In recent blog on Quadrant Online, I referred to a Mr Ted O’Connor of Prince Charles Parade, in the suburb of Kernell in Sydney, who in 1956 expressed concern about the danger of high seas eroding homes along the Parade; which runs alongside the seafront. “Fifty houses at Kurnell are in danger of toppling into the sea,” reported the Sydney Morning Herald. “Huge seas at the weekend, for the second time in seven months, tore away sections of the seafront.” Mr O’Connor was reported as saying that “people in scores of homes in this street are living in fear of each heavy sea.”
Of course, none of this was attributed to climate change, as it definitely would be in today’s cockamamie world. But I was curious. What’s happened to Prince Charles Parade? I googled. Up came a map of the Parade seemingly intact. And no less than eight properties for sale on the first page. Maybe they’ve built a levee? Certainly, there was no warning that the properties were crumbling, in danger, or uninsurable. I can’t say whether Mr O’Connor survived the scare and still lives there, though unless he was very young in 1956 or very old now, it seems unlikely.
Wouldn’t you think, if things were so bad, way back in 1956, before climate change was conjured up, so to speak, that they would be dire now? Apparently not. Methinks, must take a drive there and see firsthand. Mind you, I doubt I could afford to buy, right by the beach. Unless, that is, those rising seas caused by climate change are lapping at backdoors.
Two things about this episode spring out. The first is the tendency of the media, then and now, to sensationalise what’s happening, as to be fair do people directly affected. This first thing was for a long period, say, since the Enlightenment, the only thing. Before then, pagans would also blame the sun god or some other deity for getting angry. Now we are back again to two things. First, the-par-for-the-course sensationalism and now, second, to blaming the climate god. A full circle. Back to the age of superstition. I am reminded of Malcolm Muggeridge who wrote perceptibly, “there is no such thing as progress.”