22 September 2008

Manly Beach 2048

“Pungent brown sewage spews into the Pacific ocean. In the background, cranes put up hotels and beachfront apartments."
So runs an intro to another Pacific tourist spot where uncontrolled coastal tourism development kills the 'golden goose' for investors, residents and visitors. Pressures to intensify and commercialise the protected 'green and blue' leads to the degradation of all. Squeezing the proverbial 'goose' to death means a loss of human health, life quality and economic gain. Even more of the Australian species, plants and animals would lose their habitat, that is their right to life.

Manly in the 21st Century could be consumed in the same way, if there is no refraining from grabbing 'what's left'. Developing the trends would give the following constellation:

The pressure is already on (pdf) to convert 'nature' (Sydney Harbour National Park, North Head, Quarantine, Dobroyd, and Garigal National Park) into more of the same, a tide of 'accomodation' and sprawling sub-urban McMansions with their associated infrastructure.

Manly 'town' could become 24/7 neonlit buyosphere which customers could immerse themselves in. Alcohol merchants and casinos high-rise, Las Vegas style could frame the beach. Experiences and bodies could be organised via animators from the entertainment industry. Roofed domes would lessen the deadly uv radiation from scrambling the DNA. Organised 're-creation' is conducted on flood-light filled arenas. All are of course attending in respective plastic uniforms. Sports ovals, swimming pools and golf courses are also day & night air-conditioned and lit. Plastic lawns have long replaced water gobbling/toxic lawn transplants.Every inch of the Earth is paved over with coastal real estate: tourism development (hotels, resorts, restaurants, etc.), and the infrastructure supporting coastal development (e.g. marinas, beaches, recreational fishing facilities.) Breakneck developments turn the area into ear-piercing noise waves on every corner.

The sky is also filled with constant noise: Jumbo planes are seen 'spinning' over the beach, belching poisonous gases and consuming non-renewable energy while delivering more 'customers'. Helicopters and small plane 'joy-rides' are now so numerous that they are on a clear collision course with each other and the many UAVs. Brand names are 'written' into the clouds for all to see, that are not in-dome. Blimps urge all to accelerate the buying of anything now!

The ocean:
Surfing and swimming has long being abandoned, as the nutrient over-enriched coastal waters have turned into a permanent red tide. This anoxic "dead zone," is devoid of fish, but still very rich in stinging jelly blooms. The entire coastal marine ecosystems has been consumed. The sand is so e coli laden, that it is not to be touched. The 'ocean spray', full of HABs, is a health hazard.An industrialised ocean horizon:
Private boating also ceased, due to oil shortages and the unavailability of territory to give these motor-boats 'a good spin'. A dense network of aquaculture infrastructure clutters up the coastal waters. Further out, the ocean horizon is studded with chains of giant artifacts: Desalination factories (pdf), gas- and oil drilling and extraction structures and huge data platforms. No whale has been seen for years that could navigate this dense human ocean clutter.

More frequent violent storms, tornadoes, hurricanes and giant waves mince up the entire set-up due to human-caused climate change. The thick layer of human debris and waste floating on top of the Pacific also gets washed onto the shores. Various chemical spills and scrambled infrastructure do not make 'clean-up' operations easy.

Due to the many desalination factories, the water guzzling life style could be kept up. Visitors on the whole are consuming double the amounts of water via hotels, swimming pools, golf courses and personal use etc. But locals also all have their personal lap pool by the 'beach'. The exotic plants still are watered with petrol pumps as before.

The demand on energy leads from time to time to a crash into 'a candle economy'. Many suffer in their air-conditioning dependent dwellings in the long black-out periods. The nuclear option seems to keep this power-ful life-style alive.

Sewage, another plentiful anti-product which is a slight challenge to the aesthetic and olfactory appeal, could also pose a possible loss in revenue for tourism. The dead zone of the coastal waters is fueled by this waste-water contaminated with toxins and pharmaceuticals.

