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Germany’s flood disaster exposes folly of misbalanced Net Zero policies

July 19, 2021

By Paul Homewood

 

 

Press Release from the GWPF:

 

 

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In recent days, meteorologists and extreme weather researchers have blamed a ‘monumental failure of Germany’s flood warning system’ for the death and devastation triggered by disastrous flooding.

Experts had warned the German government four days before the first floods about the high risk of flooding in the Rhine basin, but the government failed to implement flood protection measures that are, in any case historically underfunded and thus ineffective.

Despite previous flood disasters in recent decades, Germany’s priority in dealing with climate change has been to spend hundreds of billions of euros on wind and solar projects, failing almost completely to prepare communities for extreme weather events that are inevitable regardless of climate change.

In view of the habitual failure of UK governments to prevent and alleviate significant flooding events in the past, the Global Warming Policy Forum is calling for No. 10 to learn from Germany’s sad example and implement a radical rebalancing of adaptation and mitigation in the UK’s climate policies.

Since 2002 the UK has been spending increasingly large sums on climate change mitigation, mostly through subsidies to renewables. Between 2017 and today the UK has spent nearly £30 billion in in income support subsidies to renewable energy investors.

The OBR estimates that in the next four years alone (2021 to 2025) the UK will spend nearly £50 billion on these subsidies to renewables investors.

A fraction of these astronomical handouts could deliver greatly improved flood prevention, defences and disaster recovery systems. Comparable spending would help to make the UK extremely resilient in the face of natural disasters.

The German and UK governments obviously have the balance of adaptation and mitigation very badly wrong.

As a direct result of costly and ineffective climate policies both countries have underinvested in protection and adaptation measures. These measures are very effective and “no regrets” policies because they yield dividends immediately and protect citizens against flooding and other natural disasters whether they are related to climate change or not.

Dr Benny Peiser, the GWPF’s director, said:

The German government’s astronomically costly low carbon policies have delivered no benefit to those communities affected by flooding. The UK has yet to see a disaster on the German scale but the underlying problem is identical.

Even if the UK were ever to achieve its Net Zero emissions target, towns and communities would still have to deal with flooding and other extreme weather events that won’t disappear just because the Government throws hundreds of billions at wind and solar energy.

The next time communities and towns are devastated by a flood disaster, no minister or party leader should get away with the lame excuse that climate change is to blame. The truth is that even in regions where more flooding is happening, in affluent societies flood disasters are increasingly the result of failed and underfunded protection measures.

It is time for the government to redirect resources towards adaptation measures that will help to prevent or minimise much of the misery and economic harm caused by flooding.”

15 Comments
  1. Coeur de Lion permalink
    July 19, 2021 10:00 am

    Especially because U.K. emits one per cent of global CO2 ( not ‘carbon’) and CO2 is not the climate driver.
    There is absolutely no way that CO2 is going to stop climbing at about a harmless 2ppm a year as it has done for the last thirty. Do look at BP’s recent energy analysis and consider forecast for coal and the ineffectiveness of ‘renewables’.

  2. July 19, 2021 10:11 am

    Non-dredging of rivers? By EU directive the UK had the same problem on the Somerset Levels.

    • Dan permalink
      July 19, 2021 3:29 pm

      Dredging was/is carried out in the UK and no directive was issued banning it (which in itself would have to be ratified in parliament).

      Some EU regulations can affect dredging decisions. E.g.the EU Water Framework Directive a requires an evaluation as to whether dredging activities could affect wildlife. The Waste Framework Directive regulates silt disposal etc etc. Overall much depends on how individual EU member states implement the directives.

      • Mad Mike permalink
        July 19, 2021 5:28 pm

        It is true that EU regulations allow certain types of dredging but when we asked the EA to dredge a river locally because of it’s now almost yearly flooding, we were told that to do so went against their biodiversity aims. They are even reluctant to keep the river channel open by taking out the weeds which they call river vegetation.

        The EA is now wholly concerned with biodiversity and is not a fit body to deal with river management. Nobody listens to that statement because biodiversity is sacrosanct. It’s too easy for them to blame climate change and, because we have caused it, we can now take the consequences it seems.

