British Officials Blame Climate Change for Floods

Carlisle Civic Centre amid floodwater, author Rose and Trev Clough, source Wikimedia

Carlisle Civic Centre amid floodwater, author Rose and Trev Clough, source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Top British government officials have predictably blamed Climate Change for severe flooding which has afflicted England in recent weeks. But there has also been strong criticism of river management policies.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald;

London: Climate change is forcing England to re-assess its flood defences in the face of unprecedented river level surges, one of the United Kingdom government’s most senior environment officials says.

We are moving from a period of known extremes into a period of unknown extremes,” said David Rooke, deputy chief executive of the UK government’s Environment Agency, which manages the country’s rivers.

“We will need to re-assess all the defences right across the country.”

He linked the devastating Boxing Day floods, still engulfing swathes of the country, to climate change.

“What we are seeing are record river levels,” he told BBC Radio. “We saw in the Calder Valley in West Yorkshire levels that were a foot to two feet higher that we’d seen previously. We’ve seen similar again in Cumbria and elsewhere right across the north.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/unprecedented-flooding-in-britain-prompts-renewed-discussion-about-climate-change-20151228-glw0lw.html

There is another side to this story. Local farmer, historian and author Phillip Walling provides some background on the disastrous river management policies imposed by the bureaucratic European Union, which likely exacerbated the floods (h/t James Delingpole).

It was obvious to people, who depended on the land for their living that failing to keep the rivers clear of sand and gravel would cause them to burst their banks and destroy in a few hours fertility that had taken generations to create, wash away their houses, and drown their livestock.

Last century the obligation to dredge out the rivers was transferred to local river boards, consisting of farmers and landowners who knew the area and its characteristics, and who had statutory responsibilities to prevent or minimise flooding.

But all this changed with the creation of the Environment Agency in 1997 and when we adopted the European Water Framework Directive in 2000. No longer were the authorities charged with a duty to prevent flooding. Instead, the emphasis shifted, in an astonishing reversal of policy, to a primary obligation to achieve ‘good ecological status’ for our national rivers. This is defined as being as close as possible to ‘undisturbed natural conditions’. ‘Heavily modified waters’, which include rivers dredged or embanked to prevent flooding, cannot, by definition, ever satisfy the terms of the directive. So, in order to comply with the obligations imposed on us by the EU we had to stop dredging and embanking and allow rivers to ‘re-connect with their floodplains’, as the currently fashionable jargon has it.

And to ensure this is done, the obligation to dredge has been shifted from the relevant statutory authority (now the Environment Agency) onto each individual landowner, at the same time making sure there are no funds for dredging. And any sand and gravel that might be removed is now classed as ‘hazardous waste’ and cannot be deposited to raise the river banks, as it used to be, but has to be carted away.

Read more: https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/12/26/what-the-authorities-wont-tell-you-about-the-floods/

What’s disappointing, is that this is not the first time the EU directive which discourages proper dredging has been identified as an issue. However, there is very little ordinary people can do to fix this mess.

The European Union, which has ambitions to bind members into a new superstate, which would include all of Europe, parts of Asia, and potentially also include Russia and her allies, is not a very democratic institution. There is no “EU River Management Official” whom ordinary people can vote out of office. While there is an elected European Parliament, the parliament is virtually toothless – it has no real oversight powers, and no power to source new legislation. All new laws are proposed by a soviet style central committee, the European Commission, which also has responsibility for overseeing implementation of the laws.

Back in October, WUWT reported how an Egyptian official tried to blame flooding on climate change, in my opinion to deflect attention from the disastrous state of local drains. The Egyptian official was forced to resign. It seems unlikely anyone in Britain or Europe will be forced to resign, because of mismanagement of Britain’s waterways.

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266 thoughts on “British Officials Blame Climate Change for Floods

  1. Of course the floods in York can be blamed on climate change. The trouble is that these ignoramuses don’t study history. If they did, then they would see that major floods often occur in the UK (and elsewhere) each time there is a solar grand minimum. Perhaps they should study the UK climate records during the Dalton grand minimum (1790-1830) or the Maunder minimum (1645-1715) and then learn about what the sun is currently doing. Even if they are not totally dumb they will see a great similarity.

      • at BruceC:
        The image of flooding with sign has been questioned (elsewhere) and another’s response was that even so – it looks true. Actually, no, it does not.
        That’s not good enough. As posted here the resolution is low (436×414) but even so a dark border on the right side may indicate something else behind the white board. Where I live a sign on wetlands property for sale might say it is available if one needs acreage for “Mitigation” to compensate development elsewhere.
        Despite being funny, unless this photo can be shown to have credibility, I’d not use it.

      • John, if you are trying to suggest it was photoshopped, they went to a lot of trouble make it physically integrated with the fence, when they could have just chopped off the legs and stuck it anywhere in the water.
        This image is really getting to true cause of much of flooding in recent decades: urban expansion covering over farmland and countryside that used to absorb water. Many towns a cities in Britain grew up around the river. As they expand they become a massive impermeable funnel leading to the historic city centre.
        Also the Foss barrier has had recurrent technical problems due to cutbacks in maintenance.
        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/27/floods-army-called-continue-devastate-northern-england
        If you are going to block a river with a barrier you’d better make sure it still works when you need to use it !!
        For sake of saving some £100 million in spending there is now a £5 BILLION damage bill.
        The ludicrous european bureaucracy, as Eric Worrel points out, is a major problem too.

      • John F Hultquist: Quite right (about the sign in the photo) I think it’s been photo-shopped. Check out the perspective of the written words in relation to the hoarding and the fencing.

      • but even so a dark border on the right side may indicate something else behind the white board.

        John F.,
        So, you actually think that the “white board” sign is a two (2) dimensional object (height & width), …. HUH?

      • I’m guessing the picture below is the proposed development known as Dale View, Whalley, BB7, UK. Whether it is or not, and whether or not the picture has been ‘shopped, it humorously packs its message about the UK decision to permit building on flood plains and to ban dredging and embanking.

      • Ah never mind, there are two signs at 45 degree angles to the fence and that’s why it appears the fence is angled but the sign is straight, because it is.. The right leg is actually not on the fence and the “dark border” on the right side is the other sign.

      • Well, if it is a real picture, and the low remnant swale in the background is dry, and the higher ground (birds and all) represents the edge of the ponding, then my understanding of open channel hydraulics is lacking.
        Maybe there is a new concrete wall holding the water in place ….
        Take a look at the rail/post shadows on the water …pretty good.
        Take a look at the lower rail left of the sign … it must have been bumped loose from the post … maybe when they were building the concrete dike at the edge of the ponding….

      • … rail shadows are directly under, or even in back of, the fence. The sign post reflections are directly toward the “photographer” … I don’t see any fence post reflections.
        There is no reflection, in the water, for the sign itself. Given the angle of the rail shadow, the sign reflection should also be visible.

      • For those concerned about this particular photograph here is another of the same area with similar signs. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/flooding/12073672/Housebuilding-rates-higher-on-flood-plains-as-UK-stores-up-problems-for-future.html
        Of course it is entirely up to you if you believe it or not. Most people in UK would believe it as they have first hand experience of similar stupid decisions by local planning authorities desperate for property taxes from new builds persuaded by builders desperate for new building land.

      • Given that the remnant swale in the background doesn’t get wet even there is ponding every else, mebbe that’s where homes should be placed … cuz the low ground doesn’t get wet in Whalley.

      • Yes, the sign is real. The water is fake. The remnant swale extends to the right and then shows in the background. No water … same elevation … “up stream”.
        Use google earth or similar and check ground elevations (The signs can be seen not only from road view, but from satellite view).
        The two photos in the steeple times are taken from different angles (about 30 degrees) … this hides the elevation differences and indicates the wrong tree line.
        People lie to show that their side is “right”. AGW adherents do the same thing.

      • Read all the comments about this so-called flooded field.
        If you still use this photo as portrayed, your skeptical credentials need an update.
        Samual C. Cogar, about the word “board” – No, sorry. My many years of using a “white board” caused a, I think it is called, brain fart.

      • At least the rivers were able to reconnect with their flood plains. They must be feeling very happy and satisfied.

      • I sat on a regional Flood defence committee of the Environment Agency for many years. The overwhelmingly largest proportion of EA staff do an extremely difficult and often dangerous job, in what are, by definition often extreme conditions.
        The political Elite at the top (e.g Lord Smith-a Labour place man) are the despair of the staff who were often employed by the (usually excellent and local) river boards that the EA replaced.
        There are a number of related problems surrounding flooding, most of them enumerated elsewhere. First is that farmers are often eager to drain land on the uplands which means the water isn’t being impounded and injected into the soil (marshes/bogs) but instead go straight into the upland river system which brings great quantities of silt quickly into the lower river system, where people live.
        The population of the UK has expanded exponentially over the last 200 years, as has freehold property ownership and valuable possessions. The results are that people want their property protected and not even want flood water to come into their gardens or roads. Ironically, many of the most desirable houses have been built on flood plains, so water can’t be diverted there in times of floods and the buildings themselves represent an impermeable barricade so ensuring water goes straight into drains, gutters and the river system.
        Due to pressures for house building, adequate flood defences are often overlooked in favour of political expediency. Here is a development site adjacent to York. It is a fllod plain earmarked for 650 houses. Worse, it is now known to be the site of the FIRST battle of 1066 and therefore has great historical value as well as being of practical value..
        http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/9964955.Concern_over_floods_at_Fulford_homes_site/
        Take into account that the Govt HAS reduced flood defence money (I was on the committee that subsequently had to shelves schemes) and that we persistently fail to maintain them properly and do daft things like allowing pumping stations to be built in areas vulnerable to flooding, and in total the end results can be clearly seen in the TV pictures.
        There is no evidence that when taking a historical perspective, rain events are any worse than they were in the past . However, with many more people living in unsuitable areas and wanting to protect THEIR homes and properties, even at the expense of those properties previously unaffected, then severe flood events are bound to affect many more people than in the past.
        As one final point, the EU directive which forbids the use of dredged spoil to top up the banks as it is ‘hazardous waste’- as always happened in the past, goes hand in hand with the directive on protecting flora and fauna. A water vole for example might be afforded more protection than people.
        This issue has had the side effect of drastically reducing dredging to protect flora and fauna, which conversely has become ever more necessary as farmers drain the uplands, sending silt into the river system…..which is where I came in…
        tonyb

      • Cameron knows full well the problem is lack of dredging:
        A spokesman for the FLAG group has got hold of meticulous rainfall records for the area around the Parrett and Tone for the last 20 years.
        They reveal between December 1993 and Febuary 1994 around 20 inches of rain fell – five inches less than during the same time this year.
        A spokesman for the group said: “So roughly the same rainfall but far more flooding now.
        “What has changed? Dredging seems to be the biggest obvious difference between then and now.”
        David Cameron, who visited the area earlier this month, has promised regular dredging will commence once flood water subsides.
        Speaking during his visit, he said: “The pause in dredging that took place in the late 90s – that was wrong.
        “We need to get dredging again and I have said when the water levels come down and it is safe to dredge we will be dredging to make sure that these rivers and ditches can carry a better capacity of water.
        “There are lessons to be learned and I will make sure they are learned.”

    • The damage caused in York has number of causes
      1) The Environment Agency has been ignoring repeated calls by local residents to dredge the Foss and Ouse. From 1727 to 1996 the Foss was regularly dredged. Then the Environment Agency took over and stopped dredging.
      2) The pumps at the Foss barrier failed just when they were most needed. They had previously operated well with higher levels of flood water and the RAF had to air lift in spares which leaves some serious questions to be answered,
      3) The Environment Agency chose to LIFT the barrier emplaced to protect the city centre from flooding claiming that it was forced to do so by the pump failure.
      4) Warning was inadequate partly at least due to the failure of the flood defences so home and business owners were unable to protect their goods and properties.
      5) Their was indeed prolonged heavy rain but this has happened before. In 1987 when heavy rain threatened the city the York Flood Group under the control of the City council met and took actions to minimise damage, The Foss barrier was lowered and the pumps ran continuously for 12 days protecting the City centre from the high River Ouse levels
      Under the control of the Environment Agency there was little done that was positive. York City Council had to step in at the last minute and reconvene the York Flood Group after the EA sent this alert over Twitter at 10 PM
      “severe flood warning for #riverfoss. Waters entered Foss Barrier building which could cause electrical failure. We’ve lifted the barrier”
      The EA seems to be a completely useless bunch of green meddlers who spend millions creating nature reserves but ignore people. Time for them to go and the old drainage boards who were locally accountable to be reinstated,

      • The EA seems to be a completely useless bunch of green meddlers who spend millions creating nature reserves but ignore people. Time for them to go and the old drainage boards who were locally accountable to be reinstated,

        The UK Environment Agency were following the orders of their EU masters who in turn were following UN Agenda 21 Chapter 18. This was no series of accidents by blundering nincompoops, it was a deliberate series of actions taken over a long term with the express intention of flooding areas regardless of, or even because of, people living there. The Environment Agency are ‘Making Space for Water’ and in crowded Britain that can only be done at the expense of people. It is totally disingenuous of Prime Minister Cameron to waffle about money anyone can waste money; it is the result that counts and the result was abject failure by the Conservative ‘government’ to protect the people of the North. But they are merely ‘following orders’ from the EU. So do not expect the situation to get any better while UK (and US) administrations are in thrall to the UN and ‘global warming’ apparatchiks.

