Wednesday, 30 December 2015
Floods: chronicle of a disaster foretold
Late in 2013, my book Flood: Nature and Culture was published by Reaktion Books. It noted the devastating floods seen across the world the previous year, and ended with a question:-
'Are we witnessing nothing more than the normal ups and downs of the climate? Or are those calculations by so many scientists right: does mankind now face a struggle with floods the like of which we have never seen before?'
Many people in the north of the UK in particular must have been asking something similar as the rainfall records I wrote about in the book keep being broken, leading more and more politicians to concede that what they had been categorising as 'exceptional' might, in fact, be becoming normal. The Environment Agency has admitted that a 'complete rethink' may be needed on flood defences.
In Flood, I also noted that in the United States, of the 48 Republican candidates for the Senate mid-term elections of 2010, all but one either denied the existence of global warming or opposed any action to combat it. It will be interesting to note what shift in opinion, if any, we see on the American right as the next year's presidential election looms.
Flood on Amazon: