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another day, another eco-nightmare

This morning I was a lab tech working in a coral reconstruction complex. The tank-grown coral chunks kept on being eaten and dying and failing to increase/reproduce. Then we discovered a random coral plate growing down the back of one of the tanks, and I chucked it into one of the regrowth zones, and it actually took! And before long we were finding these corals everywhere in the lab and the scientists were all umming and ahing but all the lab techs and junior researchers were chucking these little plate corals out everywhere and they were doing really well, growing fast, resistant to predators, and it was all just like that bit at the beginning of a disaster movie where you're geting to know all the characters so you'll care when they get horribly killed.

Nothing like as exciting as the one I had at the weekend, though, where I got experimentally turned into a small, golden-haired monkey by the mad scientist working for the local Disaster Preparedness Committee and her chortling dinosaur assistant, while a huge cupboard full of the preserved heads of Local Councillors assured me that this was all above board and what the people wanted. Being a monkey wasn't as much fun as you'd think, and I couldn't stop worrying about why the dinosaur had said, "you can consider this to be your colonic" before bathing my head in confusing golden light. Had I misheard? Did the dinosaur not know what "colonic" meant? Did it mean something different if you were a dinosaur?

I had a sinking feeling (not helped by timscience, who was mostly concerned that I shouldn't blame the dinosaur, who was just following orders and doubtless had a sweetheart and a clutch of eggs to support) that it was all somehow my fault, and that as a Government worker I should have known that something like this was sure to happen. That I might even have worked on the project during the consultation rounds.

Probably with a poll that loooked something like this:

Poll #752071 Local Government Climate Change Action Brief Consultation

Age: I am

0-19
1(3.8%)
20-44
25(96.2%)
45-69
0(0.0%)
70-99
0(0.0%)
100+
0(0.0%)

Ethnicity: I consider myself to be

White
18(69.2%)
Asian
0(0.0%)
Black
0(0.0%)
Mixed
1(3.8%)
Dinosaur
7(26.9%)

Proximity to Flood Plain: I live in

A naturally flood-safe zone
12(46.2%)
A maintained flood-safe zone
8(30.8%)
A regular seasonal flood alert zone
2(7.7%)
A frequent inundation area
1(3.8%)
I am a swamp-zone resident
3(11.5%)

Increasing floods: I am worried about

Compulsory purchase of waterside property
1(4.2%)
Having to move to another area
1(4.2%)
Costs of/getting insurance
0(0.0%)
Having to give up my car
0(0.0%)
Having to live closer to dinosaurs
3(12.5%)
Intimidation by geese and swans
7(29.2%)
Other (please specify)
1(4.2%)

Options: In the event of further floods I would be prepared to consider:

Moving to another area
1(4.0%)
Smaller, more tightly packed dwellings
0(0.0%)
Larger, communal dwellings
1(4.0%)
Floating or stilted dwellings (separate to the existing swamp zone)
1(4.0%)
Flood adaptation (partial genetic alteration, e.g. skin waterproofing, gills)
2(8.0%)
Flood adaptation (complete genetic alteration, e.g. monkey, dolphin)
2(8.0%)
Other (please specify)
1(4.0%)

Any more suggestions, ideas or concerns?



In case you're wondering, the swamp zone is the ghetto where the dinosaurs live.

I've been ill. I may still be a little feverish.

Comments

( 13 worms — Feed the birds )
bopeepsheep
20th Jun, 2006 14:07 (UTC)
Specifying:
I am worried about yet more reports of people who live in flood-prone areas (Kidlington and Botley Rd spring to mind) but do not see any need for insurance and therefore whine on the news about how unexpected it is that the river has flooded yet again when they haven't even replaced everything from the last time. See also: people who move to Hounslow and complain about flight noise; people who move to Aberystwyth and moan about missing the amenities of London; people who find it incomprehensible that [quaint rural village] doesn't have a sushi bar or good mobile reception.

I'd like to see brownfield sites built on as first choice (over greenfield) or turned back to green as much as is possible. The water table's f*cked anyway but we can try reducing further damage to it. Moving as much as possible away from the south-east might help, too.
bopeepsheep
20th Jun, 2006 14:10 (UTC)
Re: swamp zones - you might like Kenny Young & The Eggplants (sorry it's MySpace - their choice! And there's music on that page when it loads), who have some great songs about the Toxic Swamp (New Jersey) and the creatures that evolve from it...
cleanskies
20th Jun, 2006 14:22 (UTC)
In the dream, the Thames had concrete barriers, then a broad gravel sink-zone designed to take the floodwaters (though usually people used it for jogging, sunbathing or walking dogs -- a sort of urban beach), then a second, higher barrier inland, with closeable gates. Behind the barrier, suburban streets started very abruptly, as if the flood defences had chopped them off (presumably they had).
applez
20th Jun, 2006 15:04 (UTC)
I guess I shouldn't bring this up then. :-/

Oh, and you might want to stop reading him for a while. :-)
cleanskies
20th Jun, 2006 15:19 (UTC)
hey!
Have you been watching the same documentaries as me? Oh no, that was Tuvalu, not Kiribati. Similar situation, though. I'm pleased to see how many on my friendslist are prepared to consider partial genetic modification, but a little worried by their fear of geese and swans. Maybe I should do another minicomic: "Swans: not as intimidating as all that"
ceciley
20th Jun, 2006 15:34 (UTC)
Re: hey!
Lolz: did you see the documentary on refugee children? There was a boy from Zimbabwe, who was like "England is great! It has swans - and no lions!".
applez
20th Jun, 2006 15:36 (UTC)
Re: hey!
Well, in the post-fossil fuels era of crazed gangs & broken food distribution chains ... I just wouldn't want to be arrested for breaking Royal fiat and eating those Swans. ;-)
radiantfracture
20th Jun, 2006 15:47 (UTC)
in which i am a bit foolish
I know it *says* nightmares right there in the subject line, but I am a little feverish myself, and at first I thought your dreams were some kind of wicked online RPG that randomly assigned you a role in an ongiong eco-disaster scenario. And I really wanted to play it.

{rf}
cleanskies
21st Jun, 2006 07:03 (UTC)
Re: in which i am a bit foolish
Bet Greenpeace are working on something like this as a recruitment tool
applez
20th Jun, 2006 17:28 (UTC)
cleanskies
21st Jun, 2006 07:02 (UTC)
any chance of a summary?
as all I'm seeing is a message saying "Access to InsideEPA.com is available to subscribers only."
applez
21st Jun, 2006 15:17 (UTC)
Re: any chance of a summary?
Try here FL, just in case.
timscience
20th Jun, 2006 18:25 (UTC)
We should all live in space. Yes. That would solve flooding problems.
( 13 worms — Feed the birds )