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Climate change means homeowners should no longer expect protection from floods, government to announce

February 18, 2020

By Paul Homewood

h/t Philip Bratby


Homeowners should no longer automatically expect to be protected from major floods, ministers will announce in the coming weeks.

Under a radical policy shift drawn up by the Environment Agency, flooding will be seen as inevitable due to the predicted effects of climate change.

Instead of spending millions on “limitlessly high walls” and barriers, the government will help people to rebuild their water-damaged homes or to move away from flood-risk areas.

It comes after the Environment Agency was accused of leaving parts of the country at the mercy of Storm Dennis, which continued to cause devastation on Monday.

Not all agree though, as the Telegraph report:

On Monday a former environment secretary accused the Environment Agency of using climate change as a “cop out” to avoid having to strengthen Britain’s flood defences.

Owen Paterson, whose Shropshire North constituency has been affected by Storm Dennis, said: “It has always rained in the UK in winter. The trick is to get it to go down again. You have to manage the countryside and you have to manage the rivers.

“It is a complete cop out to blame it all on climate change.”

Meanwhile the Environment Agency was also accused of “hiding behind” EU directives to avoid having to pay for Britain’s clogged waterways to be dredged.

Innes Thomson, chief executive of the Association of Drainage Authorities, claimed the flood risk in some areas would be “massively reduced” if silt was removed from swollen rivers.

“The Environment Agency has been hiding behind EU rules supposed to protect wildlife,” he said.

“But the technology exists to safely remove silt and the EA knows it. It’s happening in some places, but not nearly enough.”

Mr Paterson, who served as environment secretary between 2012 and 2014, accused the EA of having a “mentality” that dredging is a “bad idea”.

“What these people have unwittingly done with their idiotic views, they have delivered an environmental catastrophe of the first order,” he said.

As we have known for a while, the EA is attempting to abdicate their responsibility by simply blaming climate change.

Regardless of its exact effects, Owen Paterson is quite correct in stating that Britain has always had bad floods, and it is the EA’s job to mitigate them. If they are not prepared to, them they need to be replaced with an organisation that can.

Having said that, I have no objection in a bit of lateral thinking. We all know that far too many houses have been built on flood plains. We also know that, even in places like Hebden Bridge, the number of homes actually flooded are actually a very small number. Maybe it would make more sense rehousing these people, or flood proofing their homes, instead of spending hundreds of millions erecting flood defences which can often end up simply transferring the problem downriver?

  1. Dave Ward permalink
    February 18, 2020 10:25 am

    There’s a good article by Ross Clark in today’s Daily Mail:

    He quotes the sort of figures that Paul regularly does:

    “Tredegar in South Wales, the wettest place in the UK this weekend, received 62.6mm of rain on Sunday. That is less than a third of the 211mm which fell in a single day at the nearby Lluest-Wen Reservoir on November 11, 1929, long before anyone started worrying about climate change”

    • Pancho Plail permalink
      February 18, 2020 10:30 am

      The very fact that this appears in the MSM shows that attitudes are slowly changing for the better.

    • Michael Adams permalink
      February 18, 2020 12:56 pm

      As I reported yesterday, the EA are refusing to open an overflow channel in our village that was constructed after a serious breech of the river that runs through our village. The Channel has been used to good effect but their reason now, even though the river has risen and is encroaching on to property, is that they are hoping the increase in river flow and volume will wash away the silt that they have allowed to build up over the years. If this is not an admission of policy failure I don’t know what is.

      There is a meeting with our village representatives and the EA, water authority and other interested parties on Saturday and I’ll let you know what they say. We all know the EA will try to hide behind CC. Any bets on how long it takes them to mention it. Only guesses in seconds only will be taken seriously.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        February 18, 2020 1:55 pm

        The best action you could take probably involves an angle grinder to get things started. You will of course be prosecuted and found guilty which if you dress up as XR clowns and preach it is saving the planet you will be let off.

