Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Flooding the way of the future?

My heart goes out to those who have lost family or friends in the flooding which has hit the country in the last couple of days. And I also send my best wishes to those displaced by the floods. The pictures that I have seen in the media are very worrying, and the carnage that nature can cause in such a short time is quite incredible.

It is concerning that freak weather conditions like this will become more and more common (and less freakish) as climate change tightens its grip. In St Mary's we've been lucky so far, and we are fortunate not to lie in an area where houses are particularly vulnerable. But we all have to pay the price in terms of higher insurance and higher taxes to deal with these emergency situations which are happening more and more.

We need to move proactively to prevent these things happening again. Any force that has the power to kill and injure, and displace thousands of people from their homes, must be stopped. We need to stop building houses on flood plains, and protect those already there. We need to work with the insurance industry and those professional risk managers who can plan properly to stop these incidents having the effects that they have. More flood protection, and better plans in place to deal with emergencies like this. It may cost money, but this has to become a priority now, because it costs less to protect settlements from a flood that may never come, than it does to rebuild a wrecked town.


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