16 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. The economic costs of the floods in North Queensland are well documented. But the social costs are often misunderstood. Wealth is both monetary and social. To lose a house can be overcome by insurance. But to lose your own home causes great social distress. This sometimes cannot be easily compensated for by those who have never before survived a major flood. My nephew lives in Houston, Texas. He lost his home in the last big flood. Even now his wife cannot get over the distress that caused her little children. The children are fine but their mother is still distressed by this traumatic event. What some people/politicians forget is that for some it takes a long time to “get over it”. Social counseling may help but this often ignored for older people.

  2. G.J.M.

    I agree with what you are saying. What I question is the “repair and re-build in situ” mentality at the governmental level. By this I mean the un-examined assumption that flooded houses and suburbs should always be recovered and repaired and remain occupied long term (after recovery) rather then first raising serious questions. The questions should be of this nature;

    (a) Should a suburb be on a flood plain at all?
    (b) Should we keep building suburbs on flood plains?
    (c) Are 1 in 100 year floods now coming in say 1 in 20 years, due to climate change?
    (d) In view of accelerating climate change should we not fundamentally reassess all our assumptions?
    (e) How does accelerating climate change affect our economic and actuarial assumptions?

    In other words, owners in seriously and/or frequently flooded streets (and suburbs in some cases) should receive buy-back offers from the federal government at market prices which obtained just prior to the flood. Residents can then make a choice. Re-purhcased areas would be turned into flood plain parks or native plant parks, albeit only in a ways which do not then turn them into bush-fire hazards instead.

    Housing planning for new developments should move the height-above-floods standard from 1m above a 1 in 50 year flood (whereabout the standard tends to stand at the moment) to 2m above a 1 in 1000 year flood (assessed on current measures which fail to take account of climate change). A rule of thumb here is that we can expect severe flood frequency to increase by a factor of 10. There is some empirical data already suggesting this will be the case in ball park terms.

    There may be cases where adding a new flood mitigation dam or raising a dam wall is more cost effective (if it is technically possible at all) than moving several existing suburbs lock, stock and barrel. In those cases that option could be pursued. But new housing developments should strictly follow the rule of being much higher and never on flood plains. As my old cane-farming grandad used to say, “Why are people surprised when flood plains flood?”

    It’s no good saying “this will cost too much”. Ignoring the problem will cost us much more in the long run, economically and in terms of death and trauma.

  3. Are the Greens in terminal decline. Will the last member of the Greens remember to turn off the light?

    Internal membership figures show just how damaging the past two years have been, with the [Greens] party bleeding members.

    Between March 2017 and December 2018, the party lost 30 per cent of its Victorian membership, from 3962 paid members to 2750.

    The decline largely came in a state election year, when on previous trends the membership should have grown.

    The NSW Greens have lost 15% of its membership over the last 12 months. Fascist elements in the party are purging moderate elements like Jeremy Buckingham, who was subject to what appears to be a bogus sexual misconduct claim by a woman with an axe to grind.

  4. Hugo, I’m interested. Please reference the spade you used to sink the boot into the greens with.

    2nd Q. Have you posted the above comment anywhere on social media please. Sans ref?

  5. KT2

    2nd Q. Have you posted the above comment anywhere on social media please. Sans ref?

    What does that comment mean?

  6. Hugo – ‘social media’
    https://johnquiggin.com/2019/01/27/fake-news-the-medium-is-not-the-message/

    ‘Sans’ is french for without, as in a sans serif font ala Helvetia and ;
    ‘Ref’ – apologies I was not explicit = reference. A link to the article to reference the block of text indented in your comment. Please.

    My comments are all plain text as I do not become a “registered user” anywhere except when commenting on this worthy blog. I delete cookies after posting, and clear my cache and other tracking data as well.

    I understand the info below is not for the faint hearted nor conservative techno users. So no need to waste time understanding the information below Hugo.
    Probably a pointless excersize, not having cookies etc. as I use gmail ( best spam blocking) but I cannot for the life of me, for example, get google, facebook etc trackers out of my android operating system.

    I am considering learning linux and apache, then turning my phone into a brick (always wanted to but serious bother) followed by rooting (or jailbreaking) the device.

    https://www.howtogeek.com/126665/htg-explains-what-does-bricking-a-device-mean/

    https://smartphones.gadgethacks.com/how-to/root-or-jailbreak-your-android-cell-phone-400352/

    I want to get rid of apps. My android is not only able to be tracked, it can record, use the phone!, and report my every move. As your phone does too, android or iphone.

    “Rooting’ (also called jailbreaking) will let you install third party software or applications which the manufacturer may not allow (or get rid of apps that you don’t want). It will void your phone’s warranty, so make sure this is really what you want to do!”

