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MOUTHS AND MONEY October 28, 2009

Posted by wmmbb in Natural Environment.

Those who wish to deny the reality of  climate change engineered by the atmospheric catastrophe that is about to befall us, a product of human foolishness and now outright ignorance, can now take a stand on principle and belief.

They can buy coastal properties and pay with equanimity the insurance premiums.  As someone somewhere remarked, as another raged against the storm, “He that has a house to put his head in has a good head-piece.”

Marian Wilkinson in The Sydney Morning Herald observed on 22 September that the penny has not dropped in the right quarters:

The world is now collectively planning to build so many coal-fired power stations over the next 25 years that their lifetime carbon emissions will equal the total of all the human coal-burning activities since the beginning of the industrial revolution.

That is just one of the alarming facts to come out of the latest World Bank report on climate change, yet the energy industry is spending alarmingly little on research and development that might clean up its emissions – about 0.5 per cent of its trillion-dollar annual revenues.

Now, let the assumption be made that the levels of atmospheric long-lived gases might be related to  the severity of extreme weather events,  ABC Online reports the findings of the House of Reps Environment Committee:

Calls are mounting for a national approach after a report raised the possibility of banning homes that could be threatened by rising sea levels and coastal erosion.

Parliament’s Lower House Environment Committee has spent 18 months examining the effect the changing climate will have on coastal Australia.

The report has found planning laws and insurance rules covering buildings in affected areas will need to change to cope with the evolving coastline.

Julie Bindon from the Planning Institute of Australia says a national standard will prevent new developments being built on vulnerable sites.

“If we have a consistent regulatory framework of what we need to manage and control at local council level when they’re assessing the applications, then [we need to know] some of the detail of what those controls might include,” she said.

Eight in 10 Australians live on the coast and the coastline population is growing, while sea levels are rising.

Already some coastal dwellers have been refused insurance on their homes.

And Marian Wilkinson and Louise Hall report:

INSURANCE premiums will rise if no action is taken on climate change, the financial services minister, Chris Bowen, told Parliament yesterday.

A federal parliamentary report published on Monday recommended that the Productivity Commission investigate the gaps in insurance coverage for owners of coastal property as erosion, sea level rise and storm surges are set to increase with climate change.

The report also recommended that the commission should estimate the value of properties potentially exposed and examine a government mechanism that prohibits the continued occupation of land or future building development on property at serious risk of sea level rise.

The Insurance Council estimates of the value of property in Australia exposed to the risks from rising sea levels and increased storm damage ranges from $50 billion to $150 billion.

A spokesman for Mr Bowen said yesterday that the Government was still considering its response to the report.

Last week the NSW Environment Minister, John Robertson, made public a list of 19 ”hot spots” along the state’s coastline where erosion is a growing problem.

”Ballina is one area that will see, for the first time, areas that will be flooded”, Mr Robertson said. ”There will be other locations just around Sydney in the inner harbour area that will also see water pushing up through the drains into the streets.”

A property valuer on the northern beaches, Tom Webster, said yesterday that homes were still being bought and sold in Collaroy despite it being identified as at high risk from sea level rise.

”There is no evidence of buyer resistance, which I find difficult to understand because if people sat back and thought about what they were buying they might have some longer-term concerns.”

With regard to the Parliamentary Committee report on rising sea levels, where are the climate deniers when you need them. I am anticipating if not actions, at least statements of affirmation and hope of Canute-like magnificence. Now if they could change the world in a blink of an eye, a declaration of faith or conviction why not now? Or are they, in this instance, taking the coward’s way and meekly accepting the science? Or alternatively they could, and probably are buying a house on the beach at Collaroy to demonstrate their convictions. Their undoubted integrity and conviction in the pursuit of truth is admirable.



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