Failed flood defences cast doubt on UK readiness for new weather era | Environment | The Guardian

The Guardian reports that troops called in and 1,000 soldiers on standby as thousands of people are evacuated after ‘unprecedented’ water levels hit northern England. This is a must-read and deeply worrying article.

Source: Failed flood defences cast doubt on UK readiness for new weather era | Environment | The Guardian

This is a disgraceful situation for the UK government of David Cameron and George Osborne. Osborne’s bacon-slicer approach to public spending was always high risk. Now we are seeing the impact of under investment in public services. For sure, the government will try to pass the buck and blame senior civil servants.

I fear that this is just one key area where the UK government is seriously at risk.

A broad based strategy is required to deal with the UK, with proper bottom-up costing and independent risk-assessment.


One response

  1. This is a telling and interesting report from the Guardian which makes Dr Alf’s point but not in the way that the Guardian and others try to suggest.

    As a child, from the age of 3, my late mother and I were required by her employers in Great Shelford ,Cambridgeshire, to go by train to Patterdale.

    In former years, I went by car but was constantly carsick hence the instruction to use the train.
    From age 4, I walked on Hellvellyn, visited Windermere, went to Glenridding, the area now being subjected to flooding, visited Ullswater, watched sheepdog trials, visited Newby Bridge and read all of Arthur Ransome’s books.

    I have a good memory and all of the roads, infrastructure and bridges were much the same as now yet all these years later with bigger populations, many more visitors and 10 times as many cars the amounts of tax paid are not reflected in the infrastructure that we see.

    There are no American-style storm drains, bridges look exactly the same as they did in my childhood and the roads built by the Victorians and by the Roman legions nearly 2000 years ago have simply had a layer of tarmac placed over the top of them.

    There are no proper flood defences and those that exist since flooding about 10 years ago are inadequate because the Government has failed to dredge rivers of silt as they failed to do last year in the Somerset levels.

    Dr Alf calls for sensible risk assessment which is the right thing to do, but I want to also see an audit conducted with forensic skill on what money the Government has allocated to local authorities in this region of Cumbria, how it was spent and where the rest of it went.

    Where there were instances of criminality and financial irregularity uncovered by this process, the money trail should be followed so that financial discovery, sequestration of assets and prosecutions can begin.
    The Meteorological Office which was fired by Tesco PLC 3 years ago for inaccurate forecasting and by the BBC for the same reason this year is accountable because the Environment Agency relies on them for weather forecasting accuracy.

    The Hadley Centre for Forecasting based at the University of East Anglia was discredited when its computers were hacked by a Foreign entity and thousands of e-mails were released into the public domain showing that climatologists had manipulated the data, supposedly with no malice or misguided intentions.

    This was done in a way which purported to show that Global Climate was warming was occurring when even the IPCC in its last but 2 reports admitted that the world had not warmed in 16 years but attempted to explain this by saying that the warming effects had been absorbed and cancelled out by the oceans and would re-emerge in 25 years time.

    The Environment Agency also relied on pronouncements from these people because the Met Office which they have relied on for long-term advice on climate trends also relied on them for advice.

    In short civil servants at the Environment Agency have relied on inaccurate advice and money which should have been spent on infrastructure in NorthWest England and Cumbria has not been, despite warnings from property and casualty insurers that what the Government and local authorities have been doing is inadequate.

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