More flooding

Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, June 21st, 2015 - 37 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, global warming - Tags: ,

All the best to those in Whanganui and Taranaki who are coping with the latest floods (I have family in Whanganui).

These floods follow the recent pounding of the Wellington coast, floods in Dunedin, floods in Christchurch, and floods in the Wellington / Kapati region.

Sure are a lot of floods lately.

37 comments on “More flooding”

  1. Sable 1

    Its global warming. I’m in Seatoun, Wellington and I have never seen anything like it. The mayor is looking to put more reinforcing in place around the foreshore over the coming years.

  2. Yes, all the best to those in Whanganui*. As luck would have it, I was in the river city yesterday and I chose to bolt in the early arvo. Even then, I had to leave via a secondary road as the main highway was flooded. Massive slips on the hillsides adjacent to Durie Hill, Wembley and Peat Parks both under water, power out in Aramoho and Snob’s Rock, and the Whanganui river higher than the two most recent floods (and possibly higher than ever previously recorded). Astonishing stuff.

    Good luck to every one affected. I hear the sun’s shining there this morning.

    *Note spelling! Annoy the rednecks, spell Whanganui respectfully.

    • r0b 2.1

      Updated. I pondered that, but went with the spelling from the article I linked to. But as you point out, shouldn’t miss an opportunity to annoy rednecks!

      • Cheers, rOb. I like to think that every time someone spells or pronounces the town inclusively, a little bit more of Michael Lhaws’ divisive legacy is diluted.

        • b waghorn

          Ha ha Lhaws when the whole h debacle was going on i suggested to the artist of the family she should do tee shirts with that on.

  3. We are entering the new ‘normal’

    • johnm 3.1

      Hi R A

      ” Word on the street is we’re all going to die. That’s what the global warming, apocalyptic scientists are saying. But rest assured — the point-of-no-return deniers such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) tell us it’s not all that bad. We still have maybe three to five decades before the jenkum hits the fan. You might make it (maybe), but your kids sure won’t, and you can forget grandkids if any of these folks (even the deniers) are anywhere close to right.

      No doubt you’ve heard talk of the concern regarding the global ice caps melting at some point. You may have even heard that plankton is starting to die off in vast droves due to rising temperatures in the ocean, and that plankton is, essentially, the foundation for the food chain, but did you know that we could have ice-free arctic summers as soon as 2018? The U.S. Navy has predicted ice-free arctic summers by 2016! That’s little more than two years away, folks! And those estimates come from data that gives speculators “95 percent confidence.”

      Again, we’re not dealing in millennia or centuries, but in decades! DECADES! Sometimes less.

      University of Arizona professor emeritus of evolutionary biology, natural resources and ecology Guy McPherson (or Guy “McStinction” as some of his colleagues refer to him) has said:

      We as a species have never experienced 400 parts per million [ppm] of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We’ve never been on a planet with no Arctic ice, and we will hit the average of 400 ppm… within the next couple of years. At that time, we’ll also see the loss of Arctic ice in the summers… This planet has not experienced an ice-free Arctic for at least the last three million years.

      But what does that mean? What are the ramifications of an ice-free Arctic summer?
      Arctic ice caps melting in 2007.

      Without the massive ice caps acting as soft mirrors for solar radiation, the planet will absorb more energy, raising global temperatures across the board. Such developments would begin to change weather patterns, intensify storms, vary the flow of the winds, perhaps even altering the jet stream at some point, which would in turn change weather patterns to a much greater extent.

      Cambridge University’s Peter Wadhams, a prominent Arctic expert who has been studying Arctic ice for 40 years, concurs with “McStinction”. McPherson also stated that studies illustrating temperature increases are “only looking at CO2 in the atmosphere,” but there is another culprit in the global warming process, as well, that is potentially far more devastating than CO2 according to McPherson, Wadhams and others — methane.

      There are some among such “apocalyptic scientists” who believe that current rates of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere due to burning fossil fuels, coupled with massive methane releases due to permafrost melting, could end life on this planet as we know it. Crossing the line of no return may happen extremely quickly, too, if we haven’t passed it already.

      Methane leaking through the ice cracks as observed by NASA.

      Chairman of the Arctic Methane Emergency Group, John Nissen, suggests that without the polar ice caps we may quickly pass “the point of no return”. If methane starts bubbling to the surface from the thawing permafrost, we’ll be in an “instant planetary emergency”.

      According to Dahr Jamail in his Mother Jones article, “What These Climate Scientists Said About Earth’s Future Will Terrify You“, methane “is 23 times as powerful as CO2… 105 times more potent when it comes to heating the planet on a 20-year timescale.” ”

  4. Joanne 4

    And worst flooding since the early 80’s in Hokitika two days ago.

    • weka 5.1

      many of the world’s power holders, including politicians, bankers, and corporations are now acknowledging and working with CC as a reality. They might not be doing what is needed yet, but it’s a process and change is happening. We’re at a tipping point whereby we can move from where we are now to changing urgently. If that dismantles capitalism, great, but personally I’m not willing to wait for that. We need to work with what we have and now.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Yes they are working with the reality of CC; they are buying getaways in Wanaka and the Wairarapa, they are securing spots in 5 star underground bunkers, they are keeping their private jets on standby. But that’s the 0.01%. The rest of the 1% are just as fucked as everyone else but they don’t realise it yet.

        • Paul

          Yes, the SuperRich are sadly so stupid that they think they are immune from the results of disturbing nature.
          They are cutting off the branch they are resting on and living in Wanaka won’t help.

          • weka

            If we want them to change, I’m not sure that categorising all wealthy and powerful people as selfish, deluded and stupid is going to help.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              We’re not going to get any help from the vast majority of them – history shows that the most wealthy and powerful look after only themselves; they have no understanding or care for the lives of ordinary people. Many in the top 10% can be reached however.