      • The Environment Agency document on Making Space for Water (which explains the rationale behind the plans for deliberately flooding the UK, creating wetlands for the wading birdies and raising the flood plains) mentions Climate Change fifty-nine times and dredging once. It’s as though the author scores points for dropping in “Climate Change” and subtracts penalties for “dredging”. I cannot tell if this document, and the myriad like it emanating from the EA, are simply exercises in creating paper to create the impression of complying with UN Agenda 21 while not intending to implement it, or if it represents current policy by the EA, the RSPB and the Climate Change Steering Committee. After the Somerset fiasco Dave Cameron made all the right noises about re-instating the dredging, but I don’t know if this happened or was confined to Somerset. Perhaps Baroness Young could explain.

    • Well global warming is supposed to cause droughts. That’s what gubner moonbeam Brown tells us in California.
      g

      • And, as has been demonstrated so many times in the past, Governor Moonbeam doesn’t have a clue,
        It seems “Climate Change” is the new political expedient. California has been ignoring its water deficit for over 50 years now, allowing massive real estate development projects on the one hand and bowing to environmental groups who refuse to allow watershed development capable of serving it. New homes bring in tax revenue and dams cost money; the equation is very simple.
        California has been in a perpetual state of water shortage for at least 50 years. I remember the drought of ’75 and now we’re in the drought of ’15 and absolutely nothing has changed other than that the EPA has laid claim to virtually every body of water in the country larger than a mud puddle and somehow this is “progress”.
        I’m probably more environmentally aware than most but California’s environmental policies are leading to a disaster. Unless infrastructure necessary to support the population already here is actually planned for, it will end up being built haphazard in crisis. Absurd decisions will be made in conflict with effected parties instead of in co-ordination with them. While these goons waste time and huge amounts of money on a fantasy the call “climate change” what was once called the breadbasket of the country is turning into a fallow desert. Anyone who thinks reducing California’s CO2 emissions is an effective way to address the State’s water shortage has been sniffing glue; Cap and Trade scams don’t build dams or aqueducts. It’s lunacy alright, brought to us by the Head Lunatic himself. Thanks Gov. Moonbeam.

        • I have received this email about 30 times???Mick  G
          From: Watts Up With That? To: mickgreenhough@yahoo.co.uk Sent: Saturday, 2 January 2016, 18:04 Subject: [New comment] British Officials Blame Climate Change for Floods #yiv2125074472 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv2125074472 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv2125074472 a.yiv2125074472primaryactionlink:link, #yiv2125074472 a.yiv2125074472primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv2125074472 a.yiv2125074472primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv2125074472 a.yiv2125074472primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv2125074472 WordPress.com Bartleby commented: “And, as has been demonstrated so many times in the past, Governor Moonbeam doesn’t have a clue,It seems “Climate Change” is the new political expedient. California has been ignoring its water deficit for over 50 years now, allowing massive real estate” | |

    • A letter in The Times today quotes Horace Walpole writing to a friend in 1748: “The weather is excessively stormy but has been so warm and so entirely free from frosts the whole winter that not only several of my honey-suckles are come out, but I have literally a blossom upon a nectarine tree, which I believe was never seen in this climate before on the 26th of December.”

    • I have a little homework exercise for someone in York. When I was last there, in the early 1980’s, there was a pub on the riverbank, with the flood high water marks carved into the wall. It went almost to the ceiling, and if I recall correctly, way back into the 1600’s. I do not suppose someone wants to go and take a photo, comparing the level of the current floods.

  2. This is exactly what you would expect from the UK’s Environment Agency, a top heavy, highly bureaucratic, organisation stuffed full of activists, long on greenie theory and short on experience and management skills.

  3. There are two basic points to be made about the present flooding in England.
    Firstly, whilst there has been excessive rain in certain parts of northern England, the episodes have been caused by a particular and repeated set of weather (not climate) conditions affecting limited areas, instead of being spread around the country, as would be normal at this (wettest) time of year. In fact, we in the south east have not experienced any unusual amounts of rain at all, and October and November were, if anything, drier than normal.
    Secondly, as Paul Homewood via his excellent notalotofpeopleknowthat site has repeatedly demonstrated with facts, even these flooding and rainfall events are not, as so often stated in the British MSM, “unprecedented”. In fact, historical records – in some instances going back over 150 years – show many such episodes in the past (and long before the AGW scam was ever hatched).
    The likes of the BBC and the Met Office are having a global warming feeding frenzy over these rains. Really, however, they should hang their heads in shame and check the facts out first.

    • Indeed, Mr. Magness.
      1. Failure to apply proven-effective basic engineering principles, e.g., dredging rivers.
      and
      2.

      … these flooding and rainfall events are not, … “unprecedented”. In fact, historical records … show many such episodes in the past … .

      One such historical record is a letter written by one in a good position to know the facts and with no motive to l1e about the subject:

      Headington Quarry, Oxford
      10th December 1960
      Dear Allens both,
      Very shabbily, we are about to fob you off with one answer for two letters … . ***
      Our country has had the wettest and dullest autumn for 145 years — since Waterloo in fact — and we are by no means the worst off district; down in Devon and Cornwall, also on the Welsh border, the unfortunate people have been flooded out twice in five weeks, losing of course most of their clothes and furniture twice over. …
      Yours ever to both,
      Warren and Jack {C. S.} Lewis

      (Source: The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, HarperCollins (2007))

    • Yes I have just written to one of the journalists:
      Dear Nick
      Re: Your story: Unprecedented flooding in Britain prompts renewed discussion about climate change.
      Your story should first look at the most immediate reasons that cause flooding, like the perfect storm that builds to give heavy endless rain, which you should firstly examine in terms of the weather, rather than jumping in and blaming climate change. Instead of the usual suspects as sources who will always blame climate change, you should also consider likely mismanagement factors, like the operation of dams, locks etc. To illustrate, in an area where I live, the Queensland floods of 2011, and in particular the Lockyer Valley floods that were significantly devastating with many deaths. Green Senator Christine Milne said the flooding was due to global warming and the compliant news media reported it this way. The real causes: the physical effects of huge rainfall, so much so that the sea level fell around Australia as it rained and rained on the interior where the inland lakes hold the water, which then takes months to run back out to the sea. This was caused by heavy rain in the La Niña event of 2011 – 2012. This was the real cause for the record floods, similar to the wetter La Niña cycles in Australia in 1974, 1975 and 1976. Then there are factors like development and deforestation (unlikely I suppose in West Yorkshire): but in the Lockyer Valley floods instance, the overflow and operation of Brisbane’s Wivenhoe Dam upstream was the real reason. These reasons are based in logic and fact and the Queensland Floods Inquiry has since testified to this in public hearings. News-writers have a responsibility to develop logical research and clean story-telling strategies, effective in explaining such emergencies with accuracy. Journalism must provide simple analysis and demystification in these matters. Instead, journalism output continues to remain fixated on the deleterious and mysterious atmospheric effects of greenhouse gases, with scant mention of all the usual environmental problems associated with heavy industry, logging and big paddock agribusiness.
      Regards
      David​
      David Blackall BSc (Agric), Dip Ed, MA (Jour), PhD
      PO Box U82
      Wollongong University
      Wollongong, 2500
      Gmail: dblackal88@gmail.com
      Mobile: 0414 838784
      Profile: https://ris.uow.edu.au/ris_public/WebObjects/RISPublic.woa/wa/Staff/selectPerson?id=9689&group=4123
      Nadjunuga Wildlife Refuge: a University of Wollongong Master of Science field station: http://www.nadjunuga.com/
      Screen Lost Innocents of Kashmir: http://www.cultureunplugged.com/documentary/watch-online/play/52318/Lost-Innocents-of-Kashmir
      2011 World Premier: Raindance Film Festival, London.
      2011 North American Premier: Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM).
      2012 Kashmir in Poetry Festival, Genova.
      2012 Genoa, with Naseem Shafaie’s poetry.
      2013 IN THE PALACE International Short Film Festival, Bulgaria.

  4. Here in California, they’re blaming the unusually cold weather on Climate Change. Also a long drought. But on the East Coast, Climate Change has brought unusually mild weather and in England, extreme flooding.
    That CO2 sure is powerful stuff!

    • Can you make energy out of CO2 ??
      It seems to have all of the necessary ingredients.
      Oxygen , Carbon, what else do you need ??
      g

      • Hydrogen. That’s the supposed plan for Mars. The Sabatier reaction. You take the Hydrogen with you but the C)2 is in the atmosphere. Once you are going it makes propellant in the form of methane.
        4H2 + CO2 –> CH4 + 2H2O
        The water produced by the reaction is then electrolyzed to produce oxygen and hydrogen; the hydrogen is re-used to produce more methane.

  5. Liberal socialists never think or care about the consequences of their actions…all they worry about is feeling good about themselves today !! To hell with everybody else, the end justifies the means !!

  6. Question for the English readership:
    Is the Govt. getting away with blaming it on “Climate Change” or are the people not putting up with it?
    If the picture is anywhere near representative, the damage must be incredible. It will take years to dry out, repair and rebuild, and pay for it all.
    Out here in The Colonies, the scant news we got is that the rains were heavy but not unusually so. That makes the flooding completely preventable, and if current policies continue, will become routine.
    Just in time, Kate at Small Dead Animals shows us this:
    The Department of Energy and Climate Change issues –
    Instructions for Opening an Office Door – A Civil Servant’s Guide
    For Real
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3374788/How-use-DOOR-amazingly-patronising-guide-civil-servants-avoid-mishaps-entering-leaving-rooms.html
    Now you know.

    • I particularly like the last instruction:
      “Avoid carrying loads, including laptops and hot drinks, through the doors whenever possible. ”
      Apparently you should leaves these things outside of the door you are going through and pick them up when coming back through, if they are still there. Or perhaps they meant that one should open the door first instead of trying to go through it.

      • That’s why they have revolving doors. I went to a hospital in Geneva that had a revolving front door. Not a door that you could revolve, but a door that revolved continuously. I would guess that an able bodied person could enter the door for 95% of the cycle. If you were paying attention, you never ever had to stop. You just walked in.
        Of course, those persons playing on their finger toys, would have some problems. The hospital staff had some problems getting out those doors; they were trying to time their exit to sumultane with the ignition of their fag. Talk about addiction.
        But sometimes, they walk right off a cliff, or into a train; which solves their problem.
        A guy named Charles Darwin wrote a whole book about the phenomenon.
        g

    • Best line
      “Perhaps it’s those responsible for producing this ‘advice’ who should be shown how to use the door.”

    • There is a bold notice on the wall of the toilets in the public servants offices where my brother works in the UK that says “To save resources, please try one swipe up, one swipe down and one across to polish”! (And some wag has written underneath “‘Also remember to press flush button hard, as it is a long way to the canteen!”).

    • Considering all of those accidents involving doors, surely we can agree on the need for sensible door controls including door registration and buyer background checks. We can’t have all of these doors falling into the wrong hands. Think about the children…

    • Kipling said it best…
      “The Saxon is not like us Normans. His manners are not so polite.
      But he never means anything serious till he talks about justice and right.
      When he stands like an ox in the furrow – with his sullen set eyes on your own,
      And grumbles, ‘This isn’t fair dealing,’ my son, leave the Saxon alone.
      “You can horsewhip your Gascony archers, or torture your Picardy spears;
      But don’t try that game on the Saxon; you’ll have the whole brood round your ears.
      From the richest old Thane in the county to the poorest chained serf in the field,
      They’ll be at you and on you like hornets, and, if you are wise, you will yield.
      Soon … please soon…

  7. Kremlin report – end 2015

    ” British Officials Blame Climate Change for Floods”

    Neit Comrade! You are mistaken, there are no floods, there can be no floods. They were not officially prophesied:-
    Met Office: Arctic sea-ice loss linked to colder, drier UK winters
    Retraining of UK retards is becoming easier, under the new scientific regime, a whim can turn a positive into a negative without even a quizzical raising of an eyebrow. And now, thanks to our Met Office Comrades, we have evidence that they may actually accept black = white?
    Whilst the ‘elite’ and their officers are on board there is concern should they ever be collectively asked to react to a change. Once sold they see no alternative! Doesn’t it really take you back to the good days Comrade! Enjoy!

  8. I should point out that the Sydney Morning Herald is a left wing rag that was once the broadsheet of choice but is now a sad little tabloid spreading climate alarmism. It is no longer a credible source of news and would relish such rubbish from the Green Left British government.

  9. I’m convinced that [i]government’s kowtowing to climate change[/i] is really a great way for them to [i]“redirect the heat”[/i] of being lousy forward-planning civic ministers. Its so much easier to cite, [i]“oh, oh, we’re having totally unprecedented rain and flooding, and gee, entering a period of unknowable extremes”[/i], than to fess up to what’s really going on.
    Which is, [i]“profiteers and opportunists have continually put pressure on local ordinances and civil engineering best practices to build ever deeper onto flood plains”[/i]. By hauling out the cheery war-paint, feathers and juju beads, the [b]guilty[/b] civic smurfs are free to blame [i]civilization, global warming, the Americans, processed food junkies, wanton childbearing responsibilities, and the Church[/i]. And open a fresh packet of bickies, make another pot of tea, and settle in for a multi-month debate and position paper writing campaign.
    Oh sure! How about that dry streambed over yonder that sometimes has quite the flash-flood every once in a blue moon? Think the nice parking lot is a wee bit too close? No? Well … think again.
    Its very popular to blame [u]all[/u] on the [u]unfixable[/u].
    And do nothing about the real problem: stupid civil engineering practices.
    [b]Goat[/b]Guy

  10. Someone from California please correct me if I’m wrong …
    It seems to me that I’ve been hearing this kind of stupidity from California for decades. It goes along the lines of: We can’t do ____ because a ____ might have a nest within five miles.
    I had hoped that this crap would have run its course as the baby boomer hippies aged out of the activist population. Sadly, it seems to be accelerating. WUWT?

