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Sydney Storm damage: forget sandbags, stop these waves with a carbon tax

Massive storm across Australia’s East Coast — 3 dead, 3 missing. Nearly half a meter of rain fell on Wooli (469mm) in 24 hours. Record rain and flooding occurred in NSW, Victoria, and Tasmania. Sympathies to victims and their families.

Storm damage, Sydney, NSW, 2016.

Houses left hanging as gardens and a pool disappear.

ABC 7:30 Report

There is a lot we could say, but for the moment, marvel at the government brain that bans unauthorized sandbags, but taxes people to stop the storms.

The Big-gov solution — fine residents a quarter of a million dollars if they use sandbags.

[The Australian] Families whose multi-million-dollar Sydney homes were last night beginning to break away in another king tide could have faced fines of up to $250,000 if they even used sand bags to try to protect their properties.

Houses at Collaroy have been under threat since at least 1974 but the council has failed to build a sea wall or pump sand on to the beach because of environmental concerns and a belief that it was spending public money for the benefit of private landholders.

Or make that a million dollar fine:

Planning Minister Rob Stokes is proposing to increase fines to $1 million for residents who use sandbags to try to protect their properties as part of a new coastal management bill before parliament.

The council has been considering the issue of sea walls since at least 1992. A proposal in 2002 to build a sea wall was shelved after thousands of residents in the area protested. One concern was that sea walls could cause loss of sand.

Let’s get those priorities straight.

Landholders must pay for their own sea walls:

The council has now implemented a coastal zone management plan that allows for the building of sea walls, but only if land holders go through an exhaustive approval process and pay the full cost.

We would never expect ratepayers to build a private seawall. But all Australians should pay a carbon tax to change the global weather. 

You know it makes sense…

To see photos of the storm: news.com.

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134 comments to Sydney Storm damage: forget sandbags, stop these waves with a carbon tax

  • #
    Leonard Lane

    I do not understand prohibiting sandbags to help control flooding and property damage. Seems like outlawing fire extinguishers.
    Second question: Are there no zoning laws to protect people from building in hazardous locations?
    Even so, it is sad to see these people lose their homes.

    220

    • #
      Manfred

      I do not understand prohibiting sandbags to help control flooding and property damage.

      As Machiavellian as it may sound, Green inaction betrays itself. The rational prohibited by the irrational. Anything that interferes with the ‘natural’ course of things, be it the flow of water or the direction of a firestorm is legislated against. The rational wish to safeguard life and property, whether at the Oceans edge, in the Australian bush or the Canadian forest is prohibited or impeded. The results as we see can be both tragic and calamitous. And more, the Green insanity, the ‘I told you so’ moment is quietly obvious, much as an absence of statistically significant global warming for the last 19 years should be a cause of Green rejoicing. It is not.

      220

    • #
      Peter Miller

      Fined for using ‘unauthorised sandbags’?

      Classic climate alarmistm in action – if it sounds goofy and green, it’s OK, but if it makes sense and protects an individual’s assets, then it’s not.

      As an outsider,I look at most of today’s Australian politicians and ask, “How many of their neck bolts have worked themselves loose?”

      Australia looks like it may be about to suffer from Argentina’s entrenched problem: you have great natural assets, an educated population, plenty of space and an enviable climate, so why do you get so many populist, corrupt and incompetent politicians floating to the top of the cess pit, all hell bent on impoverishing the economy.

      282

      • #

        Peter I will try to answer your query about our politicians. The common thread is that most were active in student politics where they studied arts/Law/economics and then went on to work for the unions or in some politicians office. Then they moved on to parliament after a couple of sorties for pre-selection.

        Whilst most young professionals are working and gaining experience in their fields the up-coming politicians continue with politics, deal making, supporting friends, opposing foes, listening to lobbyists, and really live in sheltered environment somewhat divorced from reality.

        The end result is they have very limited exposure to life’s ups and downs, know little about subjects out of their experience and training, and they tend to be corrupted by the system at an early age. Their expense claims are always a sticking point, a member from WA taking his wife to Cairns on expenses where they have investment property, a former Senator claiming a Capital city travelling allowance whilst staying with his mother in the country and so on.

        190

        • #
          mike restin

          Washington is broken and we want an outsider to shake it up.
          Not even a good insider is good enough.
          The people of the US are looking for a non BS leader.
          We are looking for a bad-assed alpha male/female that loves our country.
          No more being bullied.
          No more losing our treasure without a true fight.
          Too much loss of life and limb against the JV team.

          That’s how I think we got here.
          Now it’s another Clinton or Trump.
          This is how and why we will end up with Trump.

          90

        • #
          Another Ian

          Robert O

          “somewhat divorced from reality”

          Corrected to “Wildly divorced from reality” IMO

          40

      • #

        Peter Miller June 7, 2016 at 8:33 am

        “Fined for using ‘unauthorised sandbags’?Classic climate alarmistm in action – if it sounds goofy and green, it’s OK, but if it makes sense and protects an individual’s assets, then it’s not.” The collective is all!!!, the individual is but some peasant to be stomped upon until all (such stinky effluent), obey their betters!

        50

    • #

      Thou shalt not use sandbags: ATMOSFEAR is supreme!

      60

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Its becasue the extreme eco-loons who are in power view humans as “scum” and “parasites”.

      Another word is : Rewilding

      The eco-loons hope that by letting buildings fall down in storms it will drive the human “scum” away…..

      The old maxim in politics applies – ignore what they say, look at what they do.

      DOnt forget that the ( ha ha – “elected” ) powers that be are just puppets….

