It’s hard to imagine sea level rising and creeping over city streets, but if you live in Wellington you don’t have to.
The city council has developed a virtual reality simulator, allowing users to travel anywhere in the city, stand on the street, and see the impact of the rising sea levels.
You can stand in the shadow of Te Papa and watch as the whole area is swallowed by the ocean.
Or travel along Oriental Parade and watch the beach get washed away with only a 1-metre rise.
At six metres – the absolute worst-case scenario – you can watch the waters creep to the steps of the Beehive or flood the town of Makara.
Sea levels are rising and will continue to rise. But having ratepayer money spent on a simulator which shows a six metre rise is just scare mongering.
The rise over the last 100 years has been 18 cms. In the last 25 years it has been around 3.2 mms a year which would be 32 cms over 100 years, or one foot. Not 20 feet!
Now even if you allow for more dramatic increases in future, there is no scenario that is six metres. MFE modeled four scenarios. The three main scenarios had a rise by 2100 ranging from 45 cms to 80 cms. The extreme worst case scenario is a 1 metre rise.
Yet the WCC is spending ratepayer money showing a six metre rise.