England seems to have been hit by heavy floods recently and obviously it has occurred this time in an area that matters. (I don’t watch news on television, normally, but I caught the scrolling headlines on Sky news recently while waiting for someone at the airport). Ireland too has been hit by heavy flooding in Cork and Limerick. Dublin hasn’t been affected as far as I know, and we’re sitting pretty at 31m above sea level.
I’ve read some interesting things about it. For example, Jonathan Freedland writes in the Guardian that it is basically inconsistent for David Cameron to say the UK Government will spare no expense to help the victims of the floods but at the same time impose policies of austerity.
And George Monbiot has some interesting things to say about the causes of flooding. I admit I’m inclined to believe him. He says, essentially, that flooding downstream is the inevitable consequences of policies that discourage land use practices that would soak up the excess water upstream. Farmers have an incentive not to leave hill country forest and bog land to soak up water which means it all ends up in the rivers.
I also read in the Telegraph, that planning permission had already been granted for new developments on the flooded plains themselves.
Surely if these extreme weather events are going to become more likely then citizens have a right to governments who will make decisions based on science and realism rather than investor greed, folly and political expediency.