November 10, 2015

Ohrn Words: Sandbags at Locarno

City of Vancouver is sandbagging Locarno Beach’s southern edges.  The concern is potential flooding (again) during a so-called “King Tide” due in late November and December, coupled with heavy rain and wind.  All scheduled to occur during Soggyville’s upcoming storm season.




Oh yes, and one other thing.  The ocean is now higher than it has been, due to climate change.  So this recent phenomenon may just become the new normal.  And what the crews are doing has a name — climate change mitigation. Coming soon to municipal, provincial and federal budgets near you and your bank account.
Global TV interviewed me on site after I took this photo, and I got 3 seconds of airtime in which I wondered aloud about rising sea levels as the reason that this flooding has started to appear.  Naturally, I held my nose, watched the evening news hour and found the segment.  Imagine my surprise when the news crew used my wondering words to spring into a spirited short segment affirming rising sea levels caused by climate change. I nearly blacked out from confusion and bafflement.


Ohrn Global


This much is becoming clearer to me. The public conversation is changing rapidly. But is it too late to begin taking effective action to reduce fossil-fuel usage?  I may not live long enough to find out, but I really hope so, for the sake of the many wonderful young people who cross my path on occasion.

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  1. That is not at all climate change mitigation, which would be to address the cause of climate change (GHGs), that is adaptation, the necessary but ultimately fruitless application of bandaids to the growing impacts as we so notice them.

  2. Yay, expensive externalities! When anybody bemoans the price difference between carbon emitting fuels and infrastructure as opposed to their cleaner alternatives, one can simply remind them that defending the properties of Vancouver’s richest scions from a rising sea with city money is but a fraction of the cost we must all now bare going into the future.
    Also added to that list: higher healthcare costs due to hotter climates, administrative loads of dealing with climate refugees within/out our borders, and higher food costs due to lower crop yields…to name a few.
    Tobacco-like warnings for gas can’t come soon enough, nor can a national carbon-tax.
    What’s everyone’s over-under on the Federal Liberal’s ability to accomplish something substantive for the climate in the wake of COP 21?
    Personally, I’m not encouraged. I think they won’t be aggressive enough and things won’t really start to happen until municipal budgets are at a breaking point paying back everyone’s cheap gas for the last century.

  3. Somewhat ironic to be handwringing about this, as the area would have been an intertidal marsh in its natural state and subject to flooding.

  4. Meanwhile back on the NE False Creek flood plain the City is busy planning the removal of the only bridges going east from downtown not to mention a new hospital. Not to worry though, the Eco-design experts are planning floodgates across the Queen Charlotte Strait and the Juan de Fuca Strait with the hopes no doubt that it never rains again anywhere west of the continental divide lest we all face a new peril; the Salish Sea flooded with fresh water.

  5. Records show that the level of the sea has risen 20 cm since the start of the Industrial Revolution (1760). That terrifying message clearly shows that in another 250 years we could be looking at sea water half way up Jericho Beach!
    How on earth the volley-ball courts can continue with swimmers coming this close needs to be studied and remedial action needs to taken NOW!
    Many suggestions are being considered, including the radical action of perhaps moving the beach further inland and swallowing part of Vanier Park.
    Some people are calling for a massive wall to be built to protect the tennis courts. Other ideas include cutting a channel. This would run through what is now known as Arbutus Street and lead all the way down to the pastoral neighbourhood known as Southlands. Some see this as creating a Venice-like neighbourhood and many developers are mimicking the horses in Southlands and are said to be “chomping at the bit” to get first dibs on the Italianate condo-palladian villas expected along the banks, that everyone expects will be irresistible.
    City hall is becoming, for want of a better word, swamped with developers bearing lavish pots of gold being carried to the ruling party headquarters.
    One wag was asking of there’s an Italian equivalent to ‘plus ça change’.