      21

    • #
      manalive

      Second question: Are there no zoning laws to protect people from building in hazardous locations?

      Zoning laws may have a place for instance to prevent mixing industrial and residential development or to improve the general environment for the benefit of all.
      This won’t be a popular view but it is not the role of government to protect people from themselves.
      The proper role of government may be to advise or warn people of the risks of decisions they may be about to make and land developers are clearly liable if they conceal important information from prospective buyers but ultimately everyone must take responsibility for how they spend what the government allows them to keep of their own hard-earned money.

      30

      • #
        M Conroy

        Plus, if any industry is able to prevent people from building in unsuitable areas, it would be the insurance industry. If you build a million dollar “sea shack” in an area prone to wild seas, high tides, and combos of them, your insurance should be high enough to reflect the actual, full, rebuilding cost. It’s a high risk policy, and the risk should not be spread across those who could, but prefer not to, build such and live in them. Or those who have no way to even contemplate such – I don’t want to pay for the rebuilding of some millionaire’s ego-palace.

        If you want to build, and live, in areas prone to storms, fires, earthquakes, landslides, etc., then fine by me. Just don’t ask that I help pay for the rebuild when the disaster has demolished everything.

        00

  • #
    Mark D.

    This is what happens when government no longer serves its constituents! This is over “regulation” at it’s finest.

    140

    • #
      Yonniestone

      Banning use of unauthorized sandbags to protect private property = physical over regulation.

      Imposing an unauthorized carbon tax to protect nothing = metaphysical over regulation.

      132

      • #
        AndyG55

        This fine for using sand bags does seem highly ridiculous doesn’t it.

        Must say, I doubt sand bags would have helped those houses in the photo. ;-)

        90

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Cool…just wait for a pollies house to be on the verge of collapse in a storm and tell them it cant be propped up becasue nature always has priority…..that should fix them.

          40

        • #
          Yonniestone

          Maybe one of these monsters would do the trick? ;)

          30

        • #
          Robk

          Andy,
          I think they are talking of things like “geo bags” which are like long lasting over sized bulka bags used for erosion control. They are usually put in place by earth moving equipment or cranes. These would be put in place well before a storm as a prevention method.

          30

          • #
            Raven

            Tell you what though . . . if there were Orange-bellied Parrots living in those houses, there’d be a rock wall Donald Trump would be proud of.

            40

  • #

    So the Australian Government intends to fight natural coastal erosion by introducing a carbon tax to help reduce Australia’s GHG by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 (INDC Submissions). According to the UNFCCC Australia emitted 548 MtCO2e in 2005. With all countries meeting their pledges, global emissions in 2030 are forecast to be 58000 MtCO2e. If Australia opts out that total will be 0.26% higher. If every country opts out (or more accurately if the pledges are worthless) emissions will be 68000. To meet the mystical 2C warming target emissions need to be about 45000 MtCO2e in 2030.
    So any rational policy-maker, who is also a staunch believer, (a truly mythical figure) would know that a carbon tax will make no difference to future warming and hence sea level rise. In the meantime real people are suffering because they block what human beings are very good at – adapting the environment to their needs.

    160

  • #

    In Europe the biggest climate-related disaster this year was the flooding of River Seine in Paris. There is a model that the Australians could learn from. Like storms in Australia, flooding of a river on a very flat flood plain (the Seine in Paris is less than 20m above sea level) is common natural feature. After an extreme flood in 1910, there were many protective measures instituted, from capital projects (reservoirs upstream, river dredging) to well-rehearsed emergency procedures. The emergency procedures were efficiently carried out at the end of last week saving lives and minimizing flood damage. Rather than declaring flooding something they are near-powerless to do anything about, the French have done the opposite.
    Even allowing for the measures to reduce flood levels in Paris, the figures indicate that flooding has become less severe in recent decades. Flooding of the Seine seems to be another set of figures that are going the wrong way for the alarmists.

    70

  • #
  • #
    Ian G

    When the land along those sections is revalued at a lower rate, the council will miss out on revenue. Other ratepayers will need to make up the shortfall. What goes around ……

    120

    • #
      Another Ian

      Ian G

      On the same line but a different stream

      And Qld land rates and rents when the vegetation management act is reflected in commercial values plummeting.

      They might even see a negative “unimproved capital value” but will no doubt fudge that too.

      30

  • #
  • #

    Coastal erosion is a natural event, same as the bushfires: you cannot regulate against them, but you can take steps to mitigate against the potential damage, the problem is the greens want to control everything as they are the self proclaimed experts on climate change, coral reefs, forest and farm management, coastal erosion, energy production ……, all based on the political power of the cafe latte inner city set who vote for Adam Bandt and his colleagues.

    292

  • #
    Robert R

    The Big-gov solution — fine residents a quarter of a million dollars if they use sandbags.

    It is amazing how so many decisions and rules made by groups are so incredibly foolish. So frequently, the groupies making them have no ability to understand the context and consequences of their thinking. This is how power corrupts.

    110

  • #

    And how unbalanced is the reporting. All they mention is the storm damaged houses on the coast. What about the north and west coasts of Australia which were perfectly calm. They should get equal time.

    51

  • #
    MarloweJ

    But, but, our dams will never be full again! I hope one of those houses belongs to the Flim flam.

    91

    • #
      Analitik

      No Timmy’s house was up the Hawkesbury River – I think he sold it after his divorce

      41

  • #
    thingodonta

    Real estate and ocean front views being what they are, some of these houses on the eastern seaboard are built on fore-dune and back-beach areas which were never stable to begin with.