But all is not without life, people now have their dearest darlings cloned in multiples. One can see them, as before in cafes with up to 6 harnessed dogs.
Huge cats, as well as packs of dogs have gone 'feral' roaming gated estates. The only surviving bird is the Indian myna, seen in millions coating all with its feces. Many black rats are seen living on the garbage. Large swarms of flies, mosquito and ticks are still posing a challenge.

Australian animals can now be admired (for a fee of course) in an event space, previously known as a museum. There they are, the bandicoot, the little penguin and so many more - all stuffed, just like in the 19th Century. Most Australian plants are gone. Some invasive plants and pests are still about, despite the increased toxicity of the weapons used in aerial helicopter spraying.

Uncontrollable fires shroud the area in suffocating smog. Even though there are only weeds left to 'back-burn', the scarcity of water, threatens the 'real estate'.

Many argue that tourists were not drawn by all that 'environmental stuff', they didn't give a hoot about the unique ecology of Manly. They were seeking to spin their body around, often with the aid of petrol or ingestid toxins . This constituted 'fun' and sold well. Human generated 'attractions' have to be erected to offer a peep here or a spin there. Once contained, money could be collected in this Disney-like hybrid simulacra world. Neither locals nor visitors are remembering or missing that 'biodiversity and landscape attractiveness'. The problem is though, that the place has become indistinguishable from so many other (coastal) places in the world and that is a challenge. Like malls and airports, one doesn't know anymore where one is.
Looking after the Country in the future:
Myopic objectives could gamble away 'nature' and 'uniqueness' that has no substitute. Unchecked developments and mobile destruction (mass tourism) degrade a place and its resources. 60 % of Australia already has been degraded by relative few people in a short time. 'Customers' flee the degraded tourist traps, locals desert the uninhabitable places seeking refuge in the remaining 40% 'new-found-land'.

Returning North Head, Sydney Harbour National Park, Quarantine Station, Dobroyd, and Garigal National Park to their owners
might guarantee a halt to the tidal wave of destruction.The National Parks and reserves are an essential refuge for endemic plants and animals. They also are of great ecological and economic value in framing Manly as a desirable and unique place on the Earth.
1 North Head, Manly and the Northern Beaches, Google Earth
2 North Head, Dobroyd and part of Sydney Harbour National Park, Google Maps
3 Dobroyd, SHNP viewed from Manly Cove
4 The Pacific ( uncluttered) viewed from North Head
5 North Head cliffs and the Pacific Ocean

Manly Council Submission to Taskforce on Tourism in National Parks, PDF
The NSW Government
The Environmental Trust, The Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC)
Manly Council
NSWALC, NSW Aboriginal Land Council, Land Rights Act
National Parks & Wildlife Act 1974
NCC/NPA Submission to Taskforce on Tourism and National Parks, Submission of The Nature Conservation Council of NSW and the National Parks Association of NSW and the Blue Mountains Conservation Society. 0808, pdf 1,2MB

Areas to 'exploit' and 'open up':
Sydney Harbour National Park (SHNP) North Head, Quarantine Station, Dobroyd, and Garigal National Park.
Coastal Recreation and Tourism:
- UN Atlas of the Oceans
- United Nations University (2008, June 4). Coastal Management Cooperation, Enforcement Key To Avoid Pending Crisis For Millions, UN Experts Report. Retrieved September 22, 2008, via Science Daily
- Mike Davis , House of Cards, Las Vegas: Too many people in the wrong place, celebrating waste as a way of life, Sierra Club
-"You can't have one species growing indefinitely on a planet that is finite." Prof. Bill Rees

" The vast majority of the Australian population is clinging to the east coast, running out of land and running out of water...2043, when 43 per cent of the Gold Coast has been abandoned to ever-rising sea levels. Australia's swelling population could be accommodated in desert cities." SMH 201209

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