When senseless people and science collide

HOW amazing is technology, and how stupid are people?

Never have these truths been more evident than over the last few days. I have been left shaking my head more times than I can count, either because I’m in awe of science, or astounded at the stupidity of human beings.

First, the awe: scientists. They’re bloody brilliant, don’t you think?


The way they tracked Cyclone Marcia to within minutes of its arrival was so impressive. On Thursday and Friday, the cyclone’s expected severity was upgraded and downgraded constantly as meteorologists feverishly followed its every move.

We’ve come to expect such things but I think it’s incredible that we have access to so much information, data and forecasting, which allowed us to prepare for the cyclone’s wrath well before the storm clouds gathered above us.

The BOM, together with TV news teams, radio reporters and other journalists, worked overtime to keep us all up-to-date on the latest developments.

But while they did an absolutely top job of keeping us informed and helping us stay safe, there were so many drongos out and about on the streets for no good reason.

Did you see the rubber-neckers, wandering up and down the Sea Way? Every time a news reporter delivered an update, I could see a handful of people standing around and admiring the view from that potentially deadly spot.

Did they not realise that the cyclone was at times classified as a Category 5 weather event, with wind gusts of up to 285kmh?!

And don’t even get me started on Snapper Rocks!

I know most of those guys were surfers who are very familiar with the area, but still, when the weather is that unpredictable, is it really worth risking your safety to catch a wave?

Then, there were the fishermen.

My heart sank on Friday morning. Reports came through that two fishermen had set off for Fraser Island the previous night, but their boat had sunk. Wild weather caused by Cyclone Marcia meant water police couldn’t search for them until daybreak on Friday.

Miraculously, thankfully, they were found safe and well on Moon Boom Island.

Which is why I feel completely within my rights to say: what a selfish pair.

You risked your own lives, and the lives of water police and rescue workers, just so you could go fishing and camping?

As I said earlier – how stupid can people be?

[signoff icon=”icon-thumbs-up”]The Meddler

Here’s your chance to get your opinion in front of a larger audience. And earn a dollar! Anything from the minutiae to the meaningful, the heartfelt to the humorous, if you’ve got an issue or a rant you think Gold Coasters need to read submit it to The Meddler. There’s $50 for each contribution published. Contributions should be under 400 words, please supply contact details including a phone number. The Meddler reserves the right to edit articles submitted. Please send to news@mygc.com.au [/signoff]