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Adapt or Die, Warns Environment Agency

October 13, 2021

By Paul Homewood

h/t Ian Magness



We are used to absurd, over the top articles like this from the BBC, but Emma Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency should be sacked for producing this latest preposterous report:



Hundreds of people could die in floods in the UK, the Environment Agency has warned in a hard-hitting report that says the country is not ready for the impact of climate change.

Earlier this year in Germany, dozens of people died in floods.

"That will happen in this country sooner or later" unless the UK becomes more resilient to increasingly violent weather, the agency concludes.

Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the agency, said: "It is adapt or die."

The apocalyptic tone is deliberately intended to startle governments, companies and communities into preparing for global warming effects such as higher sea levels and more extremes of rainfall and drought.

The new report, seen by the BBC ahead of its publication on Wednesday, assesses the country’s readiness to cope with the many different risks of climate change.

We are currently heading for an increase in the global average temperature of just under 3C by the end of the century.

But the agency projects that even a smaller rise of 2C would have severe consequences:

  • Winter rainfall up by 6% by the 2050s and 8% by the 2080s (compared with 1981-2000)
  • Summer rainfall down by about 15% by the 2050s
  • London’s sea level up by 23cm by the 2050s and 45cm by the 2080s
  • By the 2050s, peak river flows could be up 27% while summer flows could be down as much as 82%
  • An extra 3.4 billion litres of extra water needed every day before 2050, on top of the 15 billion used now

According to Ms Howard Boyd: "We can successfully tackle the climate emergency if we do the right things, but we are running out of time to implement effective adaptation measures.

"Some 200 people died in this summer’s flooding in Germany. That will happen in this country sooner or later, however high we build our flood defences – unless we also make the places where we live, work and travel resilient to the effects of the more violent weather the climate emergency is bringing."


None of her apocalyptic projections have any basis in fact. Winter  rainfall, for instance, is not peaking any higher. The slight increase in average trends is due to fewer really dry winters.

Meanwhile, there is no downward trend in summer rainfall, with droughts much less common than in the past:


It follows then that her projections for river flows and water shortages are nothing more than gibberish.

And sea levels?


mean trend plot

Her projections of a 45cm rise by the 2080s would equate to an annual rise of about 7mm. In reality, sea levels on the Thames Estuary are rising at just 1.22mm/year, with no sign of acceleration.

Since when was it OK for a public body such as the EA to publish such a misleading, unsubstantiated report?

  1. Chris Reynolds permalink
    October 13, 2021 10:14 am

    If the thousands of miles of neglected ditches were properly maintained by their owners and rivers were regularly and effectively dredged by the responsible authorities, there would be a much greater storage capacity available to cushion the effects of heavy rainfall.

    • Mad Mike permalink
      October 13, 2021 10:27 am

      Yes this rich coming from the Agency that we have been fighting locally trying to get them to keep our river clear of vegetation that slows the flow of water. The EA has flatly refused to clear the river citing biodiversity as it’s priority.

      Residents along the river, like me, recently received a letter threatening us with the law if we carried out any work within 8 metres of the riverbank without their permission. They went on to warn us that clearing vegetation from the river without a license issued by them was illegal even though we have riparian responsibilities to keep the river clear.

      To now talk about risks of flooding and the need to take action is a sick joke.Another case of hiding behind the climate change cloak to mask their own failings.

      • bobn permalink
        October 13, 2021 11:54 am

        Ha ha, so they claim we need licenses from them to work our land.
        I have a river bank and last year dug a mooring into it (7 tonne digger). Can now get a 40ft boat in. I didnt ask anyone because from the state of the river no-one seems to care. Do your own thing and just dont talk to anyone. The EA will never know tucked up in their cushy offices folding paper. No-one has come to comment on my digging.
        Just ignore all quangos.

    • October 13, 2021 11:16 am

      This is EXACTLY the case as suffered in Cumbria during Storm Desmond in 2015. The population of one of the worst affected places, Glenridding on Ullswater had been denied permission to dredge the river coming through the village which they knew had to be done because of some newt which supposedly had been found. Also regarding ditching and diking. That is exactly what my 93 year old mother keeps asking. She says where are the line men working in the Autumn ditching and diking to prepare for the rain to come? This was a problem caused by profound incompetence in the EA and not as they claim due to you driving an SUV!

