What happens when somebody does something stupid to the environment

I thought I’d share a photo I took a little while ago as an object lesson in what happens when somebody does something stupid with the environment.

Coastal erosion near Clifton, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand.
Coastal erosion near Clifton, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.

This is a was-a-road on the coast south of Napier, in New Zealand. It’s at the edge of an alluvial plain. Last time I saw this road – just a few years ago – it existed. Now it doesn’t. I am told that reasons for this erosion flow in part from the way a harbour breakwater construction, some distance to the north, interacted with longshore drift. That has been an issue for decades. But stormier weather patterns brought on by global climate change aren’t helping. New Zealand’s off the beaten track, usually. But to me, irrespective, this highlights climate change as a world problem, right in our back yard. It’s not a single-cause problem, it exacerbates old issues, and it’s going to create new ones. It might be in your back yard tomorrow.

We need to do something about climate change – all humanity, all around the world, working together with kindness, tolerance, reason, abstract understanding, good will to each other, and earnest endeavour as we should. Are we? Uh…no… Damn.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2015

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One thought on “What happens when somebody does something stupid to the environment

  1. You know, I have never seen “An inconvenient truth.” I didn’t see the point in paying money to review what I already knew. In fact, I’ve been watching Science and Nature programming since I was a child in the 70s. Scientists were talking about it even then. AGW was no surprise to me. It didn’t blindside me like it did most of America. Of course, most of my contemporaries were watching MTV while I watched “Nature” on PBS.

    What truly irritates me is how politicians have politicized the issue so that people’s understanding is based upon divisions between Conservative and Liberal, Republican and Democrat. People believe what they will based upon political leanings rather than how they should understand it, and that’s based upon the scientific data.

    Anyone who believes the pure fantasy that scientists cooked up AGW just so they can claim all the money in the world, has no understanding of scientists. If scientists weren’t occasionally forced to eat, they might starve to death conducting research. They don’t think like the people with banal cravings for riches.

    Easily the most infuriating thing is that Humanity possesses the technical know how to correct this problem. It’s like the joke about the tragic death of a man who drowned in a vat of Guinness beer. He died slowly, having to step out three times to pee. The problem is solvable. We just don’t have to will to save ourselves.

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