    Beaches are not always stable. Long Reef to Dee Why beach for example has been migrating shorewards for thousands of years. The area where the beach is now is overlying lagoon sediments which used to be well behind the beach; the beach has migrated hundreds of metres shorewards in the last several thousand years, and is continuing to do so. Palm Beach is a sand spit that didn’t exist thousands or years ago, and from memory Many beach is mostly a sand spit to North Head-it seems water used to stretch across to the inner Manly Harbour area thousands or years ago, and where the shopping area is now was inundated at times in early settlement years.

    Bottom line is some areas are prone to inundation during storms, and others need walls to stop the beach moving naturally inwards.

    110

  • #
    Mal

    Back in 1978/80 I lived in Bega and dealt with the local council that managed a road between Bermagui and wallaga lake to the North. It was built on a sand and was east of a coastal lagoon. The beach was some 200 metres to the east of the road. there were a series of east coast lows over a 3 month period that took out eventually took out the road. It had to be rebuilt over a number of years to the west of the lagoon on firm ground. Over the subsequent years the normal long shore currents have returned much of the original beach.
    Coastal erosion has been going on and will continue to occur regardless of any perceived “man made” impact on the climate. People who buy or build on snad dunes or beach fronts need to do their due diligence and understand the risks.

    100

  • #
    Mal

    Back in 1978/80 I lived in Bega and dealt with the local council that managed a road between Bermagui and wallaga lake to the North. It was built on a sand and was east of a coastal lagoon. The beach was some 200 metres to the east of the road. there were a series of east coast lows over a 3 month period that took out eventually took out the road. It had to be rebuilt over a number of years to the west of the lagoon on firm ground. Over the subsequent years the normal long shore currents have returned much of the original beach.
    Coastal erosion has been going on and will continue to occur regardless of any perceived “man made” impact on the climate. People who buy or build on snad dunes or beach fronts need to do their due diligence and understand the risks.

    40

    • #
      M Conroy

      Not just coastal areas – inland lakes and rivers are subject to changes. The Great Lakes, in the US, have both gained and lost water, shores, etc. – several homes I looked at buying 20+ years ago are now gone, as are the ones a street further from the lake edge, lost to the erosion of cliffs and shores; several local rivers are well known for shifting course (East and West branches of the Chagrin River, the Cuyahoga River (up river, above where the dredging and shipping lanes are),the Black River, etc.) and have all changed their banks, some quite drastically, over time, or suddenly in a strong deluge, and roads have been washed out, houses flooded or knocked off foundations.

      The greenies who lived in and along these areas bemoaned the loss of access, housing, “pristine” beaches. They couldn’t blame global warming for Lake Erie’s loss of shoreline, or the eventual return to “normal” lake levels. The Chagrin River (both branches and the main river) has moved around so much and so often that several roads were just not repaired, bridges not rebuilt. When I was a kid, this was explained as “nature doing her thing” and held up as reason why some dams, some attempts at control, were doomed and others were necessary.

      The fact is, nothing lasts for very long, except change, and maybe stupid ideas.

      00

  • #
    David Maddison

    Smart people don’t build on unstable land, flood zones or next to the ocean.

    120

    • #
      King Geo

      I agree David. There is ample stable and well consolidated Hawkesbury Sandstone along this coastline – better to build on those cliffs e.g. Bondi Beach, North & South Heads area etc. But alas as you mention above “too much building on unstable land, flood zones or next to the ocean”.

      100

    • #
      JLC of Perth

      Or cliffs. I used to visit Half Moon Bay in California when I lived nearby. Some houses were built near cliffs overlooking the ocean. I’m no geologist and don’t know what kind of rock the cliffs were, but it was so soft that I could crumble it in my hand. It was more like very dry clay than rock.

      It’s only a matter of time until those houses fall into the ocean.

      Caveat emptor.

      40

  • #
    King Geo

    Cliff top houses at Colloroy collapsing into the ocean after a storm event – exactly what happened earlier this year at Pacifica, California after an El Nino storm event. These are natural events. The lesson learnt here is to not build on unconsolidated beach side cliff tops nor within the 100 year flood zone in low lying coastal settings. It is up to government to ban re-building at these locations or compensate owners so that they can re-locate. Owners should receive compensation because it was government that allowed houses to be built at these locations in the first place. I am not sure of the insurance status of homes in areas like this. Most home insurance policies cover “storm & tempest” but not flooding from the ocean which is not the case here but rather erosion of the cliff face by the ocean. I would imagine the insurance would be very expensive. The other problem is that these homes would have devalued significantly. The only thing that will stop these erosional cliff top events in the future is the next Ice Age and that I am afraid is a long way off – or maybe not – who knows?

    82

    • #
      mark

      ‘Owners should receive compensation because it was government that allowed houses to be built at these locations in the first place.’
      No. Just because government does not prohibit something does not mean it is sensible to do it.
      I, as a taxpayer, am not responsible to compensate someone for doing something risky just because I, as a voter, did not think up all the risky things they might do and tell them not to.

      120

      • #
        King Geo

        The Govt releases the land for residential development. They have a “duty of care” not to release land that is vulnerable to flooding from rivers or the ocean, and also land that is prone to “sink holes”. There was a case here recently in Perth where a resident sued the Govt and received compensation for a “sink hole” issue. And now a neighbour also affected is likely to be compensated as well. This area of the law is a potential minefield. Clearly the land along the coastline at Colloroy was released a long time ago when Govt’s lacked the expertise to foresee the problems currently occurring. Same problem with Brisbane River properties. And what about coastal properties along Geographe Bay between Busselton and Quindalup/Dunsborough here in the SW of WA. It is only a matter a time before a major storm event like Cyclone Alby (1978) will result in a “storm surge” flooding properties a fair distance inland. The coastline in this area is very low lying unconsolidated dunal sands and the other problem is that Geographe Bay is very shallow. I argue that this land should never have been released by Govt for residential development.