              In the end, we will have to rely on ourselves and each other.

              • weka

                Probably doesn’t need to be the vast majority of them at this stage. We need enough for tipping points. They’re humans just like the rest of us, with a range of responses like the rest of us.

    • maui 5.2

      Hopefully when capitalism goes down next time (in the next few years) there will be so much pressure on it, it’ll go down for good. It can’t cope with the world crises we’re facing, and I’m not sure if a reformed version would either.

  5. infused 7

    Yes, climate change. Because this hasn’t happened before.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      Yes, meaningful. Because infused hasn’t commented before.

    • weka 7.2

      “Yes, climate change. Because this hasn’t happened before.”

      That’s right, it hasn’t happened before, Glad you’ve finally caught up.

      • infused 7.2.1

        Might pay to read some books then.

        • adam

          I’ve been advising you to do the for months infused.

          Or maybe you should listen to the Patriarch of Rome.

        • b waghorn

          Shit even dear leader believes in climate change he just can’t see past what it might cost his voters to do anything about it.

        • weka

          Afaik, last time we were at 400ppm there wasn’t a city on the banks of the Whanganui River. I’m sure you can figure out what that means.

  6. Ad 8

    I can easily foresee real estate agents starting to discount properties near a beach or riverfront, rather than increase their value. Retreating to Wanaka or wherever is a logical response, if your logic includes $400,000 for an acre section.

    Real estate markets and insurers will have more effect on human behaviour in the face of climate volatility and severity, than waiting for public policy to lead. Our public order is too weak, reacting too late.

    • weka 8.1

      Wanaka or Queenstown are excellent choices if you want to experience the Alpine Fault shift too 😉

      Both are also susceptible to flooding.

      • Ad 8.1.1

        The shops are susceptible to flooding that’s for sure.
        Most houses are way up the slopes.

        But most importantly, greater weather events may mean bigger dumps of snow.
        Wanaka is the closest thing to heaven on earth.

        • weka

          If frequent big floods take out the CBDs of Queenstown and Wanaka to the point where they can’t get insurance, how do you think that will affect the economy and local house prices?

          Given that the Mayor of Dunedin has said that they will have to relocate 10,000 people because of low lying land, what do you think is going to happen in Queenstown and Wanaka when it realises it has to shift the CBDs that are on low lying land?

          That’s the lakes flooding. Slopes don’t necessarily protect from big rains. I’m not sure that anywhere in NZ is taking climate change mitigation and preparation seriously yet. Dunedin and Wgtn are starting to talk about it at least.

          “But most importantly, greater weather events may mean bigger dumps of snow.”

          Loz. You need precip for snow, and the projection is for more rainfall but longer periods of time in between (ie more droughts). You know we already get winter droughts in NZ right? Also expect more storms and higher winds and then have a think about whether skiing is really that important or even possible.

          • Ad

            Not much will happen in either Queenstown or Wanaka, other than the massive growth we already see.
            They are globally recognised retreat enclaves for the 1%.

            It sounds bizarre, but on low snow seasons they just make snow.

            • weka

              Are you seriously trying to argue that climate change and peak oil will have no effect on ski tourism industries in NZ? Queenstown and Wanaka would have to be some of the least economically resilient places in NZ.

              Yes, they make snow, but you still need cold temperatures for that, and you need non-stormy days to ski in.

              Do you think that snow making will be cost effective once the tourism industry collapses back? How about once power generation becomes tighter?

              • Ad

                I’m not saying it’s just or even logical, but these are playgrounds of the 1%, who will build stop-banks, pay the premiums, form water-holding dams for snow, and pay season passes, for as long as they have that 1% of wealth.

                Flying over half a day to get here, playing on manufactured base, buying high-end luxury goods, drinking the best money can procure, buying massive houses they live in for a month at best per year – international tourism to Queenstown-Lakes has got to be one of the least sustainable tourism economies around. And yet it booms and will continue.

                If we’re having trouble with the growing Chinese middle class impact there, wait for the Indians, Malaysians, and Indonesians to get a taste for snow sports.

    • Colonial Rawshark 8.2

      Real estate markets and insurers will have more effect on human behaviour in the face of climate volatility and severity, than waiting for public policy to lead. Our public order is too weak, reacting too late.

      This sounds about right. Our politicians are all followers.

    • Actuaries at bank and insurance companies have been aware of the increased risk and cost of climate change for a while now. Here’s a presentation from a couple of actuaries from suncorp to the on the subject last year (is easily understood and accessible to the layperson)

      The keeling curve is 57 years old this year.

      I think you overestimate banks and insurance companies’ ability to choose between
      a/ maximum profit and guaranteed extinction, and
      b/ slightly less profit, less chance of extinction

      Personally, I’m pessimistic

  7. Sabine 9

    How much damage would have to be done by flooding for insurance companies to simply stop insuring.

    I am thinking about a few houses in AKL and Wlgt that are build awfully close to rising waters. Same counts for any infrastructure.

    How much is too much?

  8. Save NZ 10

    Don’t worry John Key is putting our taxpayers money into building a luxury Noah’s Ark, They need to privatise Ports of Auckland so they have a handy mooring, It has state of the Art surveillance and GIS so he can motor over to Hawaii to visit his mates, Murray is 1st mate, and their is plenty of Live exports in the hold to offer as free trade gifts.

  9. Good luck to all the people affected.

    We went without power on Sunday – of course we were alright but it doesn’t take much to shift the balance – from disbelief to belief. Do we really have to wait for the politicians to come on board. The proof is in front of our eyes and happens to people we know.

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