    • I have a partial answer to my own question.
      A doctoral student at the University of Waterloo has done a study testing people’s individual receptivity to bull****. (Sorry to be indelicate but the study actually uses that word a lot.) The basic idea was to see if the test subjects could tell the difference between statements that might actually be profound and statements that contained randomly generated bafflegab.
      The study found that some people thought a lot of randomly generated stuff was profound. The researchers had some possible explanations.

      This may be the result of a lack of critical thinking. Those who are particularly receptive to bull****, the researchers found, tend to show lower cognitive abilities (like verbal intelligence); are less reflective; more prone to conspiracy theories; more likely to subscribe to religion and belief in the paranormal; and more likely to be a fan of alternative medicine. (The latter, of course, you could probably have predicted based on the motivational quotes that show up on your hippie relative’s Facebook feed.)

      This paper is interesting because it goes counter to a lot of studies that suggest that Republicans are stupider than Democrats. This paper suggests that the easily-led tree-hugging activist hippies are actually stupider than the general population. (OK, that’s my own interpretation.)

    • Some years back a road improvment project on the main highway north out of Wellington was stalled while the Department of Conservation spent NZ800,000 moving 1000 native worms. Also along the same highway further north the route was diverted around a block of land because the local native tribe believed a spirit lived there.
      The mind boggles.

      • … the route was diverted around a block of land because the local native tribe believed a spirit lived there.

        Iceland carries this to the extreme. You can’t build almost anything unless you check with the elves. link Projects have been abandoned because the elves caused the construction equipment to break down as well as causing all kinds of other accidents. The vast majority of Icelanders refuse to deny the existence of elves.

    • I am a CA native, born in ’51 in L.A. Now live in San Diego.  California used to be a very Conservative (large “C”) state.  Even Jerry Brown’s Democrat governor Pat Brown was conservative. We produced the best CA governor and president in decades: Ronald Reagan.
      After him, California went to hell in a handbasket and has now been controlled by hard-Left legislatures and governors for many years. We’ve been so overrun by illegal aliens that many of us call it Mexifornia, and the Left in power does all possible to pander to them.
      I’m outta here as soon as I can afford to do so.
      Hope that helps.

    • Yeah, B. McKibben, Mouthpiece for Big Wind, is hilarious (not! — barf, okay, I see the humor…. barely, heh).
      Here’s another funny one from your sickening-but-good-to-know article, Jeff (FL (seriously, thanks for sharing)):

      Lancet and the British Medical Journal, praised the trust’s work, but asked it to consider the core medical value of “first, do no harm” and divest from fossil fuels.

      Lol. “Take away that patient’s intravenous nutrition — we just heard (“scientists say“!!) that salt and sugar taken with water can kill you!!!”
      Precautionary Fallacy irrationality is understandable from uneducated laypersons, but, medical doctors??
      {{Note to Self: DO NOT HAVE ANY MEDICAL PROCEDURES DONE WHILE IN THE U.K..}}
      (likely to cut my arm off so I won’t get arthritis in my elbow someday — and yes, this medical metaphor ridiculing the Precautionary Fallacy has been done many times (and much more aptly, too — just am not going to the effort to search for one of those great comments) on past WUWT threads…)
      ***************************
      ***************************
      (in case one of S. M0sher’s sock-puppets shows up):
      The Precautionary Fallacy, i.e., “we don’t know this is a problem, but, just in case, let’s take drastic measures to deal with it,” is a reason to do or to not do ANYTHING. The concept has, thus, NO usefulness. It is cited only by simpletons or by those who would fool simpletons.
      ****************************
      ***************************
      Thank — you — Jeff (FL) for providing the wonderful soapbox!
      stepping down, now……. and, off home I calmly go ….. IN MY INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE-POWERED CAR!!! Bwah, ha, ha, ha, haaaaaaaaaa!
      {Bumper sticker: SAVE FEED THE PLANET…. actually, no, no bumper stickers on my car, just a license plate frame that says:
      FREEDOM
      ROCKS! }.
      #(:))

      • Well I’m glad you enjoyed that post. Can’t be near as much as I enjoyed your reply though. 🙂
        I was born and raised in the UK but emigrated to the U.S. many years ago. Still browse news from Britain.
        By the way … rather awesome photos from my real Celtic homeland ……
        http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/waterfall-formed-reservoir-reached-35500-10659607
        The rainfall is nothing to do with AGW, it’s a result of the UK Met Office deciding to name storms. Could’ve told them that was a bad idea. 🙂
        I guess you and others are aware that The Guardian have been running this Divestment Campaign for several months now trying to get Wellcome and also The Gates Foundation to divest fossil fuel stock holdings.
        I like Wellcome’s response – a not too subtle two-fingers gesture to the greenies. {That’s the British equivalent of a middle finger … but with emphasis :)}
        The Bri Health Service is actually pretty good – particularly in emergency situations. Don’t believe for a moment that the ‘spokespersons’ are anywhere near representative of the entire medical profession in Britain. The Guardian habitually tries to enlarge the apparent support for its advocacies by assuming their favorite quote vendors speak for the masses.
        Anyway as we edge close to the end of 2015, not too bad an outturn in the climate wars this year and we can all look forward to Marrakesh in 2016.:)
        Have a happy New Year … you and everyone posting here.

      • Glad you were entertained, Jeff in Florida. 🙂
        I hear you about British physicians. I would venture to say that MOST of them are just fine. Still, it was fun to — (((shudder))) — wide-eyed-stare (O.O)… helpmeineedadoctorandimintheuk!!! — exaggerate a bit — lolololol.
        Wow. You sure changed your climate. I grew up in Washington State, USA (and have visited several hydropower dams but NEVER saw (not on TV, either) such a spectacular sight as you shared; thank you for that amazing sight) and am having a hard time with the too-warm-all-the-time climate where I am now (it is coolish in winter when it should be COLD; it is hot in spring when it should be MILDLY WARM; it is BRUTALLY HOT in summer when it should be WARM; and it is HOT (hot, I say! ugh) in the autumn, then…. warm…. then…. it is winter (back to coolish). But! You know what the GREAT thing about this lousy climate here is?? NO RAIN (most of the year). I hope you like where you are!
        And your culture… Wales is pretty special. Hope you get to visit once in awhile. My great-great-great grandfather, Evan Richards, Warehouseman (occupation on a public document I saw), emigrated in the early 1800’s from Cardiff, Wales:
        “Land of My Fathers” (Welsh national anthem – “Hen Wlad Fy Nhdau”)

        As I gaze at these beautiful photos, my eyes fill with tears (probably because they look a lot like the Puget Sound, Wash., region, too (sniff)). My great-grandfather was a young man when he left Wales never to return. He must have thought of such scenes often and often throughout the rest of his life as he made his way from the U. S. east coast to finally end up in Wisconsin. So far from home…
        Huh. Maybe, that is why I love to sing so much! 🙂
        HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!
        Janice
        #(:))

      • Hi, Janice.
        As a British physician, I can reassure you that most of aren’t as bad as you think. Nevertheless the Lancet and BMJ have been taken over by advocacy. The Lancet is is run by a journalist, which explains some rather odd articles in it (remember Andrew Wakefield?).
        Unfortunately the EU is run on the precautionary principle as a matter of official policy
        ur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=URISERV%3Al32042.
        In the case of the EU, adherence to the Precautionary principle to prevent some possible disaster in the future leads to catastrophe in the present!

      • Dear Dr. Saumarez,
        Thank you for taking the time to reassure me. I’m sorry that my use of exaggeration above made you feel the need to defend your colleagues. I hope that in the future I will remember (thanks to you and to Jeff above) to include a qualifier, when it is merited, about the non-offending majority of whatever group I am lambasting. Please, let me assure you, that I really never thought that many of your British medical colleagues were nincompoops. I am highly confident that, the majority are conscientious, bright, competent, professionals. And the are minority are the ones who create nearly 100% of the problems (or write ridiculously inane articles for Lancet). It is because of the mess that Government Medicine as an entity is, that I would, indeed, feel very uncomfortable having any major procedure done in the U.K. — not because of poor quality physicians, but poor quality hospital equipment, anti-biotic availability, and the like. Lol! I need not worry! By the time my name comes up “Now serving…” on the queue, I won’t NEED any more help!
        You have my admiration both for completing a demanding course of study and for persevering in your practice under increasingly difficult circumstances (unless you just started out…, then, best wishes and hang in there!).
        Respectfully yours,
        Janice

  11. ”Climate change” has become the politician’s friend, insofar as it has become their excuse for their failing to take appropriate action to establish preventative measures to minimise the damage of the inevitable floods, storms etc.
    Here on Irish national TV we have a programme that looks back at events in years gone by. ”Reeling in the years” it’s called, with the Steeley Dan title track. It happened to show a clip of a news report on Global warming from 2006, where the reporter told us we would have warmer summers and very little rain in the future. He was reliably told this by the ”worlds leading climate experts” So far, this year, our winter has been milder than the summer and currently we have had storm after storm with plenty of flooding. Just sometimes, you wish they got it right.
    Happy new year everyone.
    Eamon.

  12. The Paris Climate Agreement has completely abolished all forms of climate change, extreme weather, and sea level rise for now and for all time. Flooding can no longer be blamed on climate change because climate change no longer exists.

  13. Swamp land in Florida comes to mind.
    I do recall the past flooding analysis done in the same country came down to lack of dredging. Similar type maintenence problem happened in Detroit with city drainage if memory serves me.
    Canada had no issues across the river with such (same exact weather) because they maintained their drainage system properly?
    Just sayin…..

  14. Wallowa County is ripe for this kind of disaster. By forcing all the water into the main river channels and closing off the side creeks and streams that had been the headgates for various irrigation routes, annual runoff scrubs away carefully made and “protected” gravel nursery beds and is now overrunning made to look natural but really just “pretty” river meanders within a few years of such stupidity.
    The latest stupidity: What was once a solid reinforced cement stepped dam that fish could easily jump was torn out and replaced with oh so carefully positioned boulders that they say will “work as well as the cement dam did”. What they don’t understand is that a torrential runoff will toss those boulders this way and that like a rubber ducky in a child’s bathtub.
    Give us our irrigation streams back, rip out the fish screens, let the water pretty much run year round except during harvest, and put the dam back in.
    Idiots.

    • Pamela,
      Central Florida, especially Orlando, Fl. was built upon a swamp. It rains nearly every day in the summertime and we have always had to be careful of how to take care of the water when we get heavy rains. We sometimes get a hurricane (none in 10 years now, but they will come again) after prolonged rains have left the ground soaked.
      We have all sorts of codes and laws about “retention ponds” and controlling water runoff. I bet half of our “lakes” are really large man-made retention ponds. As much as I hate crediting the local government for anything, I must admit that Orlando has done a pretty good job of planning for the rains that always come.
      By the way, there has been no “global warming” in nearly 20 years, but if there ever is any how could we tell here in sunny Orlando where it is going to be a wonderful 86 degrees F today with a partly cloudy sky? If we get any “global warming” then the night temp might only go down to 70 rather than 68 on a day like this. Horrors!
      ~ Mark

  15. CAGW is an intelligence test.
    Quite revealing what it turns up.
    We are governed by fools and bandits.
    Possibly because power has been centralized at the federal level, leaving councils impotent and irrelevant.
    No one in their right mind, wants to serve on council, because you can do so little.
    The kleptocracy works best from the capitol.
    Climate Change?
    Well the floods are caused by Englands climate, that much is true.
    The current weather being a normal variant of that climate.
    So what was the “change”?
    Other than irresponsible nitwits holding office?

  16. “We are moving from a period of known extremes into a period of unknown extremes…”
    Trans.: “We are moving from the past to the future” Well, Duh!

    • That’s extremely confusing.
      Once one knows that something is extreme, does it still remain unknown?
      @Dawtgtomis – are you implying the future is unknown or extremely unknown?
      I mean, I know that sometime in the future I’m going to post this comment.
      Here comes the future.
      *hits “post comment” button*
      Whoa! It’s in the past now!

      • Interesting point there JohnWho.
        The only way one can have known extremes, are those extremes that have happened. Are unknown extremes more extreme than the known ones? We don’t know…yet…

    • Sorry, can’t leave this one alone.
      This must be a fallacy of some kind.
      It’s also the opposite of what Obama did during the elections. He advertised Hope and Change, but nobody asked what he hopped to change. They gave him a Nobel Peace prize based on their belief that whatever changed would be for the good. They had no evidence to back this assertion, yet they believed it wholeheartedly.
      So here we have an unknown future with unknown extremes. We don’t know if they are going to be the same, lesser or morrer extreme. (I know, I made up a word 🙂 ).