        50

        • #
          Annie

          I can see both your points of view Mark and King Geo. However, I do think people buying property should use a bit of (un)commonsense. Surely using one’s eyes, to start with, and doing a proper bit of research into the land and its history is pretty basic? I really cannot see why other people should take responsibility, for example, for the loss of a swimming pool that has been built into a sand dune so close to the Pacific Ocean.

          90

        • #
          Robk

          KG,
          As I understand it that WA case of compensation was because a previous house on the site was demolished because of the stability problems. The council knew, the new owner didn’t(AFAIK), so council had a duty to stop the rebuilding but didn’t.

          70

          • #
            King Geo

            The case I am referring to is a home built in Mullaloo. The owners fought a 20 year legal battle and won – they have only just recently received an ex gratia $800,000 pay out from the WA State Govt mainly thanks to lobbying by former local State MP Albert Jacob. It seems the local Council, insurer & builder accepted no liability before the WA State Govt settled. And their neighbour will also get a payout. A geological examination proved that there was in fact a sink hole in this area. This case means now that State Govts will be a lot more thorough examining land before gazetting it for housing.

            40

      • #
        Another Ian

        Mark

        Hmmm!

        “I, as a taxpayer, am not responsible to compensate someone for doing something risky just because I, as a voter, did not think up all the risky things they might do and tell them not to.”

        How do you, as a tax payer, sit with the situation where landholders have had their commercial value devastated in the name of Kyoto and the entwined state vegetation management acts?

        30

        • #
          Annie

          The owners were already there before these ruinous situations arose and which couldn’t reasonably be foreseen.

          00

    • #
      StefanL

      These were not “cliff top” houses.
      If you use google street view to look at Stuart Street in Collaroy, you will see that cars can drive straight onto the beach.

      40

      • #
        King Geo

        Yes you are right. I have just seen photos of these houses before the storm and they are blocks sloping down to the beach – very vulnerable. The erosion by the storm waves has cut back & down and gives the appearance of a low cliff adjacent to the homes. The question is why weren’t sea walls built in front of these properties? There must have been “storm events” like this in the past sending out a “clear warning” that these homes were in the firing line. I wonder when these blocks were released for housing? These are the sort of questions that need to be addressed. Is the NSW State Govt at fault? If liable the least they could have done was build a sea wall to protect these homes.

        30

  • #
    ianl8888

    This confluence of king tides and storms is not “unprecedented” – nor is the intensity of this episode.

    Collaroy is peculiarly exposed to damage from such a confluence due to it’s geography/geology (eg. Long Reef just to the south traps a lot of north-shifting sand in the shore-line currents).

    Houses have been lost along the Collaroy beach line in the 1940′s and 1970′s in such confluenced events.

    About 60 years ago (mid 1950′s) I personally observed the results as a just-turned teenager. The day before the confluence of king tide and storm, I had been surfing at Collaroy beach with my just bought blow-up surf board (half-size, just a floater). I arrived at the beach just after the storm, expecting and hoping for big waves to use my precious new board on. The water was up to the park line within 50m of Pittwater Road and no beach at all in sight – just small exposures of the underlying claystone/sandstone strata. Yet within a week, the sand cover was back and normal surfing had recommenced.

    Yes, building directly on the shore-line is plain silly – but modern “climate change” is not the cause of risk.

    210

    • #
      PeterPetrum

      Yes, Ian, we lived on the Northern Beaches at Bilgola Plateau for 50 years after arriving in Australia in 1966. I remember one similar East Coast low in the 1970′s that took almost all the sand (and Winifred Atwell’s swimming pool) right off Bilgola Beach, Newport Beach and Avalon Beach, exposing the tree roots of the Norfolk Island Pines in many places. By the end of the year all the sand was back. There was nothing “unprecedented” about this weather system, just that the cub reporters are too young or too far from the beach to remember or know.

      110

  • #
    Egor TheOne

    They should wheel out Climate Sage Kookoo , Flim Flam Flannery , to tell us again how ,’never again will it rain enough to fill our dams’ !

    Also billions spent on ‘renewable junk’ in Aus with no effect on the climate…what a joke .

    Bring back King Canute , I says !….. https://johnrchildress.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/king-canute.gif

    71

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      You know, I wonder if Riari ( who does the climate Haiku ) could turn his hand to maybe Gilbert and Sullivan and the following lyrics from HMS Pinafore:

      When I was a lad I served a term
      As office boy to an Attorney’s firm.
      I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor,
      And I polished up the handle of the big front door.

      Chorus.
      He polished up the handle of the big front door.

      Sir Joseph.
      I polished up that handle so carefullee
      That now I am the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee!

      Hmmm…..oh how nothing changes….

      50

    • #
      john karajas

      Egor, the supreme irony is that Flim Flam was made Australian of the Year some while back and was presented with his award by our then Prime Minister, John Howard.

      41

  • #
    RoHa

    A carbon tax seems a pretty uncertain way of dealing with the problem. Surely a wave tax would be more effective.

    81

    • #
      AndyG55

      ” Surely a wave tax would be more effective.”

      To be charged on all surfers….

      …then because you want to avoid hardship, give them a compensation hand-out of some sort.

      60

    • #
      Egor TheOne

      RoHa ,

      Don’t give them ideas !

      Years ago , i remember commenting that if they are allowed to get away with taxing NSW property owners for water that they caught of their roofs, that soon they will even tax the air we breath .

