“Canute rebukes his courtiers” by Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville ~ 1835 – 1885.

The Abbott Liberal Government became lambasted as climate change dinosaurs when they went out of their way to hush up talk of climate change at the recent G20 meeting of World leaders in Brisbane.

Then they further defied logic by lecturing US President Barack Obama that the Great Barrier Reef is in good health, when our scientists have reported that it has shrunk by 50% in the past three decades. [1]

Is that the price of not appointing a Federal science minister, or simply a sign that ignorance is the preferred state of mind?

Now the Queensland Government has raised its sails in a reality-defying act to remove all knowledge of sea level rise from the Moreton Bay Regional Council draft planning scheme. [2]

This blatantly dishonest act by Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney is the wielding of power like that once held by priests, when the church Fathers in Rome defied scientific evidence and insisted that the Sun orbits the Earth.

Though King Cnut was seeking to show that he did not have power over the sea, Mr Seeney appears set to outshine the old king by declaring that the sea will not rise.

This abuse of power and denial of science will benefit developers seeking to make a killing in coastal locations, who will walk away with the profits as the oceans serve up reality.

Whether we like it or not, the sea is rising and is predicted to reach for a metre this century, but could go higher sooner, if Earth changes now in train speed up.

The Arctic region is 5C hotter and this is melting the ice, including the permafrost, where fires are now happening, sending soot into the air that lands on the Greenland ice sheet. [3]

With enough stored ice to send the sea up by 7 metres, the blackened ice of Greenland is absorbing more heat, causing more ice to melt.

With 2014 predicted to be the hottest year on record, is it any wonder the seas are getting warmer, as much of the warming in the air has gone into the oceans.

Warmer water is now eating its way under the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the prediction is, this vast expanse of ice is now doomed and will deliver 3 metres to sea levels, opening the way for further loss of ice from the much vaster eastern Antarctic ice sheet. [4]

If Mr Seeney decides to play at Prince Cnut and park his parliamentary thrown by Moreton Bay, the metres of predicted sea level rise wouldn’t have to arrive all at once to send him dashing for dry land.

Though the denial of science works well for the play of power and the profits of developers, it will be residents who believed the politicians who will be left standing in the rising tide.

Real people need truth, not the fairy tales of power.

One truth that is all too real for Queenslanders, is that warmer ocean water fuels fiercer storms at sea, which can work their way further south.

When stronger sea storms and torrential rains arrive, sea level rise can become a sudden and dangerous impact on coastal communities.

It is unfortunate that flood plains have not been left to serve that purpose.

Questions need to be asked, which can open the way to working solutions.

Will houses need to be moved to higher ground before the sea rises?

Will dykes need to be built like those in Holland?

Should new houses near sea level be built to float, as is now happening in Holland?

Communities can deal with the truth and build for Earth changes, but when the climate change dinosaurs rule the Earth, we are all left with dangerous legal illusions.


[1] Calls for climate action as Great Barrier Reef suffers major coral loss
Charis Palmer, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg & Zoe Richards, 2 Oct 2012, The Conversation

[2] Jeff Seeney orders Moreton Bay Regional Council to remove references to climate change-derived sea level rises from regional plan
By the National Reporting Team’s Mark Solomons and Mark Willacy, 9 Dec 2014, ABC News Online

[3] Greenland Is the New Black
Susan Cosier Sep 30 2014 OnEarth

[4] This Is the New Worst-Case Scenario for Ice Loss in Antarctica
Eric Holthaus 14 Aug 2014 Future Tense