Monthly Archives: December 2015

Weather (again)

It’s been the longest daylight for a while.  Not so much because we’re just past the longest night (and further past the earliest dusk), but because we’ve had mostly-clear skies and bright sunshine.  A refreshing change after a very dull month with a fair bit of wind and rain.

We’ve had it easy.  Yes, a fair bit of wind and rain, but nothing out of the ordinary for the season (except the ridiculously warm temperatures[1]).  Parts of northern England and Scotland have had some serious flooding.  And with it, the Chattering Classes are at last starting to question our customary “business as usual” approach to flood risk and defences.

We’ve heard a few stories of why these floods are in large measure caused by man’s actions.  Loss of trees and intensive agriculture; engineering (including dredging) of rivers, and the concreting over of vast  areas around where most of the houses are, all create the conditions for serious flooding.  And whereas these stories have been heard before, what seems different this time is that the non-solution of building ever more flood defences is finally coming under critical scrutiny.

And I’m pleased to note that one of the ideas I’ve floated on this blog has finally been aired in the meeja.  We can, as our forefathers did, reduce the impact of flooding from a major disaster to a moderate inconvenience by building resilience into our houses.  Apparently some business owners are already doing that.

Having said that, I expect the reality will be back to business-as-usual once the floods subside.  As it was with our railway, whose problems and solution I also described in this blog just a year before it was washed out to sea in the storms of two years ago.

[1] It’s hardly dropped below 10° even at night.  A minor news story is of retailers suffering from inability to sell their stocks of winter clothes and the like.