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April 22, 2004

Report Predicts Future of British Ark Industry

Ok, this little "science" article in the UK Guardian was just hilarious.

Risks of flooding are growing to "unacceptable levels" because of climate change with up to 4 million Britons facing the prospect of their homes being inundated, according to a report to be published today by the government.

Woohoo! The risk of floods is growing to "unacceptable levels" because of global warming, which nobody has actually seen yet. How precious. I wonder how the British managed to make it through the Medieval Warm Period, when English towns were growing up and the climate was much warmer. Meanwhile, back on planet earth last year, the Bangladeshis only had 5 million people homeless due to monsoons, which is way better than the 30 to 40 million homeless they had in the monsoons of 1998.

The report by the Office of Science and Technology gives the most chilling picture yet of how global warming will affect the lives of millions of Britons over the next half century.

It's the most chilling picture yet? What about all the earlier hype over the recent claims that global warming will result in a rapid onset ice age? What about last years hype that global warming was about to wipe out the ecosystem, and I quote "Rising global temperatures over the next century could trigger a catastrophe to rival the worst mass extinction in the history of the planet, leading British scientists warned today"? What about killing off the oceans because the CO2 will turn them into carbonic acid, where they said “If we continue down the path we are going, we will produce changes greater than any experienced in the past 300 million years—with the possible exception of rare, extreme events such as comet impacts". Yet, now it's British flooding that's the "most chilling picture yet", despite British flooding being the chilling picture back in 2002, when the BBC said the only solution was for everyone to give up their cars. Well of course the British should give up their cars. In a flood you want a motorboat, not a Mini.

Compiled by 60 experts under the leadership of the government's chief scientist, Sir David King, it shows that many towns in Britain are threatened by rising sea levels, river flooding and the overwhelming of Victorian drains by flash floods.

Darn. Throw in the rising sea level and it's worse than I thought. But on the bright side people won't notice the flooding so since they'll already be navigating the streets of London in water taxis. And you'd think they'll have those Victorian drains upgraded by the year 2050, but then that would require actually upgrading something, which would probably just result in backhoes pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere.

The report, Future Flooding, looks forward to 2080 but says that the threat is already growing and most of the worst of its predictions will have happened by 2050.

Well hell, if you want to read a really scary report how about cracking open a history book on past US flooding? We don't call them hundred year floods for nothing, you know.

As a result it is vital to start planning new defences and making long-term decisions now to prevent future disasters. Sir David warned earlier this year that global warming was a greater threat than terrorism.

Exactly how do you prevent The Perfect Storm in the indeterminant future? Boy, it's a good thing scientists like this weren't solving the worlds problems back in the 1500's, or the English may have turned back the weather and gotten their scientific butts kicked by the Spanish Armada. So maybe Sir David should stop for a minute and calculate the amount of CO2 released if London goes up in a big thermonuclear fireball after two Algerian jihadi brothers decide to play a little prank.

New "green corridors" need to be created in cities as "safety valves" into which floodwater can be channelled, the report says. In some cases abandonment of parts of urban areas, with councils buying up properties to create new open areas to take floodwater, will be necessary.

It sounds like they've been eavesdropping on Dallas Texas planning sessions, because the US has been doing that for decades. But isn't it interesting that these "sophisticated" Europeans are only now getting around to thinking about handling rainwater.

"Some structures such as oil refineries could be relocated [inland]. However, other assets such as coastal towns will be difficult to relocate.

They face the same storms they've always been periodically hit with, but now that they've started aping Chicken Little they want to move whole cities to higher ground. That'll probably be doubly difficult once they give up their internal combustion engines and try to tow their old buildings uphill using 25,000 harnessed bicyclists, but it'll make an interesting picture for the Globe and Mail.
But considering all this delusional European madness, is it really any wonder that European literature kept pumping out stories about the Pied Piper, Humpty Dumpty, and the little Dutch boy? Maybe they just can't help it, but I do look forward to reading "Sir David and the Sunday Storm".

"In Wales and other parts of the UK, erosion could threaten beaches and therefore tourism."

Well damn. You'd think that global warming diehards would allow that one possible benefit would be that the British would be content to sun themselves on their own beaches instead of flying off to the Bahamas all the time. But sadly, that won't fit in a global disaster story.

The report puts a question mark over John Prescott's cherished plans to develop the Thames Gateway with 90,000 new homes, and the whole area east of London which is at or below sea level.

