Monday, January 31, 2011

The circus moves on. People remain

Last Friday in her Foxs Lane blog, darling Kate wrote ‘I am worrying about those communities trying to pick up the pieces of their lives after the floods. Like people have said all along, the recovery will be a marathon not a sprint, and we cannot forget about them now that the media circus has moved on’ [1]. Of course Kate’s a chip – the first chip – off my old block. But I couldn’t agree with her more. The floods are now old news; if they’re news at all. But that doesn’t reduce their devastation. It’s hard to describe this devastation in words. Pictures do the job much better. NearMap [2] is an Australian provider of high resolution aerial imagery. It images over 2% of Australia’s landmass – primarily capital cities and major regional towns. Its images are updated for 60% of Australia’s population every month [3]. This frequent updating has resulted in these remarkable pictures of Brisbane before and during the floods – made public courtesy of ABC News [4, 5]. (Moving your cursor from right to left across each one converts it from a ‘before’ image to a ‘during the flood’ one.) Whilst this shows the macro physical devastation, it doesn’t show inside homes and business premises. And of course it doesn’t show the psychological and social effects of the floods.

P.S. I’m still aghast at the opposition – especially from the political spectrum’s right wing – to a tax levy to fund infrastructure reconstruction in flood-affected areas [6, 7, 8]. Shame.

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