  17. I guess this flooding must be a 19-year delayed reaction, since there has been little to no global warming in as many years. Oh, but climate change is to blame… sorry… my mistake.

    • I get your point of course FJ, but there might be some ironic truth in it. If you look at Dan Pangburn’s research, he makes a strong case for taking a time-integral of solar activity to describe warming, which suggests the climate has a kind of memory (I’m sure there’s a better description than that). In other words, the effects of some climate drivers may not be manifest at the same time they occur, but may slowly accumulate and dissipate.

  18. I have been complaining everywhere I can about this (I’m from England). I will it will make no difference but we can’t do nothing.
    The politicians, the BBC and Sky and other media have all been framing a narrative that these “storms” are a result of climate change. The BBC and Sky have been doing interviews on tv and radio for days where they frame the narrative because the only questions asked (other than what’s happening on the ground) are about climate change.
    Whole interviews day in day out without any mention of, or questions about, land use, water management, El Nino, dredging of rivers, etc. And of course, the elephant in the room which must never be mentioned even indirectly, the 2000 Directive from the EU regarding Water and River Management which would explain to anyone in minutes the change of policy that took place shortly after the Environment Agency was formed – and what a disaster it has clearly been.

    • That is too bad. Why is it that I can track the water vapor trail from the El Niño right past my house in Dallas, see the beeline it makes to Ontario, and then from there dropping rain off Newfoundland and proceeding over to the UK. The pattern repeats every couple weeks…

  19. In Holland the dredging of the Delta ( which is pretty much 30% of the low lands NEVER stops. Do they get floods, of course but rarely are the Dutch standing around blaming any thing, they just mitigate the damage and keep on dredging.. It’s kinda important you know. The environmentalists in England are squarely to blame including their mouth pieces in their parliament. My brother just yesterday the Brits are in Holland buying pumps, dredges and other tech to cover their ass.

  20. The UK Environment Agency will spend $2000 on an office chair, $3000 to re-home a water rat and their recently departed chairperson declared that the flooding in 2013 / 2014 was down to a new type of rain that he’d discovered (he’s an “expert” on 19th poetry and political influence peddling). They have over 2 leased new cars foe every 3 employees and enrich the lawyers to the tune of £££millions every year with their inept and occasionally criminal antics.
    Their record of screw-ups when it come to water management is as epic as their efforts to protect nature soar to rarefied heights of black comedy and farce.
    Nobody ever carries the can

  21. So you build a town at the confluence of two rivers and it sometimes floods…what a surprise !
    Some nice photos in the press of Clifford’s Tower surrounded by water….which is how it was supposed to be when it was built in the 14th century and has been many times since.
    http://yorkstories.co.uk/why-does-york-flood/
    What’s the guvmint going to do about it ?
    Perhaps tell the population of York to get a grip….tell them they live in a flood zone, their choice.
    It all looks very pretty when the river trickles through but sometimes you have to pay the piper.

  22. Slow news day and heavy rainfall over Christmas. Plus standard bureaucratic over reaction.
    I walked to a local bridge at Ramsbottom, north of Manchester. The police stopped me from crossing before I could even see the river because the bridge was deemed “structurally unsound” by some jobsworth. So I walked 1/2 a mile downstream to find another bridge where I could observe the river. It was actually about 10 foot lower than the recent high water mark a couple of weeks ago.
    Yeah, some people will experience flooding where it didn’t happen two weeks ago. Sorry about that. But it is still better than being shot dead by IS terrorists.
    If you live in north-west England, you know that it rains a lot in the dark months. A bit like Seattle. But darker. And the wind blows.
    Move along.

  23. Incidentally, the critics of the UK Environment Agency’s policy of non-dredging in Somerset were eventually vindicated by the results of the Environment Agency’s own computer assisted analysis.
    Unfortunately this remarkable finding was buried in a local news article and did not receive any publicity from national mainstream brainwashing channels:
    “Nine out of ten homes in the worst-hit area of the Somerset Levels would have stayed dry if the Environment Agency had dredged the rivers and installed temporary pumps, officials have finally admitted.”
    Read more: http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Better-pumps-dredging-stop-floods/story-27574691-detail/story.html#ixzz3vgUkdoR0

  24. This is such a perfect example of why the Ruling Class absolutely loves “climate change” (or AGW, usw): It allows politicians and elites to blame a big amorphous, globally caused boogeyman – collectively called climate change for all of their abject ineptitude and functional screw-ups. And….as a big bonus, there is no way to assign accountability to them for their narcissistically (and ideologically) driven policy failures.
    “It’s all the fault of the big bad wolf that I have no control over unless we agree to ‘action’….um….and some big funding for me and my friends.”
    And that, quite simply, is the sole rationale driving the “leaders” of AGW. Sadly, their millions of useful idiots still don’t have a clue.
    Time to call their collective bluff as often as possible.

    • Ha spot on. I wish WordPress had a Like button like Farcebook has, then I’d click Like, Tom. There is also an agenda to get rid of people from remote areas, along coastline etc so the elite can mine it, frack it or whatever they want.

  25. Here you go, CAGW morons utopia, Australia.
    Major flooding in the north, all major roads cut, train derailments, 200,000 litres of sulphuric acid split, people abandon their homes as flood waters encroach.
    In the south, 116 homes lost to bush fires. People left homeless. Abandon towns. Record high temperatures (???).
    All due to climate change. What more do you need to prove ACC, everything, all disasters in the one place, at opposite ends of the spectrum.

  26. Even George Monbiot, writing in the Guardian a couple of weeks ago, is blaming land use for the increased flood damage in recent years. His article, as far as I recall, didn’t even mention climate change.

    • George seems to have softened his hard line in these latest months, a change in the air that I welcome: I don’t like being made angry so often.

    • What a shame that George has to mislead millions of Guardian readers and BBC viewers in the process of slowly learning the basic facts about basic things and then coming to a more sensible conclusion.
      As he learns about the world, he leaves a trail of delusional wrong-headed thinking.
      Some people prefer to be quiet until they grasp the basics and form an opinion.

      • Yes agreed indefatigablefrog, George and other writers of his like have some explaining to do. He wrote a piece about Fukushima nuclear power disaster in 2011, saying it was good that it happened, as it shows us how safe nuclear energy is compared with coal fired power stations! Meanwhile cesium 137 and other nuclear isotopes are washing up on the shores of the USA and fish are found with cancers, including sock eye salmon in Alaska. Sailors on the US Ronald Reagan that sailed to be on standby to assist, are suing TEPCO for radiation exposure and they have leukemia etc, meanwhile the thing still leaks.

  27. The media here is actively assisting the officials by blocking any attempts to put the case that if man made climate change is to blame then it is climate scientists fault for suggesting for well over twenty years we would have a Mediterranean climate.
    More likely it is the environmentalist lobby and EU legislation that blocked any dredging activity for the last decade as well as the wind turbine lobby that blocked any forestry activity because it reduced wind speeds locally.

  28. They implemented policies meant to cause flooding and then issued false propaganda to coverup their responsibility and shift blame on the public so they can then implement even more disastrous policies?
    How sweet to be an idiot.
    http://youtu.be/54mf61KN7wA

  29. It is needed to deceive in all things supportive of climate warming because once you give in to a spurious claim you have to recant all spurious claims. It is important to the party agenda that this lie be defended. The Baghdad Bob syndrome is a fundamental tool in the alarmist kit. The good news for the alarmist party is the press are party members.
    Maybe it’s time the Brits learned how to boycott green businesses. Nothing gets their attention like telling them to sod off. Just do it – it’s for the elderly who are likely to die this winter from deadly green policies.

  30. The European Union, which has ambitions to bind members into a new superstate, which would include all of Europe, parts of Asia, and potentially also include Russia and her allies, is not a very democratic institution.

    Far from claiming EU/EEA faultless with or without UK/EA in its boards and committees, but blimey. When is the next election for the head of the British Commonwealth? Or is the Malthusian cAGW hypocrite so irresistible that the election can be suppressed from Australia to Zambia?

  31. If we’re contemplating a possible role for climate change in recent UK winter flooding, then surely a sensible question to ask is: ‘has winter precipitation increased in the UK recently’? After all, the England and Wales Precipitation (EWP) records go back to 1766: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadukp/data/download.html
    The short answer is ‘yes’. Winter rainfall across E&W has increased in recent times by most measures you can think of. Yes, there were previous peaks in the 1920s and 30s; but the present decade starting 2011 to date (without counting this current winter yet, of course) has been wetter than anything before it. The 20th century was much wetter than the 19th century. The linear trend in the monthly data is positive, both overall and since the start of the 20th century (though less so because of the wet start in the 20s and 30s).
    What about very wet winters? Let’s call ‘very wet’ anything a standard deviation above the average winter over the whole period of measurement. That’s anything wetter than ~300mm. Again, whilst there are a cluster of these around the early 20th century, both the overall trend and the trend from the start of the 20th century are upwards (wetter). Three of the 5 wettest winters in the UK record have occurred since 1990, with the wettest being 2014/15.
    So whilst there may be issues re dredging and basic water management in the UK, there is also an increasing trend in winter rainfall, including extreme winter precipitation events. That fact can’t be ignored in the overall picture.

    • When assessing flood prevention works needs by comparing present and past rainfall pattern Then, and only then, can you properly determine what, if any, additional and/or amended flood defence works are needed!s, it is first necessary to put the river system back into the state it was in during previous flood events, i.e. fully dredged. In other words the river system now should have the same flow capacity as it was then.

    • but the present decade starting 2011 to date (without counting this current winter yet, of course) has been wetter than anything before it.

      Untrue.
      The rains that started just after Easter in 1315AD and continued almost without break until 1317AD leading to ‘The Great Famine’ were far worse. But then you don’t want to know that I suppose?
      Seven weeks after Easter in A.D. 1315, sheets of rain spread across a sodden Europe, turning freshly plowed fields into lakes and quagmires. The deluge continued through June and July, and then August and September. Hay lay flat in the fields; wheat and barley rotted unharvested. The anonymous author of the Chronicle of Malmesbury wondered if divine vengeance had come upon the land: “Therefore is the anger of the Lord kindled against his people, and he hath stretched out his hand against them, and hath smitten them.” Most close-knit farming communities endured the shortages of 1315 and hoped for a better harvest the following year. But heavy spring rains in 1316 prevented proper sowing. Intense gales battered the English Channel and North Sea; flocks and herds withered, crops failed, prices rose, and people again contemplated the wrath of God. By the time the barrage of rains subsided in 1321, over a million-and-a-half people, villagers and city folk alike, had perished from hunger and famine-related epidemics. Giles de Muisit, abbot of Saint-Martin de Tournai in modern-day Belgium, wrote, “Men and women from among the powerful, the middling, and the lowly, old and young, rich and poor, perished daily in such numbers that the air was fetid with the stench.” People everywhere despaired. Guilds and religious orders moved through the streets, the people naked, carrying the bodies of saints and other sacred relics. After generations of good, they believed that divine retribution had come to punish a Europe divided by war and petty strife.
      The great rains of 1315 marked the beginning of what climatologists call the Little Ice Age, a period of six centuries of constant climatic shifts that may or may not be still in progress.”

      From “The Long Summer: How Climate Changed Civilization” By Brian M. Fagan
      Stop using your ignorance of history as a vehicle to support your ideas that there is anything at all exceptional about the rain in the North of England. The floods are due to the EA craven following of EU mores to ‘Make Space for Water’ and destroy people’s homes.

      • Ian
        From my own records; As can be seen, during the 13th Century the weather was far worse than today as it transitioned (temporarily) from the MWP to LIA type stormy conditions. Especially look at 1249….
        —— ——- —–
        1228 inundations of rivers in Dec Jan and Feb –in Worcester- such that no one then living had ever seen the like in their time
        1229 severe winter ‘unusually bitter, waters so frozen horsemen could cross upon the ice, great snow afterwards earth covered for several days.’
        1231 March to October hardly any rain anywhere in England-great drought
        1233 wet summer from 23 March with great inundations of rain through the whole summer destroying warrens and washed away the ponds and mills throughout almost all England. Water formed into lakes in middle of the crops where the fishes of the rivers were seen to great astonishment and mills were standing in various places they had never before been seen.
        1233-1234 severe frost from Christmas 1233 to Feb 2 1234 destroying roots of trees to four foot down then rest of year very unseasonable
        1234 third unseasonable year
        Wet weather in autumn choked the seed and loosened it.
        1236 great floods in Jan, Feb and part of March that no one had seen the like before. Bridges submerged, fords impassable, mills and ponds overwhelmed and sown land meadows and marshes covered. Thames flooded Palace of Westminster so small boat could be navigated in the midst of the forecourt. And folk went to their bed chambers on horseback
        Followed by dry summer with intolerable heat that all lasted four months. Deep pools and ponds were dried up and water mils useless.
        1237 great rains in February, fords and roads impassable for 8 successive days
        Turbulent year stormy and unsettled
        1238 great floods in many parts probably December
        Cloudy and rainy in beginning until spring had passed then the drought and heat were beyond measure and custom in two or more of the summer months. Great deluge of rain in the autumn that straw and grain became rotten and an unnatural autumn which is held to be a cold and dry season gave rise to various fatal diseases.
        1239 very wet weather continually from Jan to March, it has continued for four months without intermission.
        1240 dry Jan to March, wet from April to December but fruitful and abundant but wet and rainy autumn greatly choked the abundant crops.
        1241 drought from March 25 to Oct 28 drought and intolerable heat. Pastures withered, herds pined away from hunger and thirst
        December very cold and bitter weather the like of which no one had seen before, binding the rivers killing large numbers of birds
        1242 dry and hot
        1243 floods
        1244 dry autumn wholly without rain
        1245 unseasonable summer
        1246 rainy year
        1247 very unseasonable weather in late winter especially cold and rainy and windy
        1249 very mild winter so that neither snow nor frost covered the face of the earth nor bound it in their customary weather, trees were seen to be sprouting in February. Winter was turned into summer but intense cold came at end of March and lasted until middle of May that made people shiver that casting off linen they were compelled to resume double clothing.
        tonyb

      • As I mentioned in my post, I am referring to the period of instrument measurement, which for England and Wales begins in 1766.
        The current decade so far, starting January 2011, is the wettest on that record as far as winter precipitation is concerned. That’s just a fact hat anyone can check from the link I provided above.
        To suggest that the recent flooding across the UK is entirely down to poor river management (and by extension, the dreaded ‘EU’), and that it’s not at all anything to do this observed increase in winter precipitation is transparently silly.