Well, there goes any idea of a new New Orleans, the old one being a city below sea level in the middle of a hurricane corridor, sitting at the mouth of a river that dwarfs the Thames. What were we thinking??? Oh, I forgot. We deal with the reality of assessing risks over here. Otherwise we'd have left the vast tornado tortured center of the continent completely unpopulated.

The report says that in all planning flood risks must be taken into account. Space must always be left to allow for river and coastal floodwaters. In the Netherlands some developments are allowed if they are on stilts and have an escape boat.

This is news? Should we send them some lecturers from the US Army Corps of Engineers?

The report is the most comprehensive undertaken into the risks of flooding in the UK, and probably the world, Sir David says, and shows that properties will become uninsurable and many can expect at least a one-in-10 chance of being flooded every year.

So on the basis of something that hasn't happened, and which many say won't happen, Brave Sir David is already projecting insurvivability fifty years down the road.

Towns on the east coast which suffered in the floods of 1953 are in the area of highest risk, but the danger to Britain's older cities with Victorian sewerage systems is a newer problem. Drains are in danger of being overwhelmed, spilling water and sewage into homes, as well as being knocked out for weeks at a time - as happened in recent floods in central Europe.

Predicting that floods in 2050 will put at risk towns that actually flooded in 1953 isn't exactly rocket science, now is it? It also begs me to ask what horrible, man-made, catastrophic climate alterations were causing these 1953 floods. Surely it was something we'd done, and not just the weather.

The government has prepared an extensive response to the report, pointing out that the Environment Agency is already looking at a replacement for the Thames barrier, which is likely to be overwhelmed sometime after 2030. Higher sea walls along the embankment into London will also be needed.

How interesting, since just about every moonbat prediction about rising sea levels says that by 2030 the ocean will only be about 8 inches higher than it is now. And that's assuming, of course, that global warming is a real man-made effect that's extremely severe, deviating drastically from the existing warming trends. Now if the British sea walls were only designed with an eight inch margin of error, I have to ask "What the hell kind of tea were you slurping when you scribbled on that napkin?" And those London water taxis I mentioned earlier? I was just joking, much like this report.

But the government will point out that there is no legal obligation to defend property or land at all. "The aim is to reduce the risk of flooding or coastal erosion where it is sustainable to do so and where the proposed defence is economically, technically and environmentally sound."

Isn't that wonderful? Apparently the whole report can be summed up as follows.

We're really concerned about this impending disaster that will flood all your houses, unless of course you vote to keep us in office so we can address these portentious issues. We can really stop the complete destruction of Britain due to man-made global warming if you just vote us more money, which we'll use to just do the same infrastructure upgrades we were going to do anyway, because we think global warming is the greatest vote getter since, well, since we cottoned on to the idea of using delusional scaremongering as public policy.

You know, years ago if you stood in front of your ark in raincoat, holding up a sign that said "THE END IS NEAR! NOAH'S FLOOD IS COMING SOON!" the British would've just thought you eccentric at best, if not mad as a hatter. Nowdays they give such lunatics and office and a staff. Amazing how times change, isn't it?

April 22, 2004 in Science | Permalink


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Perhaps they didn't get this memo?


"Given Ruddiman's findings the key question now is not "is industrial-age, human-caused global warming occurring?", but rather "are we sure that the human effect on climate over the last 8,000 years has helped to prevent the occurrence of another glaciation?" Should the answer to that question be yes, then it prompts the further question: "do we wish to maintain the human warming effect, or instead to counteract it and allow Earth's climatic cycle to drop back into its next (natural) glacial episode?"

Posted by: flyfish at Apr 22, 2004 2:56:16 PM

It all comes down to a choice, flyfish. Would you rather be sipping a margarita while sunbathing on Long Island, or desperately trying to chip the ice off your sno-cat in Mississippi?

Posted by: George Turner at Apr 22, 2004 4:33:34 PM

I like to ski - let the glaciers roll!!

I know the whole "junk science" debate has been done to death, but why don't these so-called scientists have even a slight flash of shame when they trumpet "scientific findings" which are NOTHING more than "predicitions" based on "computerized climate models" which have been PROVEN to have NO PREDICTIVE VALUE???? Folks, that's science fiction, not science.

Per my college Chemistry prof. - "If you can't measure it, repeat it, and predict from it, it ain't science." Amen.

Posted by: Flagwaver at Apr 22, 2004 5:34:46 PM