IT was with relief that I read last week Lake Macquarie City Council had approved floating houses.
Mistakenly known as boats in some quarters, these constructions are one of several options on the table as the council struggles earnestly with the very highly likely possibility maybe that perhaps the local area will be inundated with sea water in the next 100 years.
Give or take the best estimates based on the hardest scientific evidence to hand.
I wrote on this subject last year when the "retreat" option - moving residential areas back from the boiling lake's edge - first started making headlines. Suggesting that the sooner the lake was filled in, the better. Cut the head off the snake.
News of the approval for floating houses told me there had been no retreating from the subject, leaving me with one thought: Don't blame the player, blame the game.
Or more to the point, blame the blame game. What if it ends up happening?
These estimates are based on modelling done by adults and not, as alleged by critics, mischievous children with plasticine. That the models seem as pliable as plasticine, not to mention public opinion, is not a criticism, more an observation. Of the model, I think. Or is that putting the outboard in front of the dinghy?
You can imagine my alarm when I found out Swansea state MP Garry Edwards had been lauded for securing dredging of Swansea Channel.
Surely this will accelerate rising sea levels. Or falling land levels. Or rising rates levels. Or falling property price levels.
Tides of opinion, or just tired of opinions. It gets a bit like that.
Luddites who refuse to get on board the sea rise program are being urged to consider the prospect of coastal calamity in an emotionally calm and intelligent manner. Thus sparking one of the truly fundamental debates.
What to do with pet refuse?
Some are suggesting that the plan for floating houses is metaphorically pet refuse, in a policy form. Others that we should ditch the dog and get a goldfish.
I was more concerned about the mowing.
Others see this plan as an attempt to provide jobs into the future as Australia's manufacturing goes down the toilet.
They point out that advisers are being paid to make these plans. That architects are being paid to flesh out the plans with house designs. (After watching episodes of Star Trek it seems.) And that cash is being splashed to train pets to do whoopsy near water. For confirmation, get down to Horseshoe beach or Redhead.
The whole movement is gaining momentum, and hopefully, in terms of feasibility and sustainability, it will remain feasible and sustainable.
Unless overtaken by a less unlikely possibly likely event, like a meteor hitting the planet, for instance.
The hard scientific evidence of that is reasonably compelling, as that rock that hit Russia out of the blue last year shows.
And the best estimates to hand based on that evidence suggests we should put up an umbrella and close our eyes.
A workmate with a fascination for Star Trek and telescopes pointed out to me earlier this year that a good-sized meteor hit the Indian Ocean on Christmas Day.
I checked out the link and it was true.
The guy in charge of crunching the numbers on the likelihood of this happening didn't see it coming until after he'd finished his Christmas dinner.
By that time the meteor had splashed down harmlessly in the middle of nowhere. Giving further insight into the effectiveness of plans to deal with such events.
It could have landed on Lake Macquarie, thus taking the focus off the sea rise debate for the next 4 million years. And maybe that mightn't have been such a bad thing.
Apparently Australia has pulled out of the global "Bruce Willis" fund to deal with the meteor scenario because it's dead money. Emphasis on the dead.
Another major worry for some if this floating house idea gets up, is that otherwise steadfast citizens may find themselves drifting into bad neighbourhoods.
We've seen that before with Lake resident Jeff McCloy, who ended up lord mayor of Newcastle.
At least Jeff hasn't had to deal with the sea level rise issue, yet. But Newcastle can't be far behind.
Actually, if you listen to the naysayers in town, Newcastle is so far behind it'll never get in front.
Which is how some in the CBD like it.
Others say Newcastle has got its head right up its behind.
Some are even suggesting Lake Macquarie council has pulled this floating house plan out of its behind. It's certainly an anatomically difficult situation to assess, from a policy point of view.
Calm heads in the community are praising Lake council for its commonsense approach. Flipper is being urged to run for lord mayor. And Neptune may throw his trident into the ring.
The good thing is someone's getting paid to come up with this stuff. And no, it's not Jerry Seinfeld. Although the material is strong enough to take on the road. If the roads remain navigable. By whatever vehicle floats your houseboat.