    • Dwr54
      Some time ago I examined the rainfall figures back to 1766 . They covered a very few locations most of which weren’t in the upland or wettest parts of the country anyway, as, by definition, few people lived there, let alone had time to keep records.
      Also rainfall these days is often recorded at height rather than at sea level so there is considerable variance there. Comparing the 1766 data to today is comparing apples to oranges.
      Tonyb

  32. During global cooling spells the North Atlantic jet stream moves south and more often and for longer lies across the UK instead of flowing past to the north of Scotland.
    If the process continues then in due course it sinks even futher south and the uk gets drier but colder winters once more.
    This season, the trough line associated with the jet has been regularly draped across Cumbria and northern England for many hours at a time with the inevitable and not unprecedented consequences.
    The study of history shows this to be a common feature of the uk climate over centuries.
    During the MWP and for much of the 20th century the jet was further north and less wavy than it now is and I have been pointing this out since 2008 having noticed the change begin around 2000 as the sun declined from the peak of cycle 23 to a less active regime.
    http://joannenova.com.au/2015/01/is-the-sun-driving-ozone-and-changing-the-climate/

    • Stephan,
      I would like to restate what you just wrote and see if you think I understand it correctly.
      I think you are saying that over time (centuries perhaps) we see small changes in the Sun produce changes on the earth in the weather machine’s response in how it redistributes warmth around the globe. Or, in other words, these small changes in the solar state produce changes in advection, along with several other things, here on the earth. Advection (the transfer of heat or matter by the flow of a fluid, especially horizontally in the atmosphere or the sea.) is a greatly misunderstood and little noticed part of the climate puzzle.
      I understand you to say that the solar state could well effect the Advection on the planet to the point that a “warm period” or a “little ice age” could result given enough time and magnitude. Note: you are leaving room for several other things to be part of the puzzle.
      Do I have your message right Steven?
      ~ Mark

  33. Posted to the Guardian, but probably will get deleted because it breaches ‘community standards’.
    “Time after time, UK governments have denied the dangers of climate change”
    No, time after time in recent years they have been persuaded to spend money that should have been spent maintaining sea defences and drainage channels on subsidies to the alternative energy industry.
    The result has been that the poor are having their electricity taxed so that small scale solar panel owners can be paid 10 times the wholesale rate for electricity which they generate at exactly the time when it is neither needed nor useful. Wind farms are also paid well over the going rate for their intermittent and useless generation.
    Not only do the poor pay for this nonsense through a tax on their electricity, they are also exposed to flooding because the money that should have gone on flood prevention has been paid to rich landowners in the name of meeting the goals of the Climate Change Act.
    This piece of idiocy was passed under a Labour government, with the approval of the Liberals, so the stupidity is across the entire UK political establishment. The SNP has also endorsed alternative energy on a grand scale. Its universal in our political class.
    When you point out to people that the Climate Change Act is the biggest single financial obstacle to spending money on flood defence, they start getting very upset and talk about the need to ‘tackle climate change’ or to stop denying global warming.
    Global trends are simply irrelevant to this. You can argue about whether there is global warming and whether if there is it has anything to do with recent flooding till you are blue in the face. It does not matter, since there is nothing whatever that the UK can do about global warming. The Climate Change Act does not in any way ‘tackle global warming’. We are emitting around 500 million tons of CO2 annually, and its fairly static. The Chinese are emitting 10 billion tons, and rising. The Climate Change Act should be renamed as the UK Flood Promotion Act.
    Installing alternative energy schemes at vast expense will not materially affect our own emissions. But even if it did, we are doing less than 2% of global emissions and falling, so even if it did, it will have no effect on global temperatures.
    Yet this insane project is being represented as somehow having some useful effect on flooding in Leeds!
    Surely it is now obvious that we cannot do anything about flooding in the UK by lowering our emissions? Surely it is obvious that the right thing to do is take the money we are wasting on this futile endeavour and spend it on sensible protection of our own people?
    One fears not. The Green lobby is fixated on the politics of gesture. Its called being in denial.

    • It has just been reported by the BBC that communities north of Manchester are , in desperation, applying to the EU for money to restore the damage from the flooding. During this month , which has seen billions of damage done here , the UK is giving away 1 Biilion pounds to Third World projects , for which we receive no formal accounting that I am aware of, and so we have to beg the EU for money .
      The financial page of the Telegraph has a clock showing the increase of UK debt . It seems to be about £1000/ sec , and yet we are giving away tax revenues which are desperately needed here.
      Many of the commenters here , above and below ,are coming up with important information on the weather changes and the causes of flooding and it is so depressing to know that none of this information will be regarded as acceptable at the BBC or in Westminster.

  34. In York the River Ouse which is tidal has only risen to a level 1 metre or more less than it did in the floods of 2000, yet the flooding within the city is more severe than then. Why? Simply because a barrier isolating the River Fosse, a branch river connecting into the Ouse within the city, which is closed to protect a large area of the city from the rising tidal Ouse flooding had to be opened. The reason given for this was that the pumping system used to pump water over the closed barrier during floods had electrics below the flood level and water was threatening to seep in and short the electrics. Added to this, there is apparently no manual over-ride or highly geared manual opening or bypassing system to later drain the Fosse if the pumps electrics fail. The EPA say they had to open the drain before the electrics failure as otherwise the barrier could not be opened!
    No one, and I stress no one, on the BBC TV or Radio is even mentioning dredging

  35. “……….classed as any sand and gravel that might removed is now classed as ‘hazardous waste’ What? How stupid is that?

  36. In the UK House of Commons very recently…ask questions, get no (or dumb) answers.
    CC and Flooding – Facts

    • Well even a cursory look at the DATA says that what we see now is little different to the past. The long, long distant past as far as Politian’s on a 4 year cycle see.

  37. I see an opportunity here.
    Get the UK to blame the floods on climate change.
    Then tell the EU you can no longer give it any money since your now “victims of climate change” and you will be spending the money locally on said “victims.”
    If nothing else, it would be fun to see the green mafia inside and outside the UK at each others throats over the money.

  38. Smart Rock’s comment above is on the money here.
    If you remove forests from hills you will get increased flooding down river……land use (or more like land miss-use) is doing this. They can’t pin this on the small amount of Anthropogenic Climate change we’ve had
    And yes George Monbiot did write about flooding and land use in the UK leading to the extreme floods in 2014. see http://www.monbiot.com/2014/06/05/ripping-apart-the-fabric-of-the-nation/
    “Soil erosion and an associated problem, soil compaction – mostly caused by using heavy machinery in the wrong conditions – is a major contributor to floods. Rain percolates into soils whose structure is intact, but flashes off fields where the structure has broken down, taking the soil – and the pesticides and fertiliser – with it. This means that the rivers fill up more quickly with both water and silt (which is what we call soil once it has entered a waterway). Siltation blocks channels and smothers the places where wildlife lives, including the gravel beds where fish spawn.
    In some parts of Britain, soil erosion is now so severe that it causes floods without the help of exceptional rainfall, as saturated fields simply slump down the slopes into the houses below. In some places, soil compaction has increased the rate of instant run-off from 2% of all the rain that falls on the land to 60%.”
    of interest here are some other articles on the topic by George.
    http://www.monbiot.com/2014/06/05/ripping-apart-the-fabric-of-the-nation/
    and
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/17/farmers-uk-flood-maize-soil-protection
    and here in early 2015
    http://www.monbiot.com/2015/02/25/slip-sliding-away/

    • Absolutely.
      What hit Carlisle was a Flash Flood. Entirely typical of places (usually called deserts) with very low vegetation cover and zero soil-organic matter.
      The road (Warwick Rd.) in Carlisle that has been flooded 3 times in the last 10 years is NOT a ‘new-build’ on a flood plain. Those houses have been there a long time, probably 100yrs+ and would not be there if the area flooded that much.
      Cumbrian rivers do not need any great dredging effort, the place is too hilly and the rivers rub fast – apart from where the Eden flows after it leaves Carlisle.
      My farm is on a tributary of the Eden (Carlisle river) and for the last 45 years I’ve watched it. Back then, when it rained heavily, the water rose and reached its peak maybe 18 to 24 hours after the rain started. Now it turns to a horrible raging torrent of mud just 3 or 4 hours after the rain starts and is all finished and gone 24 hrs later.
      (The EA come to count the (remaining) fish in the river every year. There are hardly any and no wonder. if you put some tadpoles in a toilet and repeatedly flushed it, there’s not be many tadpoles left in there after a couple of years.
      But of course, the EA, MSM, DEFRA, Natural England etc etc will tell you the fish have all gone because they were poisoned by fertiliser, weed-killer, sheep dip, cow slurry, whatever.
      And so, already costly restrictions get ever more costly and restrictive.
      Then, the river and all its tributaries are ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’. Fine
      What that means is that if us peasants do ANYTHING to even slightly muddy the water (literally), we have the full force of law coming down on us and the primary sanction is removal of our Single Farm Payment (subsidy). Without it, we are bankrupt – the Govm’ and EU cronies all see to that. Effectively it becomes one huge Tragedy of the Commons, the SFP links us all even though the farmers seem independent and can manage their land as they see fit. They Are Not
      There are too many sheep. The place is horribly over-grazed and primarily because of the demand for Cheap Food. There used to be lots of dairy farms, mine included, but Cumbria is following the well worn path of sub-Saharan countries – where they kept bovines until the forage was eaten, then kept sheep as they eat closer to the ground plus the rubbish cows won’t eat and then ultimately the farmers keep goats. Goats eat everything and create deserts.
      And there-in lies the Climate Change. Farmers changed the vegetation, this changes the way the soil (dead plant material) handles water and as water controls the climate, you get Climate Change.
      The creation of the desert changes the climate, the climate does not create the desert. And the (dead and alive) plant material that was in the soil is now in the sky, as in CO2. Simple. Don’t allow yourself to be confused by LWIR, down-welling, up-welling, watts per square metre or that garbage. The worlds ocean is The Greenhouse, the atmosphere spreads that warmth around and cools the planet. Not least, a cold object (the sky) cannot raise the temperature of a warm object (the ground or the ocean) especially when the sky only got its energy from the ground/ocean in the first place. The Emperor really is stark bollock naked.
      What about the people demanding and eating the Cheap Food – will they admit it or take responsibility? Ask any individual and you get the “I only eat organic, fairtrade, free range, British, farm assured, etc etc” Basically, they won’t, don’t and never will.
      Hypocrites the lot of them because it would mean admitting they caused The Flood.
      And as we know, no matter what happens at any time or any place in this modern world, It Is Always Someone Else’s Fault.
      Mistakes were made but not by me.
      Sorry peeps. You demanded cheap food, farmers/producers were rail-roaded into providing it but now you pay – via the flood,
      What happens next, when the ensuing floods happen and wash away all the topsoil/dirt so that nothing grows at all, now that will lead to ‘Interesting Times..

      • Your story of Cows then Sheep then Goats then Desert is a nice story, but I don’t believe a word of it. Perhaps in Africa, but it doesn’t happen like that in a place with an ocean temperate climate and high rainfall. But if I were to believe your story the solution would be to abolish the SFP which as you describe it, is a measure which distorts the market by artificially lowering food prices and which provides a perverse incentive to engage in poor farming practices. It could be done without bankrupting you all by buying you out of the scheme. Make scheme membership an asset – fairly value it – and then buy it back off you via a lump sum payment.

