Autodesk Climate Change and What we Can Learn from Katrina


Many of our clients do work in Southern Africa as well as globally. How can Autodesk help with a design for climate change? What is at stake?  

We live in the Cape of Storms (a wrecking ball for ships and yachts). Just listen to Ellen MacArthur (an erstwhile guest of Cape Town Royal Cape Yacht Club) commenting on the waves we experience. Imagine them being amplified by climate change and the influence they might have on our shipping lanes. 

You would have to be delusional if you think they won’t.

Climate change first really hit home with me after watching the documentary “Holland’s Barriers to the Sea” in the early 2000’s. In the documentary, reference was made that the Dutch were looking to New Orleans for answers.  

Irony of Irony’s, the very same New Orleans (the home of Jazz), was flooded by a Category 5 monster and engulfed in fire shortly afterwards.  

I have listened to many documentaries about this event, and the management of their levees always comes up as factor in the City’s demise. 

Katrina is just as relevant to us as Idai, which killed 1297 people in Mozambique. Granted, not as important as Malaria (Bill Gates knows this), but still important enough to pay attention? 

Is this a joke? Well the conversation is muddled as most politicians do not understand Statistics. Statisticians are divided among themselves whether one may infer from non-existent historical data. Statistically (Descriptive vs Inferential Statistics), I am unconvinced that greenhouse gasses are responsible for global warming, but this does not mean the planet is not warming up. Just look at the red shift. 

Whether it is flood management, or infrastructure for another critical resource – pollution and fresh water (which we will fight wars over one of these sad days), Autodesk Infraworks, Autodesk Civil 3D and tools like Storm and Sanitary Analysis can be of great use for the planning of infrastructure. We have a real problem with pollution in Cape Town, and we are receiving a great influx of people into the city every month. It is irresponsible for the City to neglect the effect this has on the ocean and air pollution. It is my sincere hope that the City can provide the contracts for our clients to create the infrastructure to clean Cape Town again.  

There are certainly some signs that such projects are underway, but National Government must also come to the party, regardless of political consequence. Just consider the monetary injection to the economy if house prices were to soar due to Cape Town being clean again? Billions? Trillions? Worth the investment?  

It is also very important to tell the truth. The misrepresentation of facts like the one below should not be allowed.  

One thing is for sure: if designers don’t change the way they digitally set up models (only to fail in the global marketplace), the writing will be on the wall, and the proverbial paw paw will hit the fan.

If you want to get in on the game, buy and learn to use Autodesk solutions to help you. If you need advice on life-threatening weather on your project: follow NOAA, who has been tracking storms for as long as I am aware of my own existence.  

Contact Micrographics if you need assistance with the above.