    Then install one of these;
    https://itsfoss.com/open-source-alternatives-android/

  7. @KT2

    Thanks for the links to info about how to protect your online privacy – I intend to look them up as I am getting increasingly paranoid about this stuff.

    Apropos Hugo’s comments about The Greens, I have seen similar (or the same?) figures about declines in The Greens’ membership quoted in articles in The Age and The Guardian in the last few days, and there was also an article in last weekend’s Saturday Paper about turmoil in the NSW Greens than mentioned membership declines, I think.

    There’s no doubt The Greens are going through a difficult period at present. Considering events during the previous Federal Labor government, it’s a little ironic that these days the ALP appears to be a (comparative) rock of stability among the major Australian political parties.

  8. Tim Macknay

    I rang thengreens yesterday to have them go on the front foot about membership. Not wait to be outed in msm.

    It was obvious the greens working machine is underfunded… just an answer machine at first office I called. They are imho potentially staring at anterm in the wilderness (not punny really).

    As to data harvesting from devices it is basically impossible using android or ios. My location tho is sydney as all location tracking turned off in settings. Really a very phyric victory. The phones browsers do enable no cookies and I note some !!! private scientific publishers dont even let you see abstract without cookies so it makes for a less informed me.

    To do what I stated above, even tho I am able, is a serious time and maintenance commitment. So surfing the web via a vpn is really the best and easiest yet added cost for your privacy and not to feed the data harvesters. But eventually all privatensecure vpn providers will be hacked too.

    The only solution? A billionaire providing a completely alternate device operating system backed by bank style security with endorsment and ratiification and overseen by say ken Hayne!

    I am NOT holding my breath.

  9. KT2, Google is your friend. The Greens membership collapse and internal warfare is mentioned in a range of articles, such as this:
    ***www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/i-have-been-loyal-greens-stalwart-alex-bhathal-quits-in-disgust-20190131-p50uq8.html

    The Greens promote a narrow worldview based on grievance studies and identity politics. Not unsurprisingly, they are the victims of their own ideas.

  10. Hugo,

    The Greens promote a broad worldview based on social inclusion and science-based ecology. It is the worst of the WASP patriarchal conservatives (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant neoliberal males) who promote a narrow world of white, western, christian and male supremacy. I am a white, anglo-saxon ex-protestant male BTW.

    The Greens as party and persons are far from perfect politically, intellectually and emotionally. But then nobody is perfect.

  11. Micheal Hudson – “Life and Thought”

    An absolutely fascinating and illuminating talk by an extraordinary economist. Well worth watching in its entirety Some real down-the-rabbit-hole insights both biographical and political-economic.

  12. In a way, I agree with Hugo this time. The feud was nearly as foolish as the one that broke up the Democrats.

    But I agree very much with Ikonoclast’s reply to Hugo. Particularly on the WASP observation. A pity how resistant the Morrison and Dutton types are…time travel back fifty years to 1969.

  13. Our sanndpits -beaches – may not be much fun.

    Scientists discover cavity two-thirds the size of Manhattan underneath Antarctic glacier
    “If the Thwaites Glacier melts completely, it holds enough ice to raise the world’s ocean a little over 65 centimetres, and if all the ice in its neighbouring Antarctic glaciers also melts, it would raise global sea levels an additional 2.4 metres.”
    https://abc.net.au/news/2019-02-06/scientists-discover-gigantic-cavity-in-antarctic-glacier/10785282

    See how your city and investment properties will be.
    Coastal Risk AustraliaPredicted Coastal Flooding Resulting from Climate Change http://coastalrisk.com.au/#

    The cairns map looks very wet. So by sea or air cairns is … choose your expletive.

  14. Tim Macknay and anyone who values personal device security.

    “”Want To Really Block The Tech Giants? Here’s How

    What I’m going to describe is how we collected and analysed data. I have also included links to scripts for macOS and OS X that will build firewall rules for your device so that you too can live a tech-giant free existence—to the extent that such a thing is even possible while remaining online.

    Dhruv Mehrotra is an activist and engineer who thinks about networks, power, and policy. His work on theGoodbye Big Five series was supported by a grant from the Eyebeam Center for the Future of Journalism.””

    https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2019/02/want-to-really-block-the-tech-giants-heres-how/

    I use LibreOffice on one of my machines. Time for an update.

    “LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice vulnerable to same bug; only one is fixedCode-execution bug shows open source Office clones can be hacked, too.”

    https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/02/path-traversal-bug-is-fixed-in-libreoffice-but-not-in-apache-openoffice/

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