Tuesday, 11 February 2014

let it rain


If it don’t rain, then it pours -  it's hard to find the perfect time to say ... So let it rain.

For many thousands the sound of rain upon a rooftop must be foreboding and fill one with apprehension, especially in parts of the country that have been under the water for weeks now and with no sign of a let up. And as I look out of my kitchen window the rain carried by strong winds pricks my conscience, is this the result and consequence of man-made climate change?  Is it the factor in the extreme weather that has hit much of the UK in recent months?”

More than 130 severe flood warnings - indicating a threat to life - have been issued since December. In contrast, there were only nine in the whole of 2012.

More than 5,000 properties have been flooded over this period, although the Environment Agency says investment in flood defences over the past decade has protected a further 1.3 million properties, a defensive answer yet, prickly and paranoid if ever there was one.

While our politicians engaged in a not so colourful (but highly unproductive) 24 hours of finger-pointing about who is responsible for the floods, rain continues to fall and water levels continue to rise across southern England, one can not help thinking what if any effect will this have on the outcome of the next general election. Middle England that land hard fought over by the upper echelons of politicians, has had high ranking visits from royalty to both Cameron and sidekick Cleggy, and yet nothing from Miliband?

Do the politicians learn anything, must be a question often asked, was not the flooding of 2007, the wettest since records began, with extreme levels rainfall compressed into relatively short periods of time. Readers may recall the familiar pictures on television and in newspapers - striking images of Tewkesbury Abbey, reporters standing knee deep in filthy water in empty housing estates and shots of flooded infrastructure

The hard facts are even more compelling. 55,000 properties were flooded. Around 7,000 people were rescued from the flood waters by the emergency services and lets not forget that 13 people died.
We also saw the largest loss of essential services since World War II, with almost half a million people without mains water or electricity and transport networks failed.

The floods that devastated England ranked as the most expensive in the world in 2007.

South Yorkshire and Hull, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and the Thames Valley back then have now been joined by many other parts of the country, as rivers show signs of not being able to handle rising sea levels, around this little island land that seems to be sinking, and as the coastline falls apart like it was suffering from tooth decay.  

"Most people accept that, with climate change, (floods) are likely to be more frequent."  David Cameron

Cameron the great leader has been caught in the perfect storm, which will cost him dearly come the election, a government hell bent and determined on austerity and cuts is now unable to explain in simple language what the cuts have really done to endanger life, indeed yet again taken life. Cut’s that have not just destroyed property, in some cases beyond repair, and not just property but what people have been working towards all their lives, to be able to have a decent home and enjoy a trouble free life for themselves and their families, now floating in a field or down a swollen river.

It’s a hard way for middle England to wake up, but maybe it’s time it did - it’s high tide or bust!”

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