  2. Pancho Plail permalink
    February 18, 2020 10:29 am

    Perhaps they could channel some of the money wasted in long term “climate mitigation” to more pressing needs too.
    It was interesting looking at some of the historic stuff on the British Pathe site. One of the pieces referred to the local community clubbing together to help out those made homeless rather than today’s knee-jerk assertion that the Government should do it.

  3. February 18, 2020 10:35 am

    The GWPF exposes the folly of misbalanced UK climate policies and the impact on flooding:

  4. February 18, 2020 10:51 am

    A brief look at the Met Office historical rainfall maps shows that mid wales can have up to 100 inches of rain pa and north wales in the Snowdon area 150 inches and over. It has ever been thus, since records began. As the rivers Teme and Severn have their sources in the Kerry hills in this region, it is inevitable that the rivers will flood from time to time, have always done so, will always do so. Nothing we can do as humans will ever change that. What we can do is dredge, bring back water meadows, stop farmers ploughing up to the field edge, reforest more uplands, and yes, if you want, reintroduce Beavers, but above all stop concreting over floodplains. Where I live in Ludlow, some numpty puts in a planning application for houses in the flood plain of the river Corve, which flows into the Teme, every year regular as clockwork. On Sunday this entire area was under ten feet of water and both small bridges in the area were washed away. This is not an exceptional event, It has happened many time before, but eventually the council will capitulate and either agree his application because they don’t have the money, or can’t be bothered to oppose it any more.
    By the way, Ludlow means the Hill by the LOUD waters, which shows that even the newly arrived Saxons knew a thing or two, and why the town was built on a hill well above the floods.

  5. February 18, 2020 10:59 am

    Floods caused by non-existent climate change? Someone will be along in a moment and blame it on Brexit 😉

  6. MrGrimNasty permalink
    February 18, 2020 11:03 am

    It’s undeniable that the loonies are in charge.

    Even if you accept the alarmist climate story, it still makes no sense financially or in terms of any realistically possible achievable outcome, for the UK to spend money on ‘fighting climate change’ before all possible adaptation/mitigation schemes (however pointless/useless) have been completed.

    But what is this really about? Why are the police and the authorities standing by and allowing XR to commit repeated criminal offences in Cambridge (and previously) and condoning them with zero arrests?

    Yet a person who attempts to drive through an XR blockade or sweep away the XR symbols daubed in soil on Barclay bank floor would immediately be warned to desist or be arrested?

    • Mack permalink
      February 18, 2020 2:07 pm

      The police actions in Cambridge and elsewhere in response to, clearly, criminal activities by XR disciples throw up an interesting conundrum.

      A citizen may make a citizens arrest for an indictable offence in England and may use reasonable force to do so. Criminal damage of the type exhibited in Cambridge, namely organised, carried out by multiple individuals and probably costing the victims more than £5k to rectify, easily falls within the scope of an ‘indictable offence’ under the Criminal Damage Act, 1971. A citizen has similar powers to prevent a breach of the peace under Common Law.

      Ordinarily, a citizen would not be expected to exercise their powers of arrest if there was a reasonable expectation that a constable, who is present or nearby, would make the arrest. What would’ve happened, I wonder, if the honourable denizens of Cambridge had risen up en masse and exercised their lawful rights to arrest the villains in response to the police’s complete surrender of their own powers to deal with the incident. Would the citizenry have then been entirely justified in dealing forcefully with any police officers who, having failed to arrest the criminals in their presence actively committing a crime, then tried to prevent and arrest citizens acting perfectly lawfully in exercising their own powers of arrest of the criminals ignored by the police?

      The bottom line is, if the police don’t get their act together pretty quickly and start enforcing the law properly, then the general public will increasingly start to take action unilaterally and, probably, a tad more vigorously than the snowflakes in XR, and common purpose indoctrinated senior police officers, would appreciate. It’s a recipie for anarchy.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        February 18, 2020 2:39 pm

        Society will be provoked to a citizen fightback against the BBC, XR, police, politicians, political correctness (as opposed to common sense decent tolerance of differences) etc. How much longer can manifestly minority opinions/values/policy priorities be promoted as normal/right/democratic and used to dictate to the masses?

