I’ve always meant to go and visit the Public Records Office. There are a few things I’d like to look up. And if I’m honest, the idea of all that information being stored in perpetuity would appeal to me even if there wasn’t anything in particular that I wanted to know.
Several years ago, PRONI decided to move from its old location (on Balmoral Avenue, surrounded by houses and no parking) to the Titanic Quarter (surrounded by wasteland and flats that nobody can afford). And the spec for the building seemed to be very long term oriented – lots and lots of protection for the documents and lots and lots of improvements in how said documents are both stored and accessed. Fit for decades, it would be.
Unless the dreaded climate change occurs, of course, and sea levels rise a bit. Not even that big a bit; if they rise 5 metres then the whole area is underwater, and all those documents will be done for. The old location could have waited until the sea rose 20 metres, after all.
It’s almost as if someone was told that they had to go to a new development area because it needed some more life in it, without any thought as to why it might be a bad idea…
This assumes that you believe that the sea levels will rise; personally I’m not that sure that they will. But the government keep trying to scare us into believing that they will, so why aren’t they taking such things into account?
Well, with sea levels rising, according to the IPCC, at 2-3mm a year, that new building might be good for a while yet.
Speaking as someone who used to work there – and the partner of someone who already does – if it did not meet strict archival building location regulations it would not have been built there… Apparently
I think that my point is that the popular perception of the term “rising sea levels” is that metres are being talked about, and to be honest most of the news plays up to that perception. A rise of several whole centimetres doesn’t seem to fit the narrative…