No one can fail to be surprised by the catastrophic floods that have hit England this week - the worst in over 60 years. What is unforgiveable, however is just how much they took everyone by surprise. In spite of the floods in the North of England earlier this year. In spite of a government paper that pointed out how unprepared the UK is for flooding. In spite of more and more evidence that proves that such occurences are perhaps not, to quote Prime Minister Gordon Brown ‘an Act of God’, but rather a result of Acts of Human kind.
What scares me the most is this: if this is the result of global warming, then its only the beginning. Whatever we do, however much we change right now, straight away, its going to get worse before it gets better. I don’t believe in scaremongering - this is just a logical analysis of the facts: the world is beginning to sit up and take notice, we are beginning to try to make (some of) the necessary changes, but it is going to take years for these changes to have an effect. In the mean time things are just going to get worse, and the country that brought you the wrong sort of snow and leaves on the tracks now brings you two weeks without water….. because of flooding!
So what is the message amongst this rant? It’s several messages in fact:
- Governments and institutions need to take action to prepare for far worse than we have had over the last few months. And not just flooding: extreme cold, extreme heat, maybe even more tornadoes like the ones that turned up out of the blue in Birmingham and London - everything is apparently possible. It’s great that they are now actively talking about reducing CO2 emissions, but they have to prepare for the inevitable effects of the last 50 years of emissions.
- Governments, institutions and the public need to start being a little bit more intelligent with regards to where - and how we build new houses. We don’t have to stop building on flood plains, but we should certainly build flood-proof houses in danger areas. Anyone for houses on stilts?
- If you haven’t already, it’s time to learn the lesson. Taking simple steps that will not dramatically change your life will can reduce your personal CO2 emissions by over 20% in no time. And guess what? If we all did this, it will be a huge step to turning things round and quickly. What’s more, for those more lazy people who still see this as ’someone else’s problem’ there is another reason to take action: reduce your emissions by 20% and you will reduce your energy costs by 20%.
Save Energy, Save the Planet, Save Money. A pretty simple message really.