15/3/14 Key Mans the Mops

By Mike Johnson

Recent events in Christchurch highlights official reaction to climate change related events: mops and sandbags. For a long time now the scientific mantra has been that no particular weather event can be ascribed directly to global warming; the new understanding is that all weather events now take place within the context of a warming world and increased climate volatility. The Christchurch floods are right in line with climate scientists predictions as to what is in store for that hapless city.

And John Key’s response. Break out the mops.

Push the water back into the water.

A great photo opportunity.

This reminds me of Auckland Councils repose to flood a couple of years ago on Waiheke Island. A number of us have said that when the Causway gets flooded, we’ll know sea-level rise has come to Waiheke. Well, a King tide did combine with some heavy rain, and soon the sea was slopping at the very edges of the Causeway. The Council flew into action and sent a couple of brave lads with yard brooms to push it back.

What’s plan B, boys?

The assumption behind Sandbag-and-Mop politics is that these extreme weather events are one off events after which everything goes back to normal. Within our warming world, however, there is no normal. It was interesting to hear Christchurch’s new mayor, Lianne Daiziel, acknowledging the fact of Climate Change and its effect on the city on National Radio’s morning report recently. We need a lot more of that freshness and honesty.

Note: both images in this blog were found at: