Abstract: This book has been written for Indigenous communities and others to learn more about climate change. It also aims to encourage people in Indigenous communities to talk about climate change, and what will help their communities deal with these changes in the weather The book was produced as part of a CSIRO project with Central Land Council Ltyentye Apurte Rangers and elders. Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) is an Eastern Arrernte community 80 kilometres southeast of Alice Springs CSIRO scientists talked with rangers and elders about what scientists think is happening with the weather and what they think is causing these changes. Ltyentye Apurte elders, rangers and others told the scientists some of what they know about the weather and some of the changes they have seen. The rangers were supported to make a PowerPoint about climate change, and present it to different groups in the Ltyentye Apurte community. Indigenous ideas of weather don’t fit into the European model of four seasons any more than the weather in many parts of Australia does. In central Australia, while ‘winter’ is colder and ‘summer’ is hotter, it may rain in either winter or summer, or in neither. Many plants only produce fruit after rains. Some plants fruit after rains at any time of the year, for others the rains have to be at particular times of the year. Indigenous groups have their own concepts and terms to describe the weather. The division into seasons in the Arrernte weather calendar on the following three pages is just one way Arrernte people see the weather. Other divisions and seasonal names could have been used. The calendar does focus on natural events that are indicators of particular times of the year, although it includes some events that happen after rain when it occurs. This project focused on the indicator events in talks with Indigenous elders, rangers and others because these are the variables by which Indigenous people monitor changes to the climate. Some people think these events are happening at different times now.
Notes: CSIRO with Central Land Council
Meg Mooney, Fiona Walsh, Ro Hill, Jocelyn Davies, Ashley Sparrow, Central Land Council Lytentye Apurte Rangers, 2014, Climate change: Learning about what is happening with the weather in central Australia, Book, viewed 17 February 2020, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=2803.