Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Fiddling While Rome Burns

The Daily Mail is doing its usual thing of trying to whip up a popular frenzy by reporting that the 3 days a week chairman of the Environment Agency is holidaying in the Caribbean while the North is flooded out. The DM obviously misunderstands the roles and responsibilities of the CEO and the chairman. Naturally enough, the DM readership is equally ignorant.

In any case, I have no idea, and I doubt the EA does too, what anyone can do when the situation is unprecedented. Sounds very much like scapegoating to me. There are aesthetic benefits of living next to a river, but unfortunately there are always dangers too.

The Netherlands has addressed higher and higher river levels by giving space over to floodplains, rather than building higher and higher dykes, which they realise are ineffective. The appetite for that in the UK though is negligible, especially when so many houses have been built on floodplains.

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