 100%. If you read articles in Scientific America, National Geographic and the likes you will see these teenagers are on the correct course. But we like to whine and whimper and set on our fat, fluffy butts and do nothing but complain about those that are trying to make the world a better place for them and their children, and grandchildren. Malcolm / Kentucky USA
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post #7 of 336 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 02:39 PM
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Very good article, Harry. Thank you for sharing. As for those who think it's harsh to doubt AOC, her posse and those who love to raise alarms to panic everyone, I'll keep the majority of what I want to say to myself. (Well, I'm trying, anyway...) But I will say this:

Don't pull the fire alarm when there is no fire; we live in a world these days where things are blown out of proportion, and those in the gullible pool is plenty. And finally: just because you saw it in print or on NBC, CNN, or ABC doesn't make it true; not to say there isn't honest journalism, but many today are more opinions and biased thoughts, than true, investigated facts. And if you believe everything you're hearing in many of our media areas, I feel sorry for you. Open your mind, ears and eyes and take a true look around.
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post #8 of 336 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 02:47 PM
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I think there is evidence to support the belief that there is climate change going on and that climate change has been going on probably for as long as earth has been around. I also think there is evidence that what we are doing to our environment may play some role in that change. It seems that some folks can't wait to plunder the environment if there's a quick buck to be made, or to deny that change is either wise or beneficial as the change may negatively affect them. I have to go along with Rob and Malcolm in thinking that just because we may be don't totally understand the problem, we shouldn't try to limit the damage until we do. There's always a lot more that we need to learn about – remember that in 1491, it was pretty well agreed that the earth was flat and in 1900, 400 years later, it was the general consensus that it would be impossible for man to fly around the beach at Kitty Hawk, let alone fly to the moon. No one seemed to realize that drought, coupled with unsuitable farming methods, could lead to an environmental catastrophe like the Dust Bowl. Maybe if some combination of environmentalists and agronomists had been a little more active, the effects of the Dust Bowl could have been minimized or even substantially eliminated. A small change is better than no change.
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post #9 of 336 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 02:58 PM
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I think renewable energy is the logical way of the future and that a vibrant economy can be based upon it. I see no harm in limiting pollution and I suspect that if CO2 was not invisible we would have been combating it's ascension for decades. Politicians are not a good source for scientific facts or logic for that matter.
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post #10 of 336 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 04:04 PM
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I think one of the big problems was reclassifying CO2 as a pollutant, which the U.S. Gov's EPA did a couple of years ago. Yes there has been a slight rise in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, it is up to 0.04 percent of the atmosphere. However, I read last week that the increase has triggered an increase in the growth of plants and trees in the Northern Hemisphere. The lowest concentration at which plants (and thus humans) can exist is 0.015 percent--a third of the present level and we all die. .

The heating seems to have been concentrated in densely populated areas, particularly those with heavy pollution, lots of paved areas that collect solar heat. So, yes, man does affect the climate, but no one really has a solid take on how much or which way. That is all from predictins made from more than 30 different computer models.

I have not really seen any solid proposals that would actually reduce CO2 levels. The $10 Trillion proposal includes the admission that it will not reduce emissions worldwide at all. The only practical solutions so far have pretty much come from industry. For example, scrubbers on Diesel train engines, new jet engines that have cut emissions by something like 4 percent, perhaps more in recent years with more effective ignition of all fuel and high bypass engines that use the front row(s) of compressor blades as if they were propellers, forcing huge volumes of air to encapsule the engine exhaust, thus increasing total burn of the fuel, and so over powered that they run at about half power when cruising. New cars are incredibly fuel efficient, thus reducing total emissions per mile driven.

The source of the problem is in China, India, Indonesia, Russia and the emerging nations in Africa and other LDC areas. Who is going to tell them that they can't join the modern world, burn energy, have washing machines, cars, motorbikes, heated dwellings, AC in the hellish areas. You going to forbid them? Ready to fight to keep the 3 billion living in poverty starving and picking from dumps. I didn't think so.

What struck me last week was that some agency announced that at this point, the most effective control of CO2, is to plant more trees. Ma nature is already attending to that, so maybe the climate is self correcting--Let's hear three cheers for homeostasis.

If you really want to know why the scare tactics, just look at that $10 to $16 TRILLION being proposed to spend to accompolish nothing much. Doing things that haven't been invented yet, monitored by universities who get paid to produce completely inaccurate models which predictions are always wrong or set so far in the future that we can't audit them. Corporations are licking their chops, thinking about all the gadgets they'll be able to peddle the government to get their cut of the booty. And with the all the panic and rush, it won't matter if the predictions or the gadgets even work.

Climate denier is a meaningless insult meant to silence anyone who doesn't want to piss away all that money, pay excessive taxes, empower pseudo science, believe inaccurate or false information, or be sheep going along with the program. Not so many sheep here.

I'm for serious pollution control efforts wherever possible. Things like the catalytic converter, computer controlled combustion, highly efficient heat transfer tech work fine already. I think that real pollution reduction is important, but no one wants to scare people with that because we already know how to reduce it, so its commodity and the booty is not so tempting. My take on it.

The more I do, the less I accomplish.

Last edited by DesertRatTom; 10-30-2019 at 04:12 PM.
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