  2. Dr Ken Pollock permalink
    October 13, 2021 10:14 am

    No more than one would expect from the BBC and the EA…All part of a scheme to scare us rigid and hence accept any privations to “save the planet”! In the face of energy scarcity, the environmentalists want to stop opening up a new oil field off Shetland. This sort of report plays into that story very well, and never mind the impact on impressionable children.
    By all means hold back winter rainfall in the hills – temporary blockage of drainage – or by building dams. Then there is stored water for the summer, if it is drier…

  3. Harry Passfield permalink
    October 13, 2021 10:17 am

    A couple of things to note:
    By the time she is proved wrong on her prophecies she will be dead.
    The EA have known about the need (in their minds) to adapt since at least COP15 when the ridiculous 2 Deg Armageddon was first announced (before, it was 1.5) so why haven’t I seen teams of EA engineers dredging rivers and strengthening water-courses? The river at the end of my garden floods my lower garden more regularly now, not because of CC but because the EA have failed to maintain the water-course while allowing new-build housing around the village to drain into the river.

  4. bobn permalink
    October 13, 2021 10:36 am

    She’s just making excuses for her failed quango. The EA took over responsibilities from many regional boards and has failed miserably. Somerset level dredging? Dam spillway maintenance? River clearance? The EA does nothing and when the failure to maintain leads to a disaster she’ll claim – climate change.
    Reminds me of Public health England. Now how well did that useless quango do its job?!
    Scrap all the Quangos! Starting with the CCC.

    • Harry Davidson permalink
      October 13, 2021 10:49 am

      The Somerset Levels were a disaster after the EA took over. Then Owen Patterson was put in charge of the Environment. He was told the waterways couldn’t be dredged back to 60s standards because of EU legislation. His response was to tell them to just get on with it. Since then, no flooding of the Somerset Levels, although the area has seen much higher than usual rain.

      • Post BREXIT permalink
        October 13, 2021 11:14 am

        Paterson ‘took control’ only to be sacked by Cameron at the earliest opportunity!

      • Harry Davidson permalink
        October 13, 2021 1:30 pm

        Post BREXIT: Cameron was more of an onanist than realized at the time. His subsequent behaviour has been very revealing.

    • October 14, 2021 11:12 am

      PHE did their job so well that they re-named it to protect the guilty parties. And possibly gave them all large bonuses for working so hard during the name change?!!

  5. Stuart permalink
    October 13, 2021 10:50 am

    Another scare mongering report and virtue signalling to government at the same time. Politically this puts them in the clear when any flooding does occur and they can point to it and say ‘look we predicted this’. Then there is the other aspect of the begging bowl to government, which has progressively cut their bloated budgets over the years. Give us more money is clearly implied.

    This from an organisation that had a permanent hire vehicle for every two employees. My own experience of the EA is they couldn’t make a cup of tea unless an expensive consultant said it was okay to do so. Incapable of doing anything on its own account but damn good at finding reasons to do nothing.

  6. Cheshire Red permalink
    October 13, 2021 11:00 am

    Endless propaganda to scare the public into compliance.

    There’s not a 1000/1 chance that their headline is a fair reflection of likelihoods, nor should they be able to hide behind the deliberately inserted caveat within the copy.

    ‘The apocalyptic tone is deliberately intended to startle governments, companies and communities into preparing for global warming effects such as higher sea levels and more extremes of rainfall and drought.’

    It’s a series of exaggerations so great the EA ‘report’ can only be called a lie.

    Would be interesting to see how they’d fare if held to account by a FoI or even small private writ. (If that’s even possible or affordable?)

  7. Barbara permalink
    October 13, 2021 11:05 am

    From: The Green Finance Institute website: ‘Emma Howard Boyd is the Interim Chair of the Green Finance Institute and will help drive the Institute’s work ahead of the UNCCC COP26 conference this November in Glasgow.
    Emma has spent over 25 years working in the finance industry and is Chair of the Environment Agency, an Ex officio board member of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), an Advisor to the Board of Trade, and a Global Ambassador for UN’s Race to Zero and Race to Resilience ahead of COP26.
    She serves on a number of boards and advisory committees which include The Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment (as co-Chair), the European Climate Foundation, the Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project, and Menhaden PLC.
    Emma was the UK Commissioner to the Global Commission on Adaptation from 2018 until January 2021. To achieve the transition to an inclusive, net-zero carbon and climate-resilient economy, both public and private finance is needed.
    Is this report to the BBC part of Emma’s mission to ‘drive the Institute’s work ahead of UNCCC COP 26’?