      And low and behold, ….a great big new air tax , compliments of Carbon Bill and co , and/or Mr Goldman and Sachs of Carbon Credits Malcom .

      Our dismal choices ….the fire or the frying pan.

      Both are of devious character ….. Where is our Donald Trump ? When will we have a real leader instead of U.N. appeasers and renewable racketeers ?

      When will we be rid of these gutless lying self serving good for nothings and get someone and /or a group or party that will be defiant of this ridiculous global warming scam instead of Union lackeys or Big Bank lackeys?

      Maybe some of the minor parties and independent senators do deserve some serious voting in !

      50

  • #
    Pat Lane

    This didn’t take long: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-07/did-climate-change-cause-east-coast-low-storms/7483874

    I resent having to pay for this propaganda with my taxes.

    131

    • #

      In an amazing display of self discipline, Dick DiNatale resisted conjecture on ABC radio this morning. He said it was “always difficult to attribute a single event to climate change, but it was obvious that these events would become more common”. I have not heard a single commentator challenge the notion with the simple question, “ok then what caused the Tasmanian floods of 1929 then”. But these days I expect neither balance nor competence from the media.

      130

    • #
      PeterPetrum

      There should have been a “?” after the title. Nowhere in the article does it blame climate change. Just vague references to the possibilities and to “models”!

      Up here in the Blue Mountains,120k west of the Sydney coast, we had about 150mm of very welcome rain but almost no wind. No “super storm” for us.

      51

      • #
        Egor TheOne

        The co2 taxes must be working in the blue mountains where you are then !

        (there is always a way for the Climate Kookoos to spin it )

        Their facts will always be fudged to fit the faith !

        Maybe the next Climate Model will be an ouija board and an upturned glass ?

        It couldn’t be any less accurate than their other garbage .

        80

      • #
        Bobl

        I live about 100 km west of Brisbane and during the wild and woolly weather it was dead calm where I live. The wind did not penetrate far inland

        50

    • #
      Popeye26

      Pat,

      At the bottom of the article you linked to – my bolding.

      “Disclosure statement: Acacia Pepler receives funding from the Australian Research Council.

      This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.”

      What’s more – she’s named after a tree? Says it all really – doesn’t it!!

      Cheers,

      81

      • #
        Annie

        She might have had hippie parents so not her fault. It’s less strange than that inflicted on the person whose name is Asphyxia who sometimes features in Grass Roots magazine.

        41

    • #
      Bulldust

      I just read this article – see if you can see the cognitive dissonance:

      So did climate change cause this weekend’s storms? No — these events, including intense ones, often occur at this time of year.

      But it is harder to rule out climate change having any influence at all.

      Several times in the article the “models” give no argument for climate change as the culprit, even suggesting less such events in the east coast cool season, but we have to keep the lucre flowing…

      We have seen nothing yet … we have a whole generation of climate “scientists” coming that were fed green nonsense in schools, so expect a lot more snouts in future troughs. There’s a solid climate change prediction.

      101

      • #
        old44

        But it is harder to rule out climate change having any influence at all.

        There was a raindrop just south of Wollongong that was definitely attributable to Climate Change.

        00

  • #
    Geoffrey Williams

    When I see these people who have suffered all this damage to their properties then my heart does go out to them!
    What sort of government/council allows this to happen? Green environmentalists – to hell with them!
    How much better if we as a concerned and compassionate nation helped people in these situations to protect their homes and spare them the awful pain and suffering they now have to bear! The cost of prevention would surely be within our capacity!
    GeoffW

    42

    • #
      mark

      ‘What sort of government/council allows this to happen?’
      Just because government does not prohibit something does not mean it is sensible to do it.
      I, as a taxpayer, should not be responsible for paying the huge costs to protect the houses. The homeowners can do that. If they can’t afford to do it, they are welcome to sell to someone who can.

      81

      • #
        Geoffrey Williams

        Sorry Mark but I think that we should be protecting the coastline around our townsand cities.
        Should we allow erosion to take place just because it’s adjacent to someone’s propery?
        These green controlled councils don’t even allow sanbagging.
        GeoffW

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        • #
          Hat Rack

          That looks like a 4 lane road in front of those houses, so if the houses disappear the road is exposed and will need protection. Which is cheaper – a new re-routed road or a new sea wall? I’ll go with the cheaper option.

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      • #
        Another Ian

        Mark

        Re #21.1 as this might land somewhere else

        See 16.1.2

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  • #

    I have always found it amusing that even though there are only really 2, maybe 3 “action areas” in nature, we choose to live on perhaps the most active one. If you said the shoreline, the edge of a volcano and perhaps the edge of space are the “frontlines” of nature. Then living right on the coast is perhaps the WW1 soldiers equivalent of being able to choose a desk job in Switzerland or a scouting role in no mans land and choosing the scouting role. Then even better than that, whining about being shot at when you get to the front, because you genuinely expected to be able to do that job indefinitely without risk.

    Why is anyone surprised by this? It is basically and perhaps utterly, irrelevant whether so called climate change is responsible here. This would have happened in 100% of cases regardless, only the duration between construction and collapse would vary. The shoreline is called the shoreline for a reason LOL.

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  • #
    Manfred

    safetyguy66, an interesting comment. Made me smile. Living on the slope of, or near a volcano apparently makes sound agrarian (and therefore economic) sense. The balance of risk might favour garnering a few annual crops before it goes bang or molten. Living on the edge of infinite space is just plain, no, damned exhilarating. Things could go pop at any moment but the view is extraordinary in all directions and the stars…
    Living at the waters edge conveys the illusion of ownership of a huge moving and texturally changing space. It embodies freedom from constraint, it smells like freedom and anyway Be beside the seaside appears obviously great for one’s mind and health. The risk of a ‘climate changing’ event spoiling the ensemble is remote. Even Al Gore agrees.