  7. Vernon E permalink
    February 18, 2020 11:10 am

    Phillip Bratby’s point is relevant, I noticed the same nonsense myself. The Telegraph MUST sort out its editorial position. On one page it espouses good rational questioning of CC and on other pages it sounds like XR’s home page. Concerning the coastal issues the most versatile defence medium is the tetrapod – used everywhere in the world except here. When the rail line in Dawlish eroded dramatically a few years ago shipping containers were used to recover it for God’s sake. As far as I can tell there is no manufacture of tetrapods in the UK. If I were a young man I know what I would invest my future in.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      February 18, 2020 11:21 am

      There was a single one installed as an art installation near where I grew up. And thousands down around the harbour. Great bit of design.

  8. GeoffB permalink
    February 18, 2020 11:20 am

    heres my comment on telegraph article 13 likes.

    Geoff Be
    18 Feb 2020 9:27AM
    The Environment Agency is just using climate change as an excuse for taking care of newts, badgers and wetlands rather than flood prevention. Change the name to Flood Prevention Agency and get on with dredging.

    Stop building new homes on flood plains and accept that places that flood regularly may have to be abandoned.

    Historic records show that present flooding is no worse now than in the last 300 years.

    Anyone in a position of responsibility that blames the mythical climate change as the reason for any event, should be sacked as they are unable to understand present day statistics and historic records.

    There really is no valid evidence of climate change.


  9. February 18, 2020 11:37 am

    A comment posted elsewhere abut the Environment Agency and flooding:

    “The Environment Agency is overrun with eco Trotsky entryists. It started in the early 2000’s. The only way out is to disband the quango and set a new one up and blacklist eco cultural Marxists. You cannot reform these people. They’re not pragmatic, they’re eco fundamentalists. All they’ll do is more namby pamby hand wringing and demand that residents need to put up with the occasional floods.

    My Dutch work colleagues think we’re barking mad. They’ve said what have you done to the drainage dykes we built for you? My reply was the watermelon 🍉 idiots let them get clogged up (to pardon the pun).

    Honestly though, they’re astonished. One guy reminded me that Schipol airport is 15m below sea level.”

    • Dave Ward permalink
      February 18, 2020 1:45 pm

      “One guy reminded me that Schipol airport is 15m below sea level”

      It’s not 15m (nearly 50ft!). According to the approach plate, the runways vary from 11-14ft below sea level. Nevertheless, many years ago I paid a visit to Radio Netherlands (then brand new) Shortwave Transmitting Station in the middle of the Flevo polder. Considering it was kitted out with 4 x 500kW transmitters, along with state of the art switch gear and antenna feed lines, you can be pretty sure it would not have been built if there was any risk of it ending up under water. This location is 6ft below sea level…

  10. hostelmandotcom permalink
    February 18, 2020 11:48 am

    I see the “climate disaster” being a convenient horse for many an incompetent jobsworth! My mother in her 92nd year constantly goes on about the farmers no longer ditching and diking in the autumn ahead of the winter storms. Drive along any A or B road you will be lucky to see any evidence of the ditches which used to be between road and hedges. This was the job of the lineman. That took the runoff away to the rivers which were DREDGED! The nonsense which comes from the environment agency is part EU BS but also a sad sign of the times where people get into decision making positions not because of their practical abilities but because of their “beliefs” and right now “natural” is a big word. No one in the Lake District was surprised when storm Desmond did its thing. People were not allowed to do what they knew to be critical… Land MUST be managed. The next issue is the asininity of building on flood planes and then wondering why people get wet feet. The NEXT question is WHY is uncontrolled population Growth not thought to put pressure on housing? The whole thought process is riddled with inconsistency and ideological BS and this comes down to the politicisation of every aspect of government is riddled with political BS and specifically left wing nonsense irrespective of who is in charge

    • Gerry, England permalink
      February 18, 2020 1:57 pm

      My parish council is always reminded land owners to clear ditches and drainage channels on their land.