      • Dan permalink
        July 21, 2021 11:02 am

        @mike
        Indeed. As I said up to individual states and organisations.

        I would add that the biodiversity arguement can be countered on two points:
        1. Ask for the risk assessment that shows that a lack of dredging would not lead to flooding. If it isnt there or the flooding is not considered to be damaging, then you can challenge assuming there are safety risks. That’s a challenge you can’t take to court. Helps further if paths or bridleways etc are being affected (ramblers etc).
        2. Question the need for the biodiversity given that it persumably wasn’t there previously.

  3. mikewaite permalink
    July 19, 2021 10:19 am

    notrickszone has a relevant post :
    https://notrickszone.com/2021/07/18/germanys-katrina-officials-left-dams-full-for-weeks-even-with-heavy-rains-in-the-forecast/

    -“Officials left dams full to the brim at least 3 weeks long during a rainy period and then failed to undertake a controlled release even when 150 mm of rain were forecast 4 days before the floods.

    Now they want to hide their gross incompetence and blame climate change.”-

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      July 20, 2021 12:04 am

      The same thing happened in Queensland when the Wivenhoe dam was built to reduce flooding but changed somehow to holding water in reserve. When the rains came the dam was full and water was then released to “save the dam” making flooding worse downstream.

  4. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 19, 2021 10:27 am

    The extraordinary thing is that if you Google you can find how much time and energy has been expended on planning/reports/reviews/processes/reorganizations in respect of German flood planning/prevention/mitigation/warning etc. Millions of man-hours undoubtedly.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/07/18/german-chancellor-angela-merkel-falsely-claims-we-werent-warned-about-the-german-floods/

    When push came to shove, a belated facebook post was their best effort! Astounding!

  5. Gamecock permalink
    July 19, 2021 11:42 am

    ‘A fraction of these astronomical handouts could deliver greatly improved flood prevention, defences and disaster recovery systems.’

    Or just forbid building in flood zones.

    The problem with fascism is that people want it. They see the government as having an important role in managing their world. People choose to live in flood zones. It isn’t the government’s job to prevent floods.

  6. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    July 19, 2021 11:52 am

    Ah, but our (local) government encourage property developers to build new homes on flood plains. By installing bus routes, not requiring very much social housing and getting investment from over seas, for example.

  7. Vernon E permalink
    July 19, 2021 1:01 pm

    Tthe footage from Germany showed clearly that same recurrent problem of old stone arched bridges severly resticting the ability of the floodwaters to escape. They have to be demolished and replaced by full-width elevated spans.

  8. Broadlands permalink
    July 19, 2021 2:01 pm

    “…. no minister or party leader should get away with the lame excuse that climate change is to blame.”

    Maybe if the media replaced “climate change” with “AGW carbon dioxide” more people would understand that is not the reason for floods or droughts?

  9. johnbillscott permalink
    July 19, 2021 2:03 pm

    Remember Kings Lynn 1953, which I remember, and the 1978 event are we better prepared – I doubt it.

  10. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    July 20, 2021 8:09 am

    Anyone would think the German Government allowed this flooding to take place.
    They were in receipt of accurate data.
    This disaster just ramps up the narrative.
    Global warming-climate change-climate emergency-climate CRISIS. PANIC !
    Now opposition to coal/oil/gas will be weaker and easier to dismiss. History shows these events come along. It is then how they get reported/exploited.

  11. July 21, 2021 11:30 am

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:

    The OBR estimates that in the next four years alone (2021 to 2025) the UK will spend nearly £50 billion on these subsidies to renewables investors.

    A fraction of these astronomical handouts could deliver greatly improved flood prevention, defences and disaster recovery systems. Comparable spending would help to make the UK extremely resilient in the face of natural disasters.

    We never learn from history and put up bird slicing follies, all to line the pockets of lobbyists and troughers. Drought and floods are a never ending cycle that repeats across the land. No matter how fanatically we pursue the #NetZero fantasy, we can never stop it but we have always been able to adapt and prepare for the worst.

    https://craigm350.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/floodplains-the-clue-is-in-the-name/

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