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    • #
      Yonniestone

      On the upside you get free heating 24/7, how sustainable is that?

      Well, until it blows then you can slag off your local council I guess.

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    Analitik

    This is so reminiscent of the fines/jail threats imposed on country landowners who cleared fire breaks in defiance of $tupid green council regs that made it illegal to clear trees unless they were virtually overhanging a house.

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/fined-for-illegal-clearing-family-now-feel-vindicated-20090212-85bd.html
    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/01/in-australia-if-you-try-to-clear-a-firebreak-on-your-land-you-could-go-to-gaol/

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    • #
      mark

      Yes. One of the stupidest arrangements ever. Fortunately in Vic bush landholders can now clear 10 metres around their house and no-one can object. It is not a huge distance, but it can make a difference. The number of people who do not avail themselves of this is astounding. Next fire everyone will be out again, cap in hand.

      40

      • #
        Bobl

        10 metres? Don’t make me laugh, if you want to control fire you need 200m clearance, not 10, a bushfire at 10 metres is so hot that the house could burst into flames from the radiant heat alone!

        I contend that you have the right to clear as much of a fire break as is necessary to preserve your safety on the basis that laws that jeopardise human life are unenforceable constitutionally. A policeman can’t direct you to stand in the middle of the road in front of an oncoming truck and expect you to comply. Same principle in fire breaks

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        • #
          Another Ian

          Bobl

          Well at least 10 metres is better than the 1.5 metres clearing on the road side of a boundary fence we had inflicted along with the vegetation management act etc in Qld. And not much use with timber up to about 20 metres high.

          We’re required to maintain a secure boundary fence as well.

          As one wit said “Where do you get half a bulldozer?”

          I sometimes wonder if such conditions are the result of ignorance or sheer bloody spite.

          10

    • #
      William

      There are two seperate issues here:
      The right to clear land; and fire mitigation.
      Fire mitigation requires the removal of fire prone underbrush. It is this underbrush that burns, and causes most damage and losses.
      Removal of mature trees does nothing to either reduce the risk of fire, or to reduce the damage in the case of fire.

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    • #
      Manfred

      Exactly.

      20

  • #
    Dennis

    I think there is confusion as to the responsibilities of a state government and of local government.

    20

  • #
    pat

    condolences to those who have lost loved ones in the storms, and sympathies to those who have lost/or look like losing their property.

    as for the nameless, faceless, heartless bureaucrats/pollies,
    there’s no end to their madness:

    6 Jun: ClimateChangeNews: Ed King: UN asks governments for 2050 plans to phase out coal, oil and gas
    Laurence Tubiana and Hakima El-Haite deliver ‘roadmap’ to COP22 climate summit, call on governments to think long-term
    Voluntary mid-century strategies “will help countries, cities, regions, businesses, ***investors… understand what it takes to achieve the long-term goals embedded in the Paris Agreement,” the UN’s 2016 “climate champions” write…
    Negotiations are now focused on developing a set of rules for the deal, which could come into force as early as 2017 if it gets formal approval from 55 countries covering 55% of emissions.
    “There is a need to quick-start implementation with a sense of urgency and ambition; create an interface with the real world and solutions, particularly the involvement of non-Party stakeholders; and maintain the political momentum,” write the pair.
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/06/06/un-asks-governments-for-2050-plans-to-phase-out-coal-oil-and-gas/

    (subscription required)
    Financial Times: Fossil fuel groups warned not to ignore Paris accord
    Oil and gas companies that don’t take the global shift towards reducing climate risks seriously could leave them open to financial disaster, Economist Nicholas Stern has told a climate task force set up by the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney…

    CAGW-infested FT throws a dozen countries under the CAGW bus:

    6 Jun: Financial Times blog: Nick Butler: Don’t count on an orderly transition to a low carbon world
    The transition is certainly coming but its implications will be as disruptive and dangerous as those of the Arab Spring. We should be prepared for the consequences rather than misled by wishful thinking.
    The shift to a low-carbon energy system will be smooth, orderly and beneficial for most of the global economy: that is the view of a new set of papers from the Global Agenda on the Future (LINK) of Oil and Gas – a group set up by the World Economic Forum, the organisers of Davos. Unfortunately, all the evidence so far points in the opposite direction. The shift may be beneficial in terms of the world’s environment, but economically and politically the result could be dramatically destructive…
    The authors of the paper, Amy Myers Jaffe, the executive director of energy and sustainability at University of California, Davis, and Jereon van der Veer, the former chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, are serious and well-respected individuals…
    It is not difficult to think of a dozen countries that are currently overwhelmingly dependent on oil and gas revenue and very ill prepared for this transition – Russia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Algeria, Libya, Venezuela, Angola, Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan Kazakhstan and Mexico. In almost every case, national economies are completely centred on oil and gas with subsidiary activity dependent on subsidies of one sort or another. For all of them, the scenario painted by Global Agenda will reduce export revenue (and therefore the ability to buy imports), employment, tax revenue and the capacity for public spending…
    The transition cannot be resisted and it could be very rapid. It should be recognised as a likely source of some of the greatest political instability of the coming half century. There will be winners for sure, but the losers will more evident and more dangerous. The notion of a smooth transition is a ridiculous example of wishful thinking. Remember Tahrir Square.
    http://blogs.ft.com/nick-butler/2016/06/06/there-will-be-no-orderly-transition-to-a-low-carbon-world/

