Prevention, not cure, for flood-devastated Britain

July 22, 2007 at 12:40 am | Posted in Climate change, Extreme weather, Flooding, Floods, Global warming, Heavy rain, Rainfall, Severe weather, Storms | Leave a comment

Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought the Telegraph was (previously) one of the few newspapers in the UK that was prone to publishing the opinions of global warming sceptics in full page articles. How the editor’s tune has changed, thank goodness, in the wake of yesterday’s floods. Look at today’s Telegraph opinion:

Prevention, not cure
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 22/07/2007

The latest deluge that has swept Britain has left in its wake flooded homes, roads and railways. People unlucky enough to be on the M5 when the torrents struck spent 18 hours in their cars. Others marooned in the South were rescued by helicopters sent from Scotland. Many meteorologists maintain last week’s storm is the shape of things to come. If so, the biggest challenge for the Government is to find a way to protect homes and infrastructure from catastrophic flood damage.

What, however, is it doing? Next week, it is to publish another of its plans for housing which will, again, recommend building on flood plains. It is hard to think of a step more certain to increase misery. Flood plains are aptly named: they are areas liable to flood. Building houses on them is risky at the driest of times. When scientists are telling us to expect more violent weather patterns, it is utter folly. And that is not the only asinine response from the Government to the dangers of climate change.

As we reported last week, local authorities are spending millions hiring scores of new bureaucrats to “advise” people on global warming. They will contribute nothing at all to diminishing any damaging effects of climate change, such as the increased risk of floods. They will simply mop up more and more taxpayers’ money – money which should be spent on prevention measures to ensure the thousands who have seen their homes and livelihoods devastated this weekend do not go through it all again.

The Government should be working to minimise the threat of floods with better defences and more efficient drainage systems, not pursuing policies that will see more people driven from their homes. It is easy to think of other examples of Government incompetence, but it is hard to think of a worse one.

Reality is sinking in.

Flood failures: Ministers ‘mishandled crisis’

The Telegraph often has great photos, and they have not let us down this time (see links to video, pictures, and readers’ photos from that ‘Flood failures’ page). In some cases, it is hard to believe these pictures were taken in a developed Western country!

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