Remembering rain, deciphering drought: climate and the role of perception in land management

Julia Elizabeth Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the response to drought in NSW, Australia, in the 1960s. In the main it has been argued that drought historically was disregarded--that rural producers were either caught unawares or slow to learn the lessons of previous drought. This paper both challenges this conclusion and extends the examination of drought response in NSW to incorporate the experiences of rural producers to a climate regime that had in the previous fifteen years been predominately wet due to the negative cycle of the Inter-decadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO). By examining the importance of inter-decadal climate cycles this paper not only adds to the understanding of the influence of longer-term climate patterns on environmental appraisals in Australia, but also argues for a broader study of climate history; one that gives voice to the role that perceptions of climate play in the crafting and application of land management strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-100
Number of pages13
JournalHistory in the making
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • climate
  • drought
  • Inter-decadal Pacific Oscillation
  • environment
  • land management
  • Australia
  • La Niña


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