Over three weeks ago, the government's chief scientist warned that for the UK, flash floods were likely to be the biggest immediate problem caused by global warming. David King told a committee of MPs that the country would have to prepare for extreme weather such as heatwaves and "torrential downpours". Two weeks later, large areas are counting the cost of the worst flooding this country has seen for over 50 years. The floods have left seven people dead and over 40,000 homes damaged. The army was mobilised to help with emergency efforts as two more rivers broke their banks and water continued to rise. Experts agree that the severe storms and flooding will become more frequent as temperatures rise.
Links: Sheffield Indymedia | Notts Indymedia | Climate Indymedia | UK Indymedia Climate Chaos page | June 2007 United Kingdom floods on Wikipedia | Notts Indymedia Weather Page | Slideshow of Floods in Nottingham in 2000 | Climate change and flood (Environment Agency) | Cool Kids For a Cool Climate
Over the last few weeks the mainstream media as well as those across the political spectrum have linked the storms to climate change. Which is not only stating the obvious, but moreover accepting many of the issues climate change activists have been claiming for years: climate change is a major issue facing humanity. It's been reported that the rate of climate change is twice the worst case scenario anticipated 3 years ago.
One of the effects of climate change that is currently manifesting itself across the UK is an increase in flooding. In Feburary 2004 temporary flood defences in Worcester failed and it was observed that "this is no doubt something we'll all have to get a lot more used to with the kind of climate changes we are experiencing, and which are predicted to continue over the coming decades".
Development on land that is prone to flooding, especially of housing, is very short-sighted; last year activists in Swansea used graffiti to "highlight the fact that part of Swansea’s prestigious SA1 development on Trawler Road is being built on land that will flood unless Climate Change can be averted".
In 2005 James Howard pointed out that "Germany is now at risk from more extreme weather, such as heavy rain - which raises the risk of flooding, especially the densely populated plains of central Europe" and that we are not only facing the impact of climate change: "The Climate Change movement has been saying for a long time that we should change, Peak Oil means categorically we have to change." In 2006 a report from Australia predicted that "annual flood-related deaths and injuries are expected, by 2020, to rise about two and half times [current levels] in some regions [of the world], whereas that impact on Pacific islands is predicted to be more than 50-fold greater".
What no politician or the mainstream media seems to acknowledge as yet is the fact that climate change has been primarily provoked by the global north's senseless drive for depleting the earth's natural resources, and its unhindered need for a never ending consumerism. The very same politicians now so concerned with climate change still refuse to accept that it is the people living in the global south which will suffer climate chaos first and more aggressively, causing uncountable devastation, including death, mass migration, food and energy shortages. Carbon trading, green taxes and agrofuel offer no solutions to a crisis that is a social issue: "Climate change is not an environmental issue, even if NGOs and liberal greens have claimed it so thus far. It is above all a social issue, and its impacts will affect all our social movements."
In India islands are vanishing beneath rising sea levels and thousands are being turned into refugees. The "increased frequency and intensity of weather extremes like floods, droughts, killer heatwaves, wildfires, and hurricanes and cyclones" needs to be also considered in context of the global resource wars that are threatening the very survival of humanity.
Local Media Coverage of the floods: