With Live Earth events being staged around the world this weekend I thought it interesting how issues are being so graphically illustrated in the UK by the floods in Yorkshire.
It has been one of the wettest, if not the wettest Junes since records began in Britain.
The popular expressing ‘Flaming June’ has never been less appropriate unless you referring to the ‘Bloody Weather!’.
The residents of the UK are never happy as far as the climate is concerned but I can honestly say I’ve not known a summer like it.
In this country it’s not unusal to have a few days of rain during the summer months and others that are a bit chilly but this has been going on for weeks. It’s just not natural to see so many people in thick jackets and duffel coats at this time of year.
Of course the people we should most feel sorry for are those that were flooded on the night of June 24th and the families of the seven who died that night.
One image resonated with me particularly and that was a house that was flooded halfway up the front door and yet had a for sale sign on it.
We’ve been looking at houses recently and my heart went out them because their house is virtually unsellable now. Who would buy somewhere where a flood like that could occur?
Very little was safe from the water in Sheffield in particular and even the Hillsborough football stadium was deluged.
Here’s a slide show featuring the extent of flooding in the city…
For the latest news and information on flood issues in the UK visit the Floodline website.
So where does all this leave Britain in the future?
While there is demand for stronger defences I think we must all accept that we must abandon some ares to the sea in a tactical retreat to release the pressure because this is a battle we simply cannot win.
If climate change is happening at the rate that scientists would have us believe then no amount of money or a sea wall of extreme height will make a difference as the sea has to go somewhere.
It will find a way through. Period.
The idea of handing back certain areas is nothing new. Back in 1998 the BBC published an online article entitled Abandon low-lying areas to the sea but as yet this idea has barely been tested.
The problem is that people don’t want to move from their homes but I’m afraid to say we’re running out of choices. The government are running scared of the astronomic costs and the possible backlash at the ballot box and so we have delay following delay.
The city where I live (Peterborough) is on the edge of the Fens and it has been estimated that global warming could make the city a coastal town by 2050. This is all very nice but the fens are fertile farmlands and with a growing population the area can ill-afford to lose such areas. However, it’s permanent flooding following three centuries of use since reclamation seems inevitable as the vast majority of it is under sea-level.
The next flood can only be just round the corner if action isn’t taken now.