  11. Joe Public permalink
    February 18, 2020 12:13 pm

    Meanwhile in a parallel universe, The Graun recently ‘reported’:

    “Parts of northern England could run dry by 2035, report reveals”

    “But the report for the thinktank IPPR North warns that, despite its abundance of water, the north could also become water stressed, with significant reductions in rainfall …”

    • AndyP permalink
      February 18, 2020 1:42 pm

      I believe the Guardian predicted back in 2005 that Britain would be in a permanent drought by 2011 caused by “global heating” as they like to call it. They got that right then!

      • February 18, 2020 6:15 pm

        In 1989 when the global warming thing started, the Grauniad published an ‘artists impression’ of how Britain would look like in the year 2000 ,(which seemed along way off then). It showed a scene rather like the Arizona desert, with a blazing sun, sand, dried up river beds, and cactus everywhere. My scepticism started right then. Which I’d kept it.

  12. LeedsEM permalink
    February 18, 2020 1:04 pm

    I previously worked with officials from the Environment Agency and can confirm that it is captured by green zealots. One senior official told me (seriously) that we should relocate two our largest cities to different locations, rather than protect them. I said did he think that the Dutch would take that view about Amsterdam or anywhere else. He went quiet. But they have used the EU Water Framework Directive (yes, there is such a thing) to adopt the most extreme view that we should be re-wilding our rivers to how they were before the industrial revolution. This explains what we are now seeing in the abandonment of dredging etc. But we cannot go back to a situation when we only had one tenth of our current population. Seems to me we need to break up the Environment Agency and bring back the old Drainage Boards. If the Dutch can protect their country, certainly we should. Instead of spending £14 billion a year on renewable energy subsidies and £16 billion a year on foreign aid we should spend it on flood prevention and adaptation.

    • Dave Ward permalink
      February 18, 2020 3:45 pm

      “We should be re-wilding our rivers to how they were before the industrial revolution”

      Much like what is being done to our electrical grid…

  13. EternalOptimist permalink
    February 18, 2020 1:15 pm

    I went for a walk at Hebden Bridge a few weeks ago and saw the ongoing works for flood defences. Lots of disruption and building sites but nobody actually working. I also saw a house on the hillside on stilts. ‘He will stay dry’ – said my missus

  14. Gerry, England permalink
    February 18, 2020 1:58 pm

    Wouldn’t it be great to read ‘Government ministers will no longer be protected from home owners’

  15. Jason permalink
    February 18, 2020 4:59 pm

    Flooding, both river and coastal, has been Environment Agency policy for at least a decade. Not dredging. Not maintaining sea defences. Want alarming headlines to scare kids with. Totally evil.

  16. avro607 permalink
    February 18, 2020 10:47 pm

    At Jason.I totally agree.
    Totally evil,sickening,disgusting,uncaring actions of those who should be the protectors of our people.
    Quite frankly Prime minister,you disgust me.

  17. MikeP_UK permalink
    February 19, 2020 11:06 am

    As has been proved by the Somerset Levels, the cause of the flooding is the failure of the EA to dredge the rivers. No expenditure on ‘flood protection’ will be effective if we do not take measurese to prevent flooding by dredging the rivers in areas that would otherwise be floor prone. It has been very effectively proved by the Somerset levels experience this year and ever since they dredged the rivers draining the levels. If you help the water to drain away more easily, by dredging from the mouth upwards, then you will helop orevent flooding and protect all the homes and businesses upstream. Simple, but the EA are sohide-bound by their interpretation of an outdated and erroneous EU Dictat. Just get dredging to save the country from these floods. The two recent ‘storms’ were nothing special and not unexpected.

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