The floods across the UK in December have been devastating. We’ve known this was going to happen for the last few decades. We have done nothing or, worse, pretended it won’t happen. Worse still, those in power in politics and media have misled the public saying this wouldn’t happen, that the effects of climate change would be mild in the UK.
Our sincere sympathies must go to all those affected by the current storms and flooding.
UK governments of all persuasions have ignored evidence-based climate change warnings about increased precipitation and rising sea levels. There has been chronic under investment in flood defences. Meanwhile, the dysfunctional housebuilding industry has been allowed, encouraged even, to build on flood plains and cover drainage ground with hard surfaces, increasing surface flooding.
In 2014, the Committee on Climate Change said, “climate models suggest that the UK will get warmer and wetter winters on average.” Quite.
In reality, we’ve known about this eventuality for decades – it easy to find and read heavily cited papers from 1994, and earlier – and we are still woefully unprepared. It is a disgrace to hear politicians bleating about doing everything they can. Governments have known that this was going to happen for years and chose to manipulate and spin flood spending figures rather than take action commensurate with the risk to life and property.
For those tragically affected by flooding, for the second for third time, everything the government say and do now is too little, too late. One in a hundred year events are not supposed to happen three times a decade.
For those who happily live in denial about climate change, especially those in positions of power and influence, the awful consequences of that denial are coming home to roost.
We now need real leadership to protect vulnerable communities, and provide accurate information on what we should expect over the coming decades. Communities that have been made vulnerable by the lies and misinformation of climate change deniers, luke-warmists, their friends in the media and the weak politicians who pander to them.
What is happening to flood-affected areas is tragic. We need less spin and crocodile tears, and more real action to address what will be an increasingly frequent and severe phenomena.