TDB today: up a blind alley (without a paddle)

by Gareth on March 12, 2014

In this week’s post at The Daily BlogUp a blind alley (without a paddle) — I ruminate further on the message to be gleaned from last week’s flooding in Christchurch, and how ignoring the shape of things to come makes for bad government and worse politics:

What happened in Christchurch was not a consequence of climate change (though the heavy rainfall is something expected to increase in a warming world), but an early warning of what will happen to coastal cities as sea level rise takes its toll over coming decades. With CO2 nudging 400 ppm, the planet can expect the sea to eventually stop rising when it is 15-20 metres higher than today. It might take a few hundred years to get there, but if we don’t act to reduce atmospheric carbon it’s not just a distant threat, it’s a long term certainty.

With another storm bearing down on the country from the tropics and severe weather on the cards for much of the country over the weekend, the government may well have to confront another flood emergency. We can only hope they learn something more than how to deploy the prime ministerial mop.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Bob Bingham March 12, 2014 at 2:52 pm

To the credit of Northland regional council they have produced flood maps of the whole district so that everyone knows where flooding (from rainfall ) is likely to happen. I have not checked the sea level rise figure but I expect that they follow the government standard guidelines.
I think that this coming storm is too fast moving to create floods but I am still moving the boat.

noelfuller March 14, 2014 at 11:34 am

When we are advised to batten down the hatches (from the days of sailing ships) a number of people have little idea of the measures they should take. I do note that ChCh residents who are flood prone have this time cleared out their houses.

One would think boaties would have a better idea than most but every time there is an easterly blow in Auckland a number of yachts and other craft end up on the rocks. In one of my pasts I was a marine journalist and took more than a passing interest in this. Chiefly boats went adrift because the anchor rope over the fairlead before the chain was not protected against chafe or was not dogged or because sun rotted polypropylene was in use. More rarely other linkages had worn too far. Once, at a holiday spot, I slept on board our small launch among a number of other similar craft most of which were on the beach and rocks come morning. They had all been anchored in mud with grapnels !

The typical homemade grapnel is made out of two lengths of reinforcing steel or rod doubled over and passed through a short galvanised pipe, the ends being then bent back to form four prongs. They hold on rocks and can be freed if jammed simply by sailing or motoring over them. On other ground they barely hold against a modest breeze..

Macro March 14, 2014 at 1:58 pm

“Chiefly boats went adrift because the anchor rope over the fairlead before the chain was not protected against chafe or was not dogged or because sun rotted polypropylene was in use”

“freshen the nip” :)

ex pusser

noelfuller March 14, 2014 at 4:35 pm

even so and no anchor watch!
I confess the deliberate use of “dogged” in expectation It would fetch a bight :)

noelfuller March 15, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Lusi from Mt Roskill at 14:30 hrs
No “heavy” rain so far! About 27mm of rain fell between 07:15 and 10:10, about 3 since. A bit blustery in the tree tops with average winds in the 20-30kph area, gusts to 39k and one to 50k. Tanks are full but only 2.6 kWh of power have been generated.
Pressure still falling at 997.5 hpa. .

the biofarmer March 16, 2014 at 9:29 am

“Severe weather”?
It does happen from time to time, and always will.
Here in the Manawatu, it is unclear what all the fuss was about. No rain so far and a little bit of wind.
More alarmism to keep the sheeple subservient?

noelfuller March 16, 2014 at 9:54 am

Easy: the fuss focusses on foreshores, lowlying human habitats, downed drains,wreckable rails, crumbly cliffs, bouldered boats and capsizes on continental shelves. Here we had a whole handful of red guavas hit the ground and for once power import exceeded PV power output.

Levity aside it has been bad enough for some.

noelfuller March 16, 2014 at 10:07 am

Did Lusi deliver the westerly push in the tropics that guarantees the anticipated el niño later in the year? That interests me.

the biofarmer March 16, 2014 at 10:14 am

Noel , you forgot the overgrown , unpruned trees in the immediate vicinity of major power lines.
There ought’a be a law against it :-)
God , I hope the guavas were salvageable.

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