Christmas Bells

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Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What heavy rain looks like.

I know lots of people have had heavy rain recently (at least in NSW).
But I had to chuckle (just a bit) at the reports of apparent torrential rain in the northern and northern beach suburbs of Sydney last night. They got close to 100 mm, and in some cases, most of that fell within an hour. That can make for a messy situation, I do understand. But to listen to the ABC radio this morning, one would have thought it was the end of the earth.

Society needs to understand that we need to build to match the conditions. And with Climate Change, our weather "events" are become more and more extreme.

Roofs of nightclubs and supermarkets which collapse under such rain are simply not built adequately, or more likely, their drainage is not adequately maintained. But somehow, "God" is supposedly to blame. I disagree. Poor foresight by planners, and builder shortcuts and lousy or even corrupt Council admistration and the inspection and/or approvals process is where I would lay the blame.

I hope Tony Kelly MP, NSW Minister for Planning, and Frank Sartor MP, NSW Minister for Climate Change and the Environment, are reading.

Anyway, as the weather is against me, still, I thought I would publish two photos of what real Robertson rain looks like.
This is the normal view from the back deck. The Power Pylon, just visible in the distance (about 600 metres away) will be familiar to regular readers. Strangely, the rain was coming from a light coloured sky. It was definitely not a thunder storm - which is why it managed to keep going for so many hours on Thursday of last week. It was genuinely post-cyclonic rain, the remains of a cyclone washing down the Queensland and then the NSW coast. When these low pressure cells arrive over the Illawarra Escarpment, they seem to intensify again. The effect are accentuated, of course, by our proximity to the coast, and our altitude.
It is as if the hills of Robertson reach up their claws and tear the rain out of the clouds. That's what it feels like, to me, anyway.


Snail said...

Is that from ex-TC Olga? Or Neville? I lost track of both of them once they headed south. Those systems generated soooo much rain.

mick said...

We cut down the vegetation. build cities, pave the roads, concrete the yards - and then complain because there is nowhere for the rain to run-off! Where I live the land is so flat that good rain turns it very swampy! Really not a proper place to put in a housing sub-division! The original vegetation was all cleared some years ago. However, I have planted lots of trees, shrubs and palms and have noticed that the "puddles" don't stay around for so long.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Snail
I was not sure, because they kept moving around, weakening and re-strengthening.
But the Wiki tells me that: "The remnants of ex-tropical cyclone Olga then slowly moved south over the next week and merged with a monsoon trough to produce widespread heavy rainfall across Queensland and NSW, helping to ease long term rainfall deficits over these areas."
The dates fit, too. Olga was the second.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick
You said it: "Really not a proper place to put in a housing sub-division!"
I am sure it is normally pleasant, with good attributes. But Climate Change would make it look better as the Wallum once again. Maybe not a problem in our lifetime.... Lets hope not, eh?
Actually I had in mind the problems experienced in Sydney in the last 48 hours.

Anonymous said...

Hi Denis, I am a friend of nature and protection of nature is my necessity. As regards climate change, I have my own opinion. Given that so many Nobel prizes can be awarded to disguise U.S. president. Surely we find ourselves in a climate change, but man can for these events but little. But as you require that we accept the consequences of such magnitude, but we wear, and especially our greed to blame. We have eliminated the moors, mountain forests cut down, rivers straightened, crossed the field with pipes and built our houses in the flood plains, and we now wonder if we have to fight with disastrous flooding. The examples are many. 2002 in Saxony, New Orleans 2005, etc. Also, the bush fires at you and the consequences would affect the wrong human behavior. Why are the 2004 tsunami reached the living is not killed wildlife, but so many people? Because we believe anything we can do with nature and remember not at that we forget more and more to learn from it and live with her. As said our dear Albert Einstein: Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. Only in the universe, I'm not sure. I hope you can understand me with this Googel translation.

Best regards Peter

In Germany

Hi Denis, ich bin ein Freund der Natur und Schutz der Natur ist mir Bedürfniss. Was den Klimawandel angeht, habe ich so meine eigene Meinung. Da können die noch so viele Nobelpreise an verkappte USA Präsidenten vergeben. Sicher befinden wir uns in einen Klimawandel, aber der Mensch kann für diese Ereignisse nur wenig. Wie du aber schreibts, dass für uns die Folgen solche Ausmaße annimmt, dafür tragen wir und insbesondere unsere Gier, die Schuld. Wir haben die Moore beseitigt, die Bergwälder abgeholzt, die Flüsse begradigt, die Felder mit Rohren durchzogen und unsere Häuser in die Flußauen gebaut und wundern uns nun, wenn wir mit verherrenden Hochwassern zu kämpfen habe. Der Beispiele gibt es viele. 2002 in Sachsen, New Orleans 2005 usw. Auch die Buschbrände bei euch und der Folgen sind doch Auswirkungen falschen menschlichen Verhalten. Warum sind den beim Zunami 2004 keine Wildtiere ums leben gekommen, aber so viele Menschen? Weil wir glauben wir können alles mit der Natur machen und garnicht merken, dass wir immer mehr verlernen von ihr zu lernen und mit ihr zu leben. Wie hat unser lieber Albert Einstein gesagt: Zwei Dinge sind unendlich, das Universum und die menschliche Dummheit. Nur beim Universum bin ich mir nicht ganz sicher. Ich hoffe du kannst mich verstehen mit dieser Googel Übersetzung.

Viele Grüße Peter

Denis Wilson said...

I am sure we get your point, Peter.
Your example of clearing the moors, and forests and straightening rivers, then living on flood plains says it all.
We are not entitled to complain about "Nature" when we do that.
In Victoria we are still having a "Royal Commission" (Inquiry) into the horrendous bushfires of last year.
In simple terms, people ought not be living there - or if they do, they ought have far better protection, such as underground bunkers, equipped with oxygen tanks, etc.
But our politicians will not tell people where they can live or not live.
Too hard.

Anonymous said...

I've been enjoying reading your blog Denis, you live in a very beautiful part of the world. Here in Canberra we had a heap of rain over the weekend. The feeling I get from the community that it is very much appreciated, even if it is inconvenient and can cause havoc. (Although, we didn't get roofs collapsing this time).

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Lynds
Thanks. I shall keep an eye on your blog too.
Fire Ecology? Interesting area.
Some of us have strong opinions on humans and fire. Mine is that we don't mix all that well, as I have already commented.
Sometimes one has to say unpopular things.