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    pat

    6 Jun: UKDailyMail: EDITORIAL: Stop the insults, give us an honest debate
    With just 17 days to the EU referendum, the Remain camp is looking distinctly rattled. As opinion polls show it steadily losing ground, the tone of the arguments grows ever more petulant and bad-tempered…READ ON
    Wind power failure
    The Mail has long argued that onshore wind farms are an expensive and hugely unreliable power source. Now, even the boss of the industry’s trade body agrees.
    Hugh McNeal, head of RenewableUK, says wind speeds in England aren’t strong enough for the farms to make economic sense, yet there are still ‘several thousand’ turbines in the planning system.
    After years of massive subsidies – paid for by our energy bills – isn’t it time to call a halt to these monstrous blots on the rural landscape?
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3626690/DAILY-MAIL-COMMENT-Stop-insults-honest-debate.html

    5 Jun: UKDailyMail: Victoria Finan: Wind turbine boss admits no more should be built in England because it isn’t windy enough
    Hugh McNeal, chief executive of RenewableUK, made the admission
    He said farms could still be built in other parts of the UK, like Scotland
    The chief executive of the UK’s top wind industry trade body has admitted that more turbine projects in England aren’t viable – because it isn’t windy enough.
    Hugh McNeal, of RenewableUK, made the astonishing admission but did say that projects should still take place in other parts of the UK.
    Mr McNeal said that new projects were ‘very unlikely’ apart from those which have received subsidies and are waiting for construction.
    He said: ‘We are almost certainly not talking about the possibility of new plants in England. The project economics wouldn’t work; the wind speeds don’t allow for it.’…
    The Conservatives have ended the controversial system of offering subsidies for landowners who agree to have a turbine built on their land…
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3625874/Wind-turbine-boss-admits-no-built-England-isn-t-windy-enough.html

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    pat

    MSM has had a field day inserting CAGW into their reports on the storms, but no MSM, except Daily Mail’s online ThisIsMoney website, has bothered to report this!

    (a mere handful of comments, instead of the hundreds it would attract if it were on the main DM website)

    5 Jun: ThisIsMoney.uk: RBS sued for £145m over its alleged role in huge carbon trading VAT fraud
    By Adam Luck For The Mail On Sunday
    Royal Bank of Scotland is being sued for £145million over its role in a huge carbon trading VAT fraud.
    The legal action, which dates back to 2009 just months after the bank was bailed out by taxpayers, alleges that two traders at the bank carried out deals which helped fraudsters cheat Revenue & Customs out of millions of pounds in VAT payments…
    In this instance carbon credits – which are in effect pollution permits issued by the EU – were bought in France, imported into Britain by allegedly sham companies which then sold them on to a series of other allegedly fake firms…
    Between June 8 and July 6, 2009, the court papers state, RBS traders bought 43 million carbon credits linked to allegedly fraudulent companies.
    The deals were said to have been conducted by Andrew Gygax, 41, and Jonathan Shain, 38, who were employed at the bank’s commodities trading division RBS Sempra…
    The legal action is being brought against RBS by liquidators at accountancy firm Grant Thornton acting for creditors – including the Revenue – who have been left out of pocket by the failure of the allegedly fraudulent companies…
    Gygax and Shain, who have since left RBS Sempra to work at Freepoint Commodities, are accused in the documents of ‘recklessly failing to make such inquiries as an honest man would’…
    Earlier this year it was revealed that VAT fraud costs the EU almost £130billion each year…
    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-3625388/RBS-sued-145m-alleged-role-huge-carbon-trading-VAT-fraud.html

    6 Jun: Bloomberg: Gerald B. Silverman: RGGI Carbon Price Sinks to $4.53 at Latest Auction
    The allowance price dropped 13.7 percent from March when credits sold for $5.25 each and is the lowest since March 2014.
    The drop in price continued a trend that began earlier this year and led to a 30 percent decline in March auction prices, when compared to the previous auction in December 2015…
    The decline in prices can be attributed to weak market fundamentals, uncertainty about the RGGI program after 2020 and uncertainty about the future of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, according to Timothy T. Cheung, vice president of Washington-based ClearView Energy Partners LLC.
    Cheung, in a research report to clients, said RGGI carbon prices could sink to $2.10 if one or more of these factors doesn’t change…
    Among the companies eligible to bid in the auction were … READ ON
    http://www.bna.com/rggi-carbon-price-n57982073647/

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  • #
    LightningCamel

    Upon a beach build your abode.
    Away from you sand will erode.
    Silly little primate,
    Blame it all on climate.
    And fail to learn what history showed.

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  • #
    Jeremy Poynton

    Some years ago, when Tony Benn’s son Hillary was some sort of environment minister, a large section of the coast of North Norfolk where has ha a farm was declared “unsaveable”. That part of the East Coast has beeb being eroded by the sea for centuries – it is very friable rock and just washes away.

    Locals pleaded for sea defences to be implemented. They were rejected.

    Oddly, however, for a short distance, a sea wall was built. Along side Mr. Benn’s property.

    Huh

    70

  • #
    ROM

    Off Topic and how!

    The big renewable energy pullback is getting under way and this one is right in the home of one of the largest wind turbine manufacturers in the world, Vestas!

    From the GWPF.

    DENMARK CANCELS ALL COASTAL WIND FARMS, DELAYS NEW BUILT  UNTIL 2025

    Climate and Energy Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt will cancel all coastal wind turbines which were agreed to be build in 2012 and promises to replace them with a new offshore wind farm in 2025.