    • Yes he seems to be improving with the realization that climate change doesn’t cause everything. I wish other journalists would wake up before they irreversibly damage the profession.
      A radio story broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 2012 can be cited to demonstrate. The news trigger was a serious bacterial outbreak after floods in Queensland. Instead of a bacteriologist as expert source to the story’s crisis point, a climate scientist is sourced instead, bringing a different frame to the conclusion as set to discuss a looming public health emergency. The inaccuracy in the choice of this source is that climate change was not the cause of heavy rain in the La Niña event of 2012; rather those record floods were similar to the even wetter La Niña cycles in Australia in 1974, 1975 and 1976.
      In the interest of public health, this story should have more information in the frame on leptospirosis and its potential deadly spread, instead of building the irrelevant climate frame in this final section:
      RACHEL CARBONELL [radio journalist]: With climate scientists predicting more extreme weather events, some experts say [SIC] outbreaks of lepto-spirosis are likely to become more of a problem. Philip Weinstein is profes-sor of ecosystem health at the Barbara Hardy Institute at the University of South Australia.
      PHILIP WEINSTEIN: We’re likely to be seeing more and more of these events as more extreme climate events occur more frequently and as urban populations grow (Carbonell 2012).
      For accuracy, there must be double-checking of facts by senior staff. Special care should apply to avoid writers being hostage to deliberate spin from press releases and biased news agencies (Australian Press Council, 2008). International newspapers such as The Economist and The Washington Post have requirements in multiple source triangulation and validation. Everyone should do so.

  39. An unusually high amount of rainfall effecting a relatively small area of Britain, which is itself s very small island in global terms, and the global warming siren has to be sounded by those who think they know what causes ‘weather’. The world should know that 95 per cent of the British land mass has not been effected by excessive rain, The floods are local and most of us are enjoying a pleasantly dry winter period. It is difficult to understand why these people ignore the official temperature records that show no warming for almost 20 years.

  40. This article appearing in the Daily Mail is well worth a read;
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3376939/RICHARD-LITTLEJOHN-gilded-elite-betrayed-sodden-masses.html
    Climate change is just an excuse to cover up bad management. About 10 years back it was being blamed for hose pipe bands in the South of England. The water authorities and environmental agencies claimed that Climate change was leading to more droughts and hence water shortages. In fact there has been no statistically significant change in UK rainfall, and to the extent that there is a trend it was for slightly more rainfall. The real reason for the water shortages and hose pipe bands was that the population in Southern England had increased by about 10 million and not one single new reservoir has been build these past 20 to 25 years to meet this extra demand.
    Now the UK is experiencing floods, so Climate change is again rolled out as the excuse to cover up poor management; building homes on flood plains, cutting back on flood defences, stopping dredging etc.
    The job of government is good management. Not political ideology. Get the basics right before moving onto ‘dreams’ But before a problem can be addressed, it has to be admitted to, and in this PC world in which we live, where no one takes responsibility, it is very difficult to get to the truth.
    Don’t expect anytime soon to see the environmental agencies acknowledge that heavy rainfall is just a way of life and that it can be managed with foresight and planning. No expect to see the excuse du jour of Climate Change rolled out and business to carry on regardless, ie., further ineptitude both at local and governmental level.
    If only politicians were not PPE or English Literature majors, and if only some were engineers or had real life experience, things could be a lot lot better.

  41. I am not British, nor is Canadian Dr. Tim Ball, but perhaps the following would help some of the British officials and their long suffering serfs (miss-called as “citizens” at times).
    Dr. Ball quoted a retired geophysicist named Norm Kalmanovitch at Dr. Ball’s blog some time ago. It was a long quote of Norm’s work and the following is just a small part of it but this post reminded me of it even after all this time since I first read it:

    Since 1980 there has only been 0.4°C of global temperature increase, all of which occurred prior to 1997 when global warming officially ended.
    The global temperature standstill reverted to a global cooling trend in 2002 and the Earth has been cooling ever since, in spite of the continued increase in global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels.
    A similar occurrence of decreasing global temperatures with rapidly increasing CO2 emissions took place during the 33 years from 1942 to 1975 (the 70’s global cooling scare) so the stated correlation of increased CO2 emissions with global warming never actually existed.
    In short, since 1997 there has been neither any global warming nor any enhancement of the greenhouse effect to cause it in the first place, and with no possible correlation between increased CO2 emissions and global warming; there is simply no scientific basis for the for the ludicrous concept that fossil fuel derived CO2 emissions are or could even cause catastrophic global warming!
    IPCC climate change dogma is complete bunk, and anyone like President Obama who is still advocating the reduction of CO2 emissions to combat ‘climate change’ is doing so out of sheer ignorance!

    Now we all know that politicians and bureaucrats will use any lie to cover their own rear ends when the smelly stuff hits the fan, but blaming warming that has not happened since 1997 does seem a little far fetched don’t you think? And in the periods when natural variation does favor us with some warming, how does that excuse bad planning on the part of the departments charged with being ready for weather events?
    Every time they holler “global warming did it”, we should holler back, “what global warming?” Note: don’t let the lying dogs get away with saying “climate change” when the whole argument is over global warming. And don’t let them forget that even their own theory speculation is about global warming and not regional weather occurrences.

  42. The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) has been strongly positive since October,
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/pna/nao.mrf.obs.gif
    This in turn leads to the Tropical Maritime Air Mass, bringing mild, wet, windy weather.
    http://appinsys.com/globalwarming/AO_NAO_files/image001.jpg
    When the NAO turns strongly negative, it will turn cold, possibly snowy. Remember the winters of 2009/2010 and 2010/2011?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Atlantic_oscillation#Winter_of_2009.E2.80.9310_in_Europe
    http://blogs.agu.org/wildwildscience/files/2011/01/nao.mrf_.obs_.gif
    Weather…

  43. One of these floods was covered in the Catholic Herald.
    A catholic high school was inundated by flood.
    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2015/12/10/how-one-catholic-school-is-struggling-with-the-cumbria-flood/
    This is covered in a Times article
    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article4636885.ece
    Pay walled
    ‘Scientists have contradicted a minister’s claim that last
    weekend’s flooding in Cumbria was unprecedented and linked to climate
    change.
    They say that there have been 34 extreme floods there in the past 300
    years and that lives had been put at risk by “grossly underestimating”
    the risk of floods and failing to consider evidence from records.
    Tom Spencer, a reader in coastal ecology and geomorphology at the
    University of Cambridge, said that analysis of deposits left by floods
    in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries showed that they were the “biggest
    events”. He said that the government relied too heavily on records
    dating back only 40 years.’
    Poor use of records is poor science.

  44. And we see once again the real reason the sorry leaders running government embrace “global warming”: it dissolves the accountability they and their green supporters have for ruining the infrastructure built up at so much cost and hard work over decades of rational planning.
    Instead now we have the nihilist misanthropes strutting around at their “climate conferences” pretending to work and plan and echoing each other’s empty parasitic ideas while in the real world the breakdown of sensible flood defense, erosion control, fire prevention, storm surge defense, etc. wastes away from lack of maintenance or upgrade.
    But the money our “leaders” get from us tax payers to dole out to their trough mates only grows and grows.

  45. I loved how ‘Unprecedented’ which is now the short hand for ‘Unprecedented since’ made headlines in the press.
    No matter that what we are seeing now is close to 2012 and well below an unspecified period some time long in the past.
    Agenda setting in a big way. More propaganda than real science.

  46. I crave readers’ indulgence for re-posting from Bishop Hill:-
    First, a declaration of interest.
    I moved to York, famed for flooding problems, in early 1986.
    In 2006, I purchased a house built directly on the banks of the River Foss (albeit a reasonable distance upstream from the City Centre.) As a Chartered Civil Engineer with wide professional experience in various issues (including flooding), I was very well aware that, at least on the basis of extreme weather and flood prediction practise, eventually flood water would arrive at my door. I considered (and consider still) that although the risk was real, it was acceptably low.
    The house was built in 2002 and has been elevated well above the level of this week’s flooding and also the more severe floods (for where I live) in 2000 and 2007.
    But I was still a City of York Councillor in 2000 and thus involved in the City flood problems pretty closely. The issues in York aren’t too hard to understand. The main river, the Ouse is fairly large and normally slow running through the flat terrain. The Ouse discharges (notably through Selby, downstream) into the river Humber and then into the sea. York, Selby and a vast surrounding area are all situated within what my Geologist chums call ancient Lake Humber, all underlain with clay, silt and sand sedimentary deposits, seldom rising much above 8.0 – 10.0m AOD.
    The upland catchment area comprises of an even vaster area of North Yorkshire moors, dales and hills. Numerous significant rivers are tributaries of the Ouse and make periodic flooding events at times quite serious. These events can be considered to fall within three categories, firstly the direct flooding of the Ouse itself, secondly flooding from the Foss, a medium size tributary river which joins the Ouse quite close to Clifford’s Tower in the City Centre. This has historically occurred when the water trying to exit the Foss is prevented from doing so by water levels in the Ouse, which at times flows up the Foss. Thirdly there are the generally predictable (but hard to predict in detail) local flooding issues due to blocked drains, unmaintained dikes, discarded bicycles and shopping trolleys in main drainage ditches and so on.
    As all the old guys who, from time immemorial, had low paid jobs keeping ditches and paths and hedges in order, had been sacked as unnecessary by genius politicians and sharp suited City Slickers in the 1980s and 1990s, these ‘local’ floods, affecting areas that (absolutely genuinely) had never before been flooded before 2000, this was a particular problem in 2000, which beyond any doubt was and still remains the most serious “modern” flood.
    Following the serious 1982 floods, £8 Million had been invested in a Flood Barrier where the Foss discharges into the Ouse. This comprises simply of two elements, a barrier gate which can block flow in the river channel (obviously in either direction) and a series of high power pumps (8? 10?, can’t remember!) which take water in the flood basin and discharge it into the Ouse. The water then may possibly aggravate problems in Selby but prevents flooding in a large area of York old domestic housing in the lower reaches of the Foss. Other tactics and flood relief areas are supposed to protect Selby town (and indeed the strategically vital Selby Mines. Ho Ho.)
    The pumps and the barrier in the Foss Flood Barrier are driven by electricity. In 2000, it became a massive battle to keep the electrical equipment working, an acquaintance of mine was working 18 hour shifts trying to keep it going. The whole system had been neglected (by traditional custom) since 1982. Some pumps worked, some didn’t and electrical failure was always likely. Ultimately, the danger was that, no matter how well the pumps worked, ever rising levels in the Ouse would rise to the point where the Ouse water would flood overland into the Foss (the area between Clifford’s tower and the Courts being most obvious) and make the barrier irrelevant. In 2000, the Ouse waters rose to within 150mm of this level.
    This year, someone within the EA apparently just decided that as water was “entering the building”, the electrical equipment was “at risk” and therefore the barrier should be lifted. Thus deliberately flooding a large residential area.
    The announcements of the EA are contradictory and appear tendentious. Other statements talk about ‘hoping to get at least one pump running” to remove some of the water they had permitted to devastate people’s property.
    So, were the pumps working and, if not, why not?
    Were the electrics maintained and sited above flood levels? (Think:- Fukushima!) If not, why not?
    Who made the decision to open the barrier and make the £8M (1982 prices) installation an irrelevance? Who was consulted?
    How many of those responsible will be sacked?
    We all know the answer to the last one.
    Sorry this was posted late in the day, not least because no-one will read it. But at least 22,000 fibre optic customers lost their internet. Including the shops at the major Monks Cross shopping centre, who mostly were only able to accept cash payments (and, of course ATM machines weren’t working, neither was at least one of the petrol stations (ASDA). No mention on the news that I have seen. My internet was down as well. A tiny taster of what will happen when the big blackout comes along. At least we can be happy that these things will never be allowed to affect the lives of the denizens of Islington or Westminster.

    • We must have passed through the same school of engineering – both academically,professionally and work experience wise! Cannot agree more, and I have also previously compared this Foss Barrier failure problem to the Japanese Nuclear Plant destruction. The Foss Barrier Pump Station should have been elevated, particularly the electrical/control works, above extreme flood level and had a solid bund wall around it, and the Japanese should have located their critical nuclear plant cooling water system inside the protected nuclear plant building. In both cases water got into electrical works where a responsible and proper design should never have allowed it to get!
      My experience of UK utilities works such as this is that preventative maintenance, including frequent start-ups and running of complete emergency engineering systems for various emergency scenarios, is considered an unnecessary additional operating cost; “just wait until something fails and then fix it”. Pump Station failures was cause of similar flooding problems in the Malton area, I think, a year or two ago during flooding and in the previous flooding in Hull.
      As for this latest Foss Barrier problem, someone has to ask for the past preventative maintenance schedules for this pump station, the HAZOP MOM’s prior to works design approvals which should have covered allpossible operational scenarios, including this Foss scenario, and also details of when these pumps, their standby power system and their control systems were fully checked out in running mode during necessary PM checks. I assume that given the present and forecast “unprecedented” rainfall, and the on-going prior Cumbrian experiences that these essential Foss Barrier System PM exercises were carried out just prior to the declared/forecast flooding started, and that strategic spares were on hand at the site to rectify any component failure that may have been experienced. If, as reasonably expected, the 8-10 pumps you mention includes standby pumps that can be started up automatically or even manually then I fail to see any problem – the system with necessary operator over-sight and inputs could have maintained the closed gate system in operation. Otherwise this is a main Control/MCC Panel failure or was it a panic response to some water creeping into the building and if so was there any local floor sump and drainage pump sufficient to control and overcome any water ingress problem. No one is suggesting an alternative scenario, namely that the inflow down the Fosse far exceeded the design allowance for a closed Barrier situation. Even so, did they provide a modulating control on the Barrier and not simply an open and closed control, which could have allowed some excess flow to drain out through a partially opened Barrier – providing of course the Fosse upstream had high enough banks. Again HAZOP records are critically important!