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      October 13, 2021 12:48 pm

      While reading that bio, all I could hear in my mind was, ‘vested interest’.

  8. Mad Mike permalink
    October 13, 2021 11:07 am

    The EA is lucky because, although it’s mismanagement of the river systems is characterised by neglect, criticism is fragmented. Most of the criticism comes from small bodies like parish councils who are close to the problems but have no collective voice and therefore no voice.

    As I said before, this warning from the EA is rich given their record but there is no strong organisation to respond to this nonsense. Blaming CC is an obvious and cynical ploy to cover up how not fit for purpose they are and, when flooding does happen, they will be able to say “I told you so.”

  9. October 13, 2021 11:11 am


    At the bottom of this priceless piece of non science the BBC is actually allowing you a rare option to have your say in the section, “Do you have any questions about the forthcoming COP26 global climate conference in Glasgow?” Inviting readers to write a 500 character question to the (non) scientists at the worthless political meeting of assorted weasels, slime spreaders and subsidy farmers called COP 26.

    Please flood the BBC with your questions.

    As the elephant in the room, the total lack of statistically significant empirical data based evidence supporting the case made against CO2, my question was to challenge them was to to provide that very data pointing out that without it they have no case and indeed their whole premise is invalid. Also I asked why when no such data exists, why does the IPCC and indeed the rest of this circus behave as if it does?

    • Jimbo San permalink
      October 13, 2021 4:47 pm

      I would willingly do so but the cynic in me says that this is merely a device employed by the Biased Broadcasting Corporation to give the wholly erroneous impression of ‘balance’ in its reportage of the CCC hoax. Given that it has accepted the fatuous claim that ‘the science is settled’ does anyone on this post truly believe that our questions challenging the status quo will be selected? The day that happens is the day my pet ferret becomes Prime Minister. And as I don’t even own a ferret you can calculate the odds against that happening pretty easily!

      • Crowcatcher permalink
        October 14, 2021 5:52 pm

        It would appear that this item has been removed from the main “Science?” web page -what a surprise!!!
        I did manage to put my question -“What precedent is there from the past 550 million years of Earth’s history for you to believe that the climate being any warmer than it is at present is in any way a disadvantage to life as we know it?”

  10. Barrie Emmett permalink
    October 13, 2021 11:22 am

    Part of the wind up for COP26. Ridiculous fear mongering.

  11. Post BREXIT permalink
    October 13, 2021 11:23 am

    It is going to one hell of a battle to fight the eco-loons. not lest because all of the political parties, the MSM, schools, Quangos….. are fully signed up
    WE have St Greta the heroine of the kids who are being systematically brainwashed about their future.
    I heard a report on ITV (This Morning) only yesterday on how the TV soaps are going to
    co-ordinate with each other to include Climate Change story lines, the aim being to brainwash those who are hooked on Corrie, Enders, Emmerdale………
    One small glimmer of hope is the launch of the anti-Net Zero website NetZeroWatch that will attempt to counter the outrageous lies, fake news and eco-zealots, not that you will see any of the reports on the BBC et al

  12. George Lawson permalink
    October 13, 2021 11:46 am

    …and Ms Boyd will be one of the .experts. spouting at Cop 25.

  13. George Lawson permalink
    October 13, 2021 11:48 am

    sorry. Cop 26.

  14. Julian Flood permalink
    October 13, 2021 12:14 pm

    What is Ms Boyd’s educational background?


    • Barbara permalink
      October 13, 2021 12:34 pm

      Appears to be – University of Durham, St John’s College, BALaw & Economics 1983 – 1986
      Lester B Pearson College, United World College International Baccalaureate Economics, French, Music 1980 – 1982

  15. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    October 13, 2021 12:23 pm

    Booker: Somerset floods – a very European disaster.
    Floods covering 65 square miles deliberately engineered by a Labour Government in 2009 regardless of property, livelihoods or human rights.

    How the Floods of Somerset were Engineered – Christopher Booker

  16. Ulric Lyons permalink
    October 13, 2021 12:36 pm

    The AMO will be colder by 2050 so both summer and winter rainfall will be lower.