    The cancellation of the coastal wind turbines will save the country around 7 billion Krones ($1 billion). And when the new offshore wind farm will be constructed from 2025 onwards there will be ample budgets then.

    “For me there is no doubt that an offshore wind farm located far out at sea will be a much better solution,” says Lars Christian Lilleholt who also believes in the visual benefit of offshore wind turbines which cannot be seen from land.

    The government has long sought to postpone the coastal wind turbines and the minister has now pulled the plug completely on the controversial projects.

    “When I think back on the energy agreement from 2012, it was a mistake that agreed to build the coastal wind turbines,” he said.

    By 2025 who the hell will care very much about wind turbines or renewable energy.
    Most of today’s wind farms will by then, likely to be littered with derelict hulks that were once wind turbines.
    And which the once again scammed off tax payer will yet again be expected to fork out to clean up.

    I suspect that the world might have some far more serious problems to handle by 2025 than worrying about CO2 or trying to force fossil fuels such as coal off the market, especially since so many developing nations are currently building huge coal fired power stations to try and lift the living standards of their people to at least a quite modest standard.

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    • #
      ROM

      An addendum to my post #31.

      From Power Engineering international

      Sceptical power industry urged to change

      [quoted ]

      German Paradox

      To illustrate his point he said Germany, the ‘high priest of this movement, had installed the equivalent of a million barrels of oil a day of renewable capacity, between solar and onshore wind.
      .

      Solar is working at 50,000 a barrels a day and 10 per cent utilisation, wind is at 70,000 barrels a day – 17 per cent utilisation .- so that million barrel a day field is working at a 130,000 barrels a day
      .

      You cannot replace baseload with intermittent and promise the people it’s going to work.”

      “The Germans were promised this would all be worthwhile because it would reduce carbon dramatically.

      Yet their carbon emissions per capita are 40 per cent above the UK, France and Italy.”

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      • #
        LightningCamel

        And from the same source, this absolute gem from a Mr Gliding.

        Commenting on the perspective held in the earlier debate among those sceptical of the renewable revolution, Gilding said their belief in fossils as the underpinning of the future of the economy no longer held up.
        “The lack of faith in human ingenuity from some of the world’s biggest capitalists is breath taking.”
        “Energy is the essential to the future of the economy. Energy is the thing that underpins economic growth and will address poverty and the market and technology has come to a point where it says we the market have got a better way of producing energy so you guys are no longer the fundamental underpinning of the economy. You are in a process of dramatic transformational change that you can’t see in front of you. To misquote Douglas Adams in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – so long and thanks for all the energy!”

        So we have airy dismissal of realists who make valid points, using actual numbers, followed by glib dismissal of the difficulty of solving the problems inherent in renewables. He then goes on to assert that the market is driving a change to renewables underpinning the economy, completly ignoring the huge, expensive market distortions necessary to enable any market penetration. Finally we have the backhanded slap at people who refuse to swallow his distorted fantasies.

        Methinks he is gliding very far from the giant thermal of truth.

        20

  • #
    Ruairi

    A carbon tax or cuts in CO2,
    Won’t calm a storm and stop erosion too.

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  • #
    Don Gaddes

    The BoM tells us that the recent precipitation event was “entirely” due to ‘warm waters off Eastern Australia’.(ENSO-speak)
    Well folks, where did Axial Spin go?! Prevailing weather moves (by virtue of Axial Spin,) from East to West.
    More specifically,in Australia’s case, we are subject to cloud movement (Low Pressure) from North-West of the continent to the South-East.
    There are currently six active volcanoes in the Indonesian Archipelago.Mount Sinabung erupted from May 21, 2016 into June, 2016, killing a number of people.
    It’s time the ‘penny dropped’!
    The BoM also informed us (via the ABC Radio,May 27) that a ‘La Nina’ resembling event,(whatever that is,) will occur in July, 2016. So, apparently ENSO can now be ‘predicted’?
    We are still in the grip of a Solar induced Orbital ‘Dry’ Cycle (X Factor,)as described and predicted by Alex S. Gaddes in his work ‘Tomorrow’s Weather’ (1990).
    Gaddes also explained the mitigating effects of volcanism on these ‘Dry’ Cycles.
    I trust David Evans and Stephen Wilde will take note.

    30

  • #
    MudCrab

    Just an observation, but at least two of the houses in that photo have solar panels fitted.

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  • #
    ren

    The current situation in the Pacific. Visible a strong current from the east.
    http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2016/anomp.6.6.2016.gif

    20

  • #
    TimTheToolMan

    Planning Minister Rob Stokes is proposing to increase fines to $1 million for residents who use sandbags to try to protect their properties as part of a new coastal management bill before parliament.

    Sounds like a plan to me. They should also disallow repairs and only endorse demolishing. And have outrageously high insurance premiums too. There…sea level rise “problem” gone and its only the extremely wealthy who suffer ;-)

    10

  • #
    Ramspace

    (a little OT) Carbon taxes and fines have always been dodgy. Now Dayaratna et al. (2016) suggest that the “social cost of carbon” may be close to zero–or even negative!

    10

  • #
    Bruce

    As I once heard a German man interviewed on Australian TV say, ‘Jou haff not shot enough politicians in ziss country.’ I laughed until I cried, but ain’t it the truth!

    10

  • #
    OldOzzie

    The Problem is that the Seawall needs to be built, not for the protection of the houses involved,
    but those houses are all that stands between the sea and the major 6 lane Pittwater Road.

    If the houses were demolished and a Sea Wall not built, it would only be a short time till Pittwater Road came under threat.

    As you can see from the photo at the top of this column, Pittwater Road is immediately behind these Houses.

    10