Progress In Britain Since 1851

In 1851, Britain built the Crystal Palace for the Great Exhibition.  The building was 560 meters long with about 100,000 exhibits from all over the world showing the latest in manufacturing technology.

That same year was one of the worst fires in Australia’s history – with most of Victoria burned in just a few hours.


PROBABLY one of the most terrible days of which there is any record in Australian annals was Thursday, the 6th of February, 1851, commonly known as Black Thursday. But a small proportion of our present colonists have any recollection of that day, as our total population then only amounted to about 70,000 souls, against the 350,000 of to-day. But such of their number as have access to files of the newspaper published at the time, would do well to turn them over, and, as a warning for the future, glance at the narrative of the disasters of that dreadful day.

We find it recorded that as early as seven or eight o’clock in the morning, the thermometer stood at 117° in the shade. At mid-day it sank to 109°, but in the afternoon it rose again, and at four o’clock was 113°. Monday last was about the hottest day of the present season ; yet the thermometer did not stand above 95° in the shade. Our readers who felt inconvenienced by the increase of heat between that and the usual 70° or 75° will have some difficulty in imagining the sensations produced by a still further rise of 20°. The intense heat of Black Thursday was not it’s only peculiarity. From early morning it was accompanied by a hot wind, almost of the strength of a hurricane, and throughout the day the surface of the country was exposed to the full power of it’s withering influence. Bush-fires raged across hundreds of miles of country, sweeping along with almost the rapidity of lightning, and destroying, nearly instantaneously, men, women, and children, crops and homesteads, fences and gardens, and vast quantities of cattle, sheep, horses, pigs, and fowls. From the whole land arose a cry of utter desolation.

17 Jan 1857 – BLACK THURSDAY. – Trove

Now in the year 2022, the British Government is afraid of industry – believing it causes bad weather. Instead they cut down forests to build giant bird choppers.

14m trees have been cut down in Scotland to make way for wind farms | HeraldScotland

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3 Responses to Progress In Britain Since 1851

  1. dearieme says:

    The trees might well have been in conifer plantations – it had once upon a time became “imperative” to plant these to ensure we never again endured the shortage of pit props that we had had in the Great War. The habit continued into the late twentieth century and perhaps beyond. The wonders of government economic planning, eh?

    Lots of people preferred the appearance of moorland before the conifers arrived. (And some objected to foreign species being planted. A little touch of eco-apartheid there.)

    I doubt that the bird choppers will improve the scenic value of the moors. In a perfect, and perfectly rich, world I’d recommend fencing patches of moor against grazing animals – mainly sheep and deer – and letting native woodland reestablish itself. That would be principally oak and hazel judging by the pollen records. The rest of the moorland could be enjoyed by hill-walkers, grouse-shooters and our woolly friends.

    Alternatively, get going with GMO and grow pineapples, sugar cane, and bananas.

  2. dm says:

    “The Scottish government expects to be generate …” The writer needs more grammar lessons.

    “100% of their electricity from renewables …” Thus, Scots will shiver in the dark 60+% of the time. Maybe that will smarten them up.

  3. dearieme says:

    I dare say it was a typo for “The Scottish government expects to degenerate”.

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