    • I’ve just read it Martin Brumby. Very interesting but dismaying. I can’t help feeling the EA and politicians are quite wilfully ignoring common sense and don’t care about what happens to ordinary people. They’ll turn up in their Wellies (Hunters or otherwise) for photo opportunities, spouting platitudes and shedding crocodile tears but still spend billions on foreign aid using borrowed money, requiring huge interest repayments, but somehow manage not to do the basics necessary to maintain the proper infrastructure of drainage ditches, dredging, etc.

      • From: http://www.fern.org/pt-br/node/5247
        How are financial derivatives applied in the carbon market?
        Simple transactions account only for a very small percentage of the carbon market today. The carbon market has moved away from its beginnings, where carbon trading was about a simple trade between two parties: one needing a permit or offset credit for compliance, and the other having one to spare. At financial conferences, carbon is now being marketed as a new asset class for investors such as pension funds. The carbon market has ‘matured’.
        As a consequence, the nature of the trading has changed significantly. This section therefore looks at how more complex financial derivatives, and trading for speculation rather than compliance, changed the dynamic of the carbon market. It also explores how complex financial instruments increase price volatility and speculation in the carbon market and increasingly uncouple the development of the carbon market from its original objective of providing the most cost-effective way for companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    • I take back what I commented earlier, Steve (to John F). I see now that the sign is actually triangular in plan and that there are two of them facing traffic. That is why the perspective looked out in the wet pic.

  47. AFAIK the the point of dredging a river is not to increase flow capacity but to deepen the river by creating a V shape. This causes the surface of the visible river to be lowered. This has the effect of lowering the level of the much larger ‘invisible’ river,[ i.e. the water-table projecting out each side from the river surface] and so giving the ‘whole’ river a considerable increase in capacity before rising to ground level , and ‘flooding’ .
    I also understand that a V shape has the interesting property of increasing mass-flow proprortional to the visible river height. e.g. “the higher the faster ” which is a regulatory mechanism. This is not true for U shaped channels or very wide flood-plane sheets of water.
    If my understanding is right, then while a river in a deep V might not look pretty in the drier seasons, and so would not be an ideal habitat for eg. voles, it would not actually flood very much at all.. and when it did it would clear very quickly.. Also, it would not scour, which leads to downstream silting and so flattening and changing the shape of the river bed to a shallow U…. leading to really bad flooding ……
    As these views might be considered heretical by UK’s DEFRA, can anyone tell me where I am ‘in error’ and can buy a yellow robe and a green candle?

    • It is interesting to look at how the drainage channels in the Somerset levels have not ben maintained for the last decade or more. The outlets to the river Severn have in part been blocked up (by new earthworks), the last drop to the river has not been dredged. And then surprise, it floods above those unimportant details.

    • I was fascinated with your explanation of how the ‘v-shaped’ dredging mechanism works by lowering the water table through reducing river height. With hindsight, it makes a lot of sense and, if confirmed by links to supporting evidence, this knowledge should be shared more widely than it clearly is at the moment.
      Thanks, Tony, for this little nugget and for all your highly appreciated posts over the years that bring invaluable historical perspective to counter the oft-hysterical claims of the ‘unprecedented brigade’.
      A Happy New Year to you, Sir, and lang may your lum reek (in the most sustainable way, of course)

    • Dredging does increase the flow capacity of an existing river with given river bank walls. It will take far more water flow after dredging with the water up to the level of the existing river bank walls than before dredging. You are correct about the “V” notch dredging, the profile cut maintains higher velocities as the central water depth drops than if the dredging was simply a rectangular channel profile.

  48. Here is a bit of wisdom from the Environment agency:
    “In some cases by not dredging it is possible for the river to become self-cleansing which means future dredging is not needed and impacts upon ecology are reduced.”

    • Assuming that nature always gets to the best place rather than trying to create an optimised, engineered solution (with proper design and maintenance). Then no-ones to blame except the Weather.

  49. How long can they continue to blame climate change? If I understand correctly, the policy of not dredging has led to rivers flooding more often. Then inevitably, they will become so silted that they will flood every time there is a few days of continuous rain. Surely then, even the most unthinking members of the public will be wondering why the rivers flood every time it rains. It will be obvious that its nothing to do with 1 in 100 year events aka climate change.

  50. If we replace the UK and flooding with Australia and bush fires we can see many similarities through the lack or proper land management. Here in Australia we’ve had some severe bush fires and loss of property this holiday season. This change in management policy happend in the mid 1990’s too.

  51. York was originally founded by the Romans in 79 AD as its first major fort in northern England. They built it here because it was the confluence of two major rivers and the land was marshy and flood-prone making it easier to defend. Many Roman Emperors stayed here during various campaigns and Constantine the Great was actually proclaimed Emperor here when his father died during one of the campaigns.
    The Romans abandoned it in 400 AD because of the frequent flooding.
    Then King Edwin built his capital of Northumbria here. Then the Vikings took it over in 866 (fans of the Viking TV series will find that interesting). Then William the Conqueror built a major castle here in 1070 and Cliffords Tower was the main “Keep” of the castle. It still stands right next to the river today, almost 1,000 years later, despite the city being sacked dozens of times in the intervening years.
    The same reason the city was founded in the first place is the reason it has been the centre of major forts over the centuries and the reason it is still flooding today.
    You’d think a modern city would build a good flood defence after all the recent floods in York. But that had already been done, dozens of times over the centuries. The Romans, early British Kings, Vikings, William the Conqueror, William Wallace, William the Bruce, Edward I, Henry VIII, …
    Leadership gets lazy after awhile and flood defences quit working which is also the history of all flood-prone areas.

    • Bill
      A historical foot note. Up-thread I posted a link to an area of York that is currently a flood plain but thanks to a Govt inspector on appeal, is soon to be submerged by 650 houses. Bad enough in itself, but the area has now been identified as the site of the FIRST battle of 1066. So as well as being of practical value as a flood plain it also has considerable historical value.
      With the Govt desperate to build houses to accommodate our burgeoning population we will see many more such sites being built on.
      tonyb

      • No it isn’t. The resident population does the increase all on its own. The additional inflow is also moderated by people leaving which can be hard to find in some statistics.

      • The Government’s inaction on inward capital investment in housing has pushed people further and further out into the countryside. No-one wants to touch that because it might cause a property crash.
        Things will settle out long term, how many people get hurt and when is the real question.

  52. In the UK during my lifetime, just a few events that come to mind, that would have certainly been put down to man made climate change if they occurred today:
    1987 hurricane strength winds felled 15 million trees across Southern England, 18 deaths.
    1952 Lynmouth flooded in Devon after 9 inches of rain in 24 hours, 32 deaths.
    1947 and 1963 cruel Winters with three months below freezing and untold deaths
    Need I go on?

      • The list goes on and on.
        Ever thought that, as there is a known 60 year cycle in the data, every Weather event in your lifetime will be ‘new’, to you at least?
        History. Repeat. Generation.

      • So let’s start aa little list
        1947 cruel Winters with three months below freezing and untold deaths
        1952 Lynmouth flooded in Devon after 9 inches of rain in 24 hours, 32 deaths.
        1953(?) East Coast Floods all the way from Kent up to the NE England
        1963 cruel Winters with three months below freezing and untold deaths
        1987 hurricane strength winds felled 15 million trees across Southern England, 18 deaths.
        Care to add more?
        And then project 60 years on?

    • Thanks,
      quote: “Another interesting aspect of this new survey is that it reports on the beliefs of scientists themselves rather than bureaucrats who often publish alarmist statements without polling their member scientists. We now have meteorologists, geoscientists and engineers all reporting that they are skeptics of an asserted global warming crisis, yet the bureaucrats of these organizations frequently suck up to the media and suck up to government grant providers by trying to tell us the opposite of what their scientist members actually believe”.

  53. Yes, and just 2 years ago, after 3 cold winters, we wete told that colder drier winters were what we should expect as a result of man made climate change. Driven by the melting arctic ice.
    These people just spout bollocks after bollocks.

  54. Using the links suggested above to Paul Homewood’s site :
    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/
    I find a credible (for me as a layman) explanation in terms of the temporary direction of the Jet Stream
    “By looking at the SST’s and jet stream, it is clear why we have had a run of wet weather in recent weeks. And the culprit is that cold pool of water (in the North Atlantic) , not global warming. ”
    That comment could so easily have been passed on by the BBC .to anxious viewers worried about long term implications, or could have been passed to the Met Office as a hypothesis for their professional view of its credibility . But no , just the global warming , “wetter means warmer” mantra, no explanation of why the SE of UK has missed the downpours, but still experienced warm weather , or why the storm tracks are being diverted and “condensed” by high pressure over Europe , in fact no attempt at all to educate us, the viewers , and in some cases victims , in the actual complexities of real weather events . .
    It is almost as if there is now a BBC policy to misinform the public , so contrary to the policies of the original DG, Lord Reith.

    • Agreed. A lot of stuff is propaganda, not science. See ‘Unpresented’ as shorthand for ‘Unpresented since’ as above. They add quotes as they know it is not right! The ture facts are not what you are seeing.

    • People live in ~70 year cycles.
      Weather runs in ~60 year cycles.
      Politicians (UK) run in 4 year cycles.
      Journalist run on a 24 hour cycles (Paper).
      TV runs in 1 hour cycles.
      The web runs in millisecond cycles.
      Information gets lost at each step.

  55. Does WordPress purposefully load those enormous video ads onto your site to jam the system. Your site now slows everything and often jams. Maybe to force people away?

  56. Incredible amounts of comments here! So now they want to link weather to climate change, before they were saying that weather and climate change are two different things. It is appalling the amount of people that buy that the weather can be changed by paying more for electricity, or carbon taxing everything.

  57. Use the governmen to create a problem then increase the size and scope of the government to “solve” the problem where each “solution ” merely creates more problems necessitating the government increase its size and scope. How very animal farm.

  58. It sounds like the New Orleans Levee Boards in action in the UK. False security is the name of the game in these cases of extremely bad public policy and organized unpreparedness.

  59. In 1976 when the big rains came to Eastern Australia, I was living on the Shoalhaven river flood plain and observed the action day by day. They had just completed the Talawa Dam higher up the river. It was filling quickly and after the massive flood, with 11 meters of water over the spillway, they realized that they should have let the water out in greater amounts, earlier, just like the Lockyer Valley tragedy in Queensland that was made worse due to the narrow path of the river. Once the dam fills, unlike the times when there was no dam, when there was forest to absorb the rain, the surface of the dam becomes a catchment area with nil absorbing capability, thus the floods are much worse. Since then we have not seen the same extent of flooding, for two reasons, both are man related but nothing to do whatsoever with climate change: 1) the dam is managed properly with exacting releases when there is heavy rain, and 2) farmers downstream are fencing their river frontage so that cattle don’t destroy the banks and thus river oaks and wattle, even exotic weed lantana: all of which act as early colonizers, stabilizing banks, slowing floods and enabling the germination and growth of larger trees that further slow, even absorb the water as it comes down the rivers, creeks and swamps and the like. This work has been well documented by scientist Dr. Tim Cohen at the University of Wollongong and it is logical, observable and comes with evidence.
    Speaking of Wollongong (Australia), in 1998 there were record and severe floods that were not repeated, despite 2011 and 2012 being record wet years. They were so severe that cars were washed out to sea, indicating the speed of the flash flooding. No one was killed – a miracle. The reason for this not reoccurring is simple, it is again due to engineering works on Mt Ousely and Bulli pass that takes the water away from the roads, car parks and other developments which, like a full dam, serve as giant catchment areas, like roof tops. It’s simple really, these things are man made and one should firstly assume these factors before leaving it to the doom that we will all be ruined and that we are powerless to address – climate change.
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v30/n15/james-meek/when-the-floods-came

    • So true. Man made engineering has consequences beyond most peoples imagining. Some things get better, somethings get worse. All down to the engineering, not Nature

  60. All roads into the area I live in are now closed due to landslides, fallen trees or floods. Anyone who thinks this is not due to climate change is not living in the real world. As has been said here a thousand times, climate always changes, the question is how much is related to human activity.

      • All the roads being closed into our area is a situation which is unprecedented. Our town was developed around 1250, it’s been there a long time. This may have happened before, but there are no records of such a situation. We can pretended it’s all happened before, but at some point we have to sit up and take notice. Even those who are hard bitten opponents of the consensus must realise by now that we have to adapt to a changing situation. I don’t believe there is anyone with any common sense who states that the climate remains static, and for one reason or another, things are changing rapidly. I was a committed sceptic when I first started to read and contribute to this blog, but over the years much of what I have read here convinced me I was wrong. We are in a process of climate change and we need to address the problems that result. It may also be useful to look at the rainfall totals in the UK for November and December. We can’t go on shrugging our shoulder and saying ‘it’s happened before’, that is surely such a head in the sand attitude as to be bizarre.

      • “We are in a process of climate change ”
        We are in the process of changing climate. If that translate to what you observe then it has yet to be proved.