  17. October 13, 2021 1:00 pm

    The constant lies projection of fear for the future of this Planet from many sources such as ignorant politicians; Academia; Educators, using propaganda instead of teaching; Eco- Industries, and the shysters who run and profit from them: corrupt Quango’s; Eco-Charities and their activists; to name a few. All this overload of information on young and immature minds is causing mental illness and leads to attitudes of hopelessness, depression and maybe suicide. This behavior by what should be mature caring adults is criminality on a massive scale not see outside of dictatorial Communist States. The World needs to create a Nuremberg type Court to prosecute the perpetrators of this crime against humanity.

  18. James Broadhurst permalink
    October 13, 2021 1:10 pm

    Her diatribe was precisely the invitation Shukman needed to reinforce his statement that the Norfolk coastline was disappearing (through rising sea level). It isn’t of course, it’s through the constant erosion of East Anglia by the passage of the sea through the English Channel – long shore drift is what it is called, I think.

    We are being shafted.

    • Dr Ken Pollock permalink
      October 13, 2021 3:18 pm

      I have challenged David Shukman on this in the past. He seems to think the Thames barrage has something to do with sea level rise caused by climate change. Totally false…It was a surge in the North Sea that flooded East Anglia, drowned 350 people and pushed water up the Thames. Sea level rise – 8″ a century – is completely different! Still, Shukman is retiring soon and his replacement is better, I am told.

  19. Gerry, England permalink
    October 13, 2021 1:50 pm

    200 people in Germany died because of government incompetence in not heeding warnings that turned out to be very accurate and alerting the public. As usual, nobody will be sent to the ducking stool for this.

    Can anyone think of a very wet and watery place in England that doesn’t seem to have flooded recently? In the east as a clue. The Norfolk Broads. Is this a great Environment Agency success? Yes, if you mean they have nothing to do with it and a regional drainage board are in control. I own a woodland and I pay a fee to the Medway drainage board as there is a stream on my boundary. Amounts to less than £2 a year.

  20. Broadlands permalink
    October 13, 2021 2:37 pm

    According to Ms Howard Boyd: “We can successfully tackle the climate emergency if we do the right things, but we are running out of time to implement effective adaptation measures.

    Ironically, effective adaptation, infrastructure innovations and implementation locally and regionally is the right thing. It is the only realistic pathway forward, regardless of what the climate does. If politicians would ignore all the “emergency” hype and scare-mongering from these badly educated experts some real progress might be made. Good luck with that as they move forward with stupid ill-conceived plans to lower emissions and take CO2 from the atmosphere.

  21. A man of no rank permalink
    October 13, 2021 2:44 pm

    Done. I asked:
    who is paying for the 20,000 delegates in Glasgow? Hoping it is not the British taxpayer.
    will the UK’s leading CO2 expert – David Coe – be giving a talk?
    why has the manua lagos? CO2 graph not changed shape after previous COPs ?
    I enjoyed that p.m.f.breathing

  22. October 13, 2021 4:03 pm

    If the Chair of a commercial organisation spouted such arrant nonsense they would be discreetly advised to seek to develop their career in another organisation; having first set up an appointment with a psychiatrist. But because this crackpot ‘works’ for a taxpayer
    funded organisation she believes she is above all that nonsense about facts and evidence. She should close her backside and give her mouth a chance.

  23. Mad Mike permalink
    October 13, 2021 4:38 pm

    Scare tactics, its called lying to most people, to get more funding for the EA.

  24. Stonyground permalink
    October 13, 2021 5:09 pm

    With the media pulling out all the stops with the climate alarmism, is it too much to hope that people will remember when all of their scary predictions fail to happen?

    • Broadlands permalink
      October 13, 2021 6:53 pm

      Memories are short. Nobody remembers the failed predictions when the planet stopped cooling around 1975 and the current “crisis” emerged.

      “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” HL Mencken.

  25. October 13, 2021 6:49 pm

    To Dr. Ken above,do you have the date or info. on that storm surge as mentioned in your comment?

    • Dr Ken Pollock permalink
      October 13, 2021 6:58 pm

      It was in 1953, as stated in Wikipedia: The 1953 North Sea flood was a major flood caused by a heavy storm at the end of Saturday, 31 January 1953 and morning of the next day. The storm surge struck the Netherlands, north-west Belgium, England and Scotland. Hope that is enough – feel free to read more online.

  26. Chilli permalink
    October 13, 2021 8:06 pm

    > Since when was it OK for a public body to publish such
    > a misleading, unsubstantiated report?

    Since princess nut nut told Boris he wouldn’t be getting anymore nookie unless he promoted climate bollo via every government department.

