A Run of Good Seasons (1950–59 and 1970–76)
The 1950s and the first half of the 1970s are two significance wet periods during the cool or negative cycle of the Inter-decadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) from 1947 to 1976. These wet years provided a platform for climate optimism—an attitude that saw the Australian environment as fertile and abundant. Rather than drought being the primary driving force in management decisions, it was rain, both immediate and the memory of it, that was the potent force—one that led to miscalculations about the environmental limits of the continent due to over-optimism. But the apparent abundance of the Australian environment was to be checked by the droughts of the 1960s. This period, from the 1950s through to the end of the 1980s, is fascinating in that it sees climate acting as a boost and check to climate optimism in different segments of the Australian community. For rural producers the wet periods were proof that climate was providing. For governments belief in climate began to decline. This wet period is the source of the disparity in the views of the fertility of the land that was evident by the 1980s.