Super Storms the Act of a Vengeful GodAn unkind person (or a Christian fundamentalist) would claim the violent storms that racked Sydney in June were an act of a vengeful God. A God who was seeking revenge on Mike Baird’s electorate for the ‘Sins of the Past’ when Premier Bob Askin paved the way for property developers to get their grubby hands on waterfront land. A God avenging the ‘Sins of the Future’ – Baird’s dictatorial amalgamation of local councils. And a God hell bent on getting retribution for the ‘Sins of the Now’ – the ugly urban sprawl housing developments that have slowly replaced the fertile low-lying farmlands that were once our food bowl.
But Pearl is not an unkind person, nor a Christian fundamentalist. And I do not believe that climate change can be held responsible for the woes of the people on the dark side of the bridge. Instead, Pearl implores readers to return to the basic science and geography lessons of high school, for it appears that in our lust for views and profits we have neglected the simple lessons on the topics of erosion and cause-and-effect.
Shorelines erode, simple as that, and if you build your house on one you are an idiot. It’s similar to when you cut down a tree and wonder where the shade has gone. Or you commission a housing development in a flood or earthquake prone area and wonder why the houses don’t stay intact when the big one hits. Or when you over-harvest and ask the government for drought relief because you can’t figure out why your grazing land is no longer arable. Or when you drift net for fish and ponder why fish stocks are depleted.
How dumb and greedy are we? When are we going to stop compensating for our stupid actions and instead do the right thing the first time?
Property developers love to crap on about regulation and red tape stifling their business (i.e. huge profits), but the damage reeked by the June storms is ample reason for an active nanny state – greed will always triumph in an unregulated environment.
The damage that has been done on the northern beaches is due to millionaires wanting to live in waterfront properties at all costs, and developers wanting to line their pockets by building in risky areas. It isn’t due to the severity of the storm or the lack of sandbagging or sea walls; it’s about rich people not taking responsibility for their own actions.
I’m just hoping these rich folk aren’t looking to Pearl’s taxes for compensation or to pay for the construction of ugly sea walls, but somehow I’m reassured that the right wing, user-pay philosophy of the Collaroy Beach dweller won’t allow them to accept government assistance anyway, lest they be labelled ‘dole bludgers’.