        • Received this email about 30 times now??? Mick G
          From: Watts Up With That? To: mickgreenhough@yahoo.co.uk Sent: Wednesday, 30 December 2015, 11:39 Subject: [New comment] British Officials Blame Climate Change for Floods #yiv6285528710 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6285528710 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6285528710 a.yiv6285528710primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6285528710 a.yiv6285528710primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6285528710 a.yiv6285528710primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6285528710 a.yiv6285528710primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv6285528710 WordPress.com |
          RichardLH commented: “”We are in a process of climate change “We are in the process of changing climate. If that translate to what you observe then it has yet to be proved.” | |

  61. Just read a piece by David Shukman on the BBC site about the “unprecedented criticism” in the aftermath of this latest flooding. He includes some interesting stuff about flood management schemes in different parts of the country, and, of course, climate change gets a mention too. But river management or dredging? Not a word!

    • Do you know why they put ‘unprecedented’ in quotes?
      It is because ‘unprecedented since’ is a tautology and journalists like to be accurate in their use of words.
      The true facts are that it is not unprecedented, meanly unusual.

    • Thanks Adrian, and your data shows that the five highest rainfall total have occurred since 1990, and that this years is by far the highest for over a hundred years. I’m reminded of Leicester city FC, languishing near the bottom of the table last year. This year, they are top of the league after constantly winning more matches. Taken as individual results, each match is not that significant, but taken as an over all score we have to suggest that in some way Leicester are playing better football, or that all the other teams have suddenly become worse.
      https://oldgifford.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/winter-rainfall-1910-2014.jpg
      These data showing rainfall anomalies over the last half century are also useful
      http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/summaries/anomalygraphs

      • Gareth
        Thanks for your various thoughtful comments here. Are the current events truly unprecedented? Its a good question. As a historical climatologist I have come to realise that comparing today to the past is difficult
        The historic events have to have happened.
        It would have to be observed
        It would have to be physically noted as being extraordinary
        that note would have to survive.
        that note would have to be ‘found’ when needed
        that record would have to be used in some relevant document
        that record would have to be credible.
        I am currently researching the 13th Century English climate as I reconstruct CET.. I can probably get back to 1086 eventually but many records are rife with religious or supernatural references, or are legends.
        So, assuming an extreme events occurs the likelihood of someone being around to observe it (3 million population in the 1200’s), bother to record it and for that record to survive becomes increasingly less likely the further back in time one goes. As I can see from examining the archives and library at the Met Office, a great proportion of those records that do survive are not digitised. if they are not digitised, to many desk bound researchers, they do not exist.
        There have been numerous periods of extreme wetness in Britain. It seems to go in phases. The worst rainfall events appear to happen during the colder periods rather than the warmer ones.. The 12th century seems to me to not only have been a notably cool century overall-the glaciers advanced again after hundreds of years of retreat-but it was often extraordinarily wet. This often caused famines as crops could not be sown or reaped or mills were washed away. The current rainfall extremes do not seem to be in the same league. Our inability to deal with flooding is obvious from the many even handed comments in this thread.
        Whether your town has records back to 1250 I don’t know. But a search in that century would reveal extraordinary weather.
        tonyb

  62. Ah, I see, you are saying these records are false, or do you have evidence that this particular situation in North Waes has occurred before? I did not ignore your post, I just could not find any evidence to support it. Perhaps you could find data that will help the discussion and show the events our ‘collective memory’ has forgotten?

      • Thanks Richard, but you list contains everything from Tidal floods resulting from the breaches of dykes and North sea surges, monsoon floods. We need to be a bit more specific. My contention was that the rainfall and resultant flooding where I live was unprecedented . There are no records of it previously happening. Now I accept there may well have been worse floods at the end of the ice age, or that Typhoons in the Philippines result in more damage. But lets focus on the one area in question. We have records in the UK going back to the 1600s which make UK based observations particularly useful. So if you, or indeed anyone else can find records of over i meter of rain falling in one month on Anglesey, or nearby, I’d love to see it and would help you in your contention that it’s all happened before with equal frequency and there is nothing out of the ordinary in this weather.

      • OK. So reduce the list to rainfall only if you wish. Follow the extended links to the UK for finer details. The Weather is not that keen on observing country boundaries but…

  63. Richard, your link was very useful. It does indeed show that there have been high amounts of rainfall previously. But can you see the increasing frequency in your data for that happening? Like Leicester city, an individual result is a one off, but when it becomes a frequent result it is significant, and that is precisely what your data shows.
    The increase on already high rainfall is remarkable. If this were a league table, this year would be top. Seeing as you wish to expand the data, this CET record might interest you. http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=cet;sess= Look at the temperature variation. Anthony agrees that the atmosphere is warming, though he contends on how much and the reason. Warmer air hold more moisture.
    The point is that we can debate about the reasons for the increasing rainfall, we can argue about it’s severity. But promoting the idea that it is nothing unusual and there is no need to take action is inappropriate. We need to start adapting now, stop building houses on flood plains, increase the height of flood barriers and dredging rivers if it helps. Taking a stance of ‘nothing unusual, move along there’ will be disastrous in the longer term.
    It seems to me that( and this is purely subjective) that the result of climate change is that any weather you find is not good for your location will get worse, wet places wetter, dry places dryer etc.

    • Please see the reference above about how individual points do not provide a true picture of even quite local events. See Devon in the above for an example (good or bad).

    • Just got another 21 of this email??? Mick G
      From: Watts Up With That? To: mickgreenhough@yahoo.co.uk Sent: Wednesday, 30 December 2015, 13:26 Subject: [New comment] British Officials Blame Climate Change for Floods #yiv0333540141 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv0333540141 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv0333540141 a.yiv0333540141primaryactionlink:link, #yiv0333540141 a.yiv0333540141primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv0333540141 a.yiv0333540141primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv0333540141 a.yiv0333540141primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv0333540141 WordPress.com Gareth Phillips commented: “Richard, your link was very useful. It does indeed show that there have been high amounts of rainfall previously. But can you see the increasing frequency in your data for that happening? Like Leicester city, an individual result is a one off, but when it” | |

  64. Where I live, in all the newer subdivisions, they make big retention areas that are normally just a big grassy field where kids can play but during heavy rains will take in large amounts of run-off water from the area and then let it out slowly through a 1′ pipe to help big rushes of water going into the river and causing flooding. It’s just older areas don’t have this planning or places to dig retention ponds.

  65. The problem is political. There’s been a monopoly mind set of the 3 main past parties and it’s all been of a liberal mindset. And with this in mind they set about joining Left wing federal Europe. USSR2.
    No most countries are in it because they’ve got it stitched up to benefit them in some fashion. But with British liberal elite its more about begin able to blame someone else for when things go wrong so that they get voted in next time. So they are quite happy to dissolve their own power over to the EU. And but up EU’s love for red tape with a Nazi like zeal for obeying the rules. Even when these when these are green rules that send the UK back to some thousand year old state of being under water.
    King Alfred hiding in marshes. King John losing his baggage. A very wet land that has undergone hundreds of years of drainage. Do the, ‘get it back to nature’ EU bureaucrats care, of course not. Do British leaders follow the rules like poodles, of course they do. Even if it means the UK goes under, under a lot of water as long dredged rivers fill up to the top with silt and debris.
    Billions could have been spent on flood defences, but Billions were spent on windmills.
    It’s as if the EU and politics want floods in order to prove their costly windmills policy right.
    — — —
    2 Feb 1945 Flooding of roads around Hebden Bridge.
    20 Sept 1946 Flooding in Hebden Bridge
    8 Sept 1951 flooding at Hebden Bridge
    21 Jan 1954 Hebden Bridge
    22 Aug 1954 Serious flooding at Hebden Bridge
    http://eyeoncalderdale.com/history-of-flooding-in-calderdale
    “You need to get rid of all the shale and silt that
    has built up over the last 30 years and get the river
    back to the level it was at in 1960.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-25404188
    Mr Greenwood said: “I wrote to Mr Cameron’s office prior….
    I was told he was unavailable for discussion during my visit.
    http://www.todmordennews.co.uk/news/flood-campaigners-march-on-number-10-1-5787953
    10,000 UK homes built on flood plains each year
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/10000-uk-homes-built-on-flood-plains-each-year-a6788816.html
    Green money:
    EU Solidarity fund.
    https://www.eureporter.co/world/2014/08/27/eu-solidarity-fund-commission-moves-to-help-italy-greece-slovenia-and-croatia-after-flood-earthquake-and-ice-storm-disasters/
    EU climate change fund
    At least 20% of the EU budget will be spent on climate action by 2020.
    http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/finance/index_en.htm
    EU Cohesion Fund allocates a total of € 63.4 billion…
    as long as they clearly benefit the environment
    http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/funding/cohesion-fund/
    Sir Philip Dilley, (EA) who earns £100,000 a year as the boss of the agency,
    has chosen to stay away as the flood crisis continues.
    http://www.itv.com/news/calendar/update/2015-12-28/floods-chief-on-holiday-in-barbados/
    The Philip Walling Letter
    EU dredging rules make effective flood prevention in Britain impossible
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/12046126/Letters-EU-dredging-rules-make-effective-flood-prevention-in-Britain-impossible.html
    Of Somerset.
    However it found that 9 out of 10 houses in Northmoor and Saltmoor would have avoided being severely flooded if dredging had been carried out earlier.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-33854141

  66. In the UK November and December 2015 have had a consistent south westerly wind from fairly often tropical maritime source. This has especially occurred more so in December with air moving North from Africa and even bringing sand with it in the frontal systems. The high rainfall amounts were mainly localized events with those regions exposed to long fetch of open ocean water and with warm tropical air coming in contact with much cooler polar maritime air sometimes placed over Scotland.
    The result was especially orographic rain that is rainfall produced as a result of clouds formed from the topography of the land. Where there is high ground moist air is forced upwards producing cloud and potentially, precipitation. This often leads to the intensification of rainfall, although many places also had very high rainfall in these regions where hills/mountains had little/no influence. Unfortunately the outcome was very serious flooding in many of these regions during December especially, with saturated land from the previous month.
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/pub/data/weather/uk/climate/anomacts/2015/11/2015_11_Rainfall_Anomaly_1981-2010.gif
    December will also show a similar anomaly map, but even wetter in some of these regions than November. This has lead to record monthly rainfall in some regions and December has now become the mildest recorded since records began. This was at least caused by the strong El Nino when early winters have often a Euro high that causes southerly winds to the west of it around NW Europe especially. The persistence of this Euro high since during November has led to these regions becoming very mild and especially wet. Recently the Euro high has moved northwards and may bring a change in the weather in the near future, with much colder air in the mix. The biggest direct factor has overall been the very unusual reluctant source of tropical maritime air pushing northwards towards the UK on a daily basis for weeks.

  67. A book I’m fond of is the late Robin Stirling’s ‘The Weather of Britain’ ISBN 1-900357-06-02. He was a professional meteorologist.
    Chapter 6 is entitled ‘Some Days Bring Deluges’, and I’ll describe a few of the many floods he covers in detail. He describes for example a disastrous flood at Louth, Lincolnshire in 1920, and serious flooding in the city of Norwich in 1912. He mentions a tablet set into a wall which records the high water mark for severe floods of the past. The highest prior to the flood described was in 1614, but the 1912 flood went 15 inches higher. He tells us that ‘much damage was done to roads and bridges throughout the county’.
    He also comments that ‘it must not be thought strange that so many new records were broken in the early years of the 20th century: records cannot be broken until there are records in existence to break’.
    The documentation of UK floods in the past goes on for several pages – in 1833, 1897, 1917, 1924, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1937 for example and continuing right up to recent times. In 1931 Boston in Lincolnshire had a quarter of a year’s worth of rainfall dumped on the city in two hours. This happened again in 1937. In August 1952, Exmoor suffered a flooding disaster following a wet month. The peat and shales of Exmoor were unable to absorb the vast quantities of water, which surged down the valleys of the East and West Lyn rivers, carrying enormous boulders and washing away houses, hotels , and sweeping 130 cars out to sea. A seven-ton boulder was found in the basement of one hotel.
    Stirling shows a photo of the scene in Milbrook, Guildford in September 1968, commenting that some shops in the High Street were flooded to a depth of almost eight feet, and that 1968 will long be remembered for ‘the floods’.
    Importantly, Stirling states that caution is needed in assessing changes in the frequency of flooding as indicators of climate change. He mentions that Exmoor’s rainfall varies between 49 and 79 inches in a year. (An inch of water is the equivalent of 100 tons per acre, or 4840 square yards. I find it’s easier to think of this as the area bounded by a square of seven buses on each side, a bus being about 30 feet long).
    So, severe floods are nothing new in the UK!

  68. Ignorance (of natural cycles) is bliss. Or at least considerably cheaper.
    “We entered a generally flood-poor period in the 1960s, earlier in some parts of the country, later in others. This does not mean there was no flooding, just that there was much less than before the 1960s and what we are seeing now. This has lowered our own awareness of flood risk in the UK. This has made it easier to go on building on floodplains. It has also helped us to believe that we can manage flooding without too much cost, simply because there was not that much flooding to manage.”
    https://www.dur.ac.uk/news/newsitem/?itemno=6468

  69. So it was not the failure of our governments after 2008 collapse of the world economy to respond rightly.
    What was initiated by
    the Clintons and Goldmann Sachs -and executed by Obama.
    So british governments are left with no money at all to corresponding reaction to ‘weather’.
    Just asking – Hans

  70. The cost of dealing with floods in the UK is proportional to government flood defence expenditure. The right wing Tory government have chosen to let the people drown (sorry, down), cutting government expense for flood protection year on year as they continue to reward their donors and ignore real life.

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