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The Forum > Article Comments > A new type of climate debate? > Comments

A new type of climate debate? : Comments

By Ross Elliott, published 12/5/2010

Will urban settlement and economic growth take root in undeveloped areas of Australia, or are more ancient forces at work?

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It is true, as the writer suggests, that living in the Far North is an acquired taste so schemes, say, to make Townsville a major trade centre are not likely to get very far. But then he moves into climate determinism. Climate is certainly a factor in economic development, but it is by no means the only one and arguably not the most important. Most of the climate pattern which the author identifies can be explained by the fact that the Portugese and Spanish settled South America, while the Brits ettled North America and Australia (and Singapore). The Brits had rule of law and tolerated minorities and other religions (or, to be strictly accurate, tolerated them more than the Portugese and Spanish, which is not saying very much). What would have happened if the Brits had settled Brazil? Hard to say, but it might not have the economic troubles it has today.
Posted by Curmudgeon, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 1:57:37 PM
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