They're bloody at it again…

My mother always told me to be vary wary of anything the ‘man in the pub’ tells me, because she had a lifetime of her dad saying “the man in the pub” (who of course was an expert in his field) “told me that…”

Ever since then, I’ve tried to avoid the ‘man in the pub’ and stick to the facts, or as close to the facts that science and geography can present these days. Relevance? Well once again the ‘man in the pub’ is getting their seemingly over democratic voice heard at the hearings into the plan change necessary for the stadium to go ahead. Democracy is a great thing, it allows all manner of weirdos, wackos, CAVES (citizens against virtually everything) and the ‘man in the pub’ to have their voice.

Well it seems that at Tuesday’s hearing, the pub was shut and they were all lining up to have their say (much of which was beyond the scope of the hearings). The funniest line thrown about by the anti-stadium brigade is that Global Warming is going to make the area useless and we need to defend the coasts (like the old war cry against the Japanese).

Scott Willis stated

“something that could be “useless” if the latest scenarios on sea-level rise proved correct.”

This was reiterated by Emeritus Prof Jocelyn Harris (of English)

“there were many more important projects to spend money on than a stadium, when a more than 1m rise in sea level was expected in the next 50 years. “This is no time for business as usual.” Expanding cycleways, building light rail, assisting with insulation and encouraging home gardens were just a few of the things that could be done with the money that was being spent on the stadium.”

Several points.

1) What models are these people looking at? Even NIWA’s predictions are less ‘doomsday’ than these.
2) Insulating houses and getting people gardening are not within the scope of the hearings, stop bloody wasting everyone’s time and money.

According to NIWA (the regulatory scientific body charged with monitoring the MSL rise secnairos for NZ) we need to consider the following;

The basic range of projected sea-level rise in the IPCC’s 4th Assessment, corresponding to the six scenarios, is 0.18–0.59 metres by 2090–2099 relative to the average sea level over 1980–1999. But it is possible that sea-level rise around New Zealand could be higher due to factors not included in current global climate models, such as the possibility of more rapid melting of the Greenland Ice Cap.

For planning and decision timeframes out to the 2090s, Ministry for the Environment guidance recommends:
a. assume a base value sea-level rise of 0.5 m relative to the 1980–1999 average, but also
b. assess the potential consequences from a range of possible higher sea-level rises (particularly where impacts are likely to have high consequence or where additional future adaptation options are limited). At the very least, all assessments should consider the consequences of a mean sea-level rise of at least 0.8 m relative to the 1980–1999 average.

Full PDF here from Aug 2008 (link)

So if the following data is correct, and the stadium sits somewhere between 2-6m above MSL, and at the most extreme scenario eventuates and the MSL rise is around 0.5-0.8m above present levels, then (and I’m not completely sure of the geomorphology of the surrounding soils and topography), the stadium will not be affected. See map below.

However Prof Harris’ Port Chalmers cycle way will most definitely be affected as it sits at times more or less just above sea level adjacent to the railway lines on the inner harbour.

Then there’s Jennifer Bradshaw, an “ordinary, well-informed member of the public” was once again concerned about the “creeping campus zone”. How can we be concerned about the best university in the country, which contributes over $1b to the Dunedin economy (link here) have a negative affect on the city. We should be bloody thankful that Otago doesn’t want to stagnate and is continually eyeing opportunities to keep the likes of Prof Harris employed and the thousands of others directly or indirectly in Dunedin and Otago (not to mention, CHCH, WGTN and AUCK).

Then there’s poor old Jeff Dickie, seems things aren’t so good for Dunedin in his books this is “a very dark chapter in the annals of Dunedin history”. Shall we call them the Dark Ages?

“Doug Leggett said he was concerned the stadium was a product of an old boys’ network” Give a shit who finally gets off their ass and builds this thing, it could be the Upland Daisy Appreciation Society for all I care, just build it.

So this continuing saga of the people having too much bloody democracy continues, read the full sad story here at the ODT.

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Filed under Design, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Media, Site, Stadiums

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