    • M E permalink
      October 14, 2021 1:10 am

      In any other place I would guess that you are a troll! Give a reason for your opinion don’t just throw insults around. it makes the blog look ignorant and prejudiced and it is a valuable weapon in the fight against ignorance .

      • October 14, 2021 8:09 am

        Far be it from me to assume the reasoning behind the comment from ‘Chili’, but before ascribing a negative motive to ‘Chili’ wouldn’t it be politer to ask yourself if there was any rational, objective, scientific or economic rationale for this sudden rush of panicky, lying “the sky is falling” commentaries just before the UK is hosting another hot air spreading event?
        In the absence of all of the above then the comment (maybe tongue in cheek?) by ‘Chili’ could well have merit. Especially as it is well known that elderly men, especially priapic ones, are excessively influenced by their much younger spouses. Consider also the previous utterings by our Prime Minister regarding AGW before he met his current squeeze.

  27. David Wojick permalink
    October 13, 2021 8:45 pm

    No doubt she is citing a climate model projection, probably “down scaled”. The models are not calibrated by past data. They have a mind of their own, as it were. In fact the alarmists argue that past data is irrelevant because global warming changes the natural physics.

    So in a Court that accepts AGW you have no case against her or her agency. It is models all the way down.

  28. It doesn't add up... permalink
    October 13, 2021 9:54 pm

    More environmental law designed to shut down industry and agriculture and general living:

    Thy want it all wrapped up in a hurry before COP26. Plus, of course, and new quango.

    A Bill to make provision about targets, plans and policies for improving the natural environment; for statements and reports about environmental protection; for the Office for Environmental Protection; about waste and resource efficiency; about air quality; for the recall of products that fail to meet environmental standards; about water; about nature and biodiversity; for conservation covenants; about the regulation of chemicals; and for connected purposes.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      October 13, 2021 11:30 pm

      This is how they plan to get your car off the road:

      76 Environmental recall of motor vehicles etc
      (1) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for, about or
      connected with the recall of relevant products that do not meet relevant
      environmental standards.

  29. Graeme No.3 permalink
    October 13, 2021 10:17 pm

    Well the prediction in 1988 was for The Maldives (and parts of New York) to be underwater by 2018, and that the world would be 3℃ warmer by 2020.
    On a local matter I recall the prediction in 1976 that most of the City of Adelaide would be swamped by a tidal wave. “Waves would be lapping West Terrace”. My father checked that West Terrace was 196 feet about sea level (and knowing it was 5 miles inland) slept soundly, yet a number of people** panicked, sold their houses very cheaply and fled inland. When they came back they complained about losing money and wanted the government to do something.
    At least 4, including 3 from one suburb nearer the sea who all sold to a neighbour who stayed put. He did allow them to repurchase “for a consideration” when they returned. There may have been more but they may have preferred silence.

  30. Gordon permalink
    October 14, 2021 5:11 am

    Maybe Emma Boyd should do some ” Research ” …

    Here is one of the big one … Christmas flood of 1717.Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway. About 14,000 people killed.

    List of floods in Europe:

  31. cookers52 permalink
    October 14, 2021 7:05 am

    Every new development in UK has to have a “flood risk assessment “, provided by the developer to the planning authority.

    I have read a lot of these things and have yet to find one that says “we can’t build here “.

    The EA are a statutory consultee in the process and often say this development will have a negative impact on flood risk, but such is the need for housing and places to work due to uncontrolled population growth the EA advice is often overturned by government.

    So nothing to do with climate change just government policy.

  32. October 14, 2021 8:45 am

    But the agency projects…

    Anyone can ‘project’. Means nothing useful.

  33. cookers52 permalink
    October 14, 2021 10:51 am

    This is how Boris and his chums are actually preparing for climate change, by not enacting legislation that intended to protect us from existing flood risk. Nothing to do with the EA who probably are quite perplexed at the incomprehensible garbage the politicians spout.

    “position on adopting SuDS
    Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act (2010) aimed to designate
    Warwickshire County Council as a SuDS Approval Body (SAB). However, this
    legislation was not enacted in England.
    Given the above, Warwickshire County Council as Lead Local Flood Authority is not
    in a position to adopt or maintain any private SuDS features or other drainage
    infrastructure at this time. This is not likely to change in the foreseeable future
    however this guide will be updated should this position change.”

  34. Mark Hodgson permalink
    October 14, 2021 12:11 pm

    Enough said.

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