It's A Bit Damp...
That said. You may have noticed - and I don't know if it has been touched on by any international news outlets - but the UK is currently in the path of storms. Storm after storm after storm. It has been very wet and very windy.
The Jet-Stream, they say, is pushing damp air in one way, then hitting cold air, and the end result is rain. Or something.
Is it global warming? One group is pointing at it and screeching about Carbon Dioxide and Man-Made climate change, and shit being churned out... Another group is harping on that there is proof that this sort of thing happens and it's just part of the global cycle. We shan't touch on the lunatics blaming gay marriage, equal opportunities, free love, sin or anything falling under the umbrella of "Gods Wrath!" because, you know, they are mad.
So we shall leave that alone. Suffice to say, it's definitely not normal. Not here, and not in many other parts of the world. Parts of the US & Canada are getting ice storms and snow storms and all sorts of cold stuff. Australia is currently cooking and drying out like a worm on the pavement in the summer. Parts of the Middle East are suffering drought. Monsoons have failed. It's all pretty shit.
But to come back home, where our issue is some wind and rain and very large, deep puddles...
It just seems like everyone is blaming everyone else, yet NO ONE is taking responsibilities for their own actions or their own choices or decisions, and THAT is what is pissing me off.
Compared to the other weather-issues around the world, things are not that bad - not really. Would you rather have a foot of water in your lounge - that you were warned was coming - or a raging torrent wash your entire house away? More worried your fields are under water, or not have had rain for so many months nothing you plant is going to grow. And a lot of it is now involving finger pointing and politics, and all sorts of crap.
First off, all the farmers are raging mad because their livestock is wet, their fields are flooded, and they can't make a living. But hang on...
For years, farmers have been cutting down bushes, hedgerows, trees, woods, forests - anything in their way to prevent them making bigger and bigger fields, or clearing places for their sheep to have lunch or whatever.
You know - trees and stuff - those things that, say, drink a shit load of water on a daily basis. If they hadn't cleared land on a bigger and bigger and bigger scale, things might not be quite so bad.
Then there are the people that live on the coast where the storms have landed. Over the years, sea levels has risen, and sea defences have been built up higher and higher. Then, they got to a point where lots of people that live on the sea front realised that their "Scenic Coastal View" was going to be blocked by the new, higher sea wall. They wrote petitions, formed committees, took their problems to the local government and generally protested their little hearts out that the new wall was detrimental to their view, that tourists coming to see their seaside town would stop coming, and so the higher wall was a BAD thing.
Cue the higher, stronger sea going over the sea wall and flooding their little town. "Ooooh if only there were a better sea defence, if only we had a higher sea wall, we're now flooded, so no tourist is going to come here..."
The people that have built their houses beside a cliff edge - they get an honourable mention because when the news teams are filming that lovely house going over the edge of the cliff after the waves have obliterated them - why does everyone look so surprised?
And there are the people screaming and shouting and hollering, saying the flooding would have been prevented had their river been dredged "like we have been telling them for years!" Cue then the news helicopter showing the dozens of square miles under three or four feet of water. Now, forgive my mathematics, which was never very good, but I don't think taking a few feet of mud out of a river would have made THAT much more space to prevent eight gazillion gallons of spilling onto the fields.
"BUT it wouldn't have been as bad!" people cry. No, you are right, it wouldn't have been so bad. Instead of twelve square miles being under four feet of water, it'd be twelve square miles under two feet of water. Much better.
I sometimes think I was the only person in my Science lesson on the day we did the water cycle... Water evaporates off the sea. Clouds roll inland. Clouds reach a point and drop water. Water then goes in different directions - some across land and into the brooks, streams then rivers, to flow back to the sea; some is absorbed by the land, and drains into the water table and aquifers to be used as a water source; some is absorbed by trees and plants...
But there are issues with this now... The rivers have been changed and altered by humans, they've been made straighter and deeper, the sides have been increased. The area around these lower areas are called Flood Plains... Can you tell where that name comes from? And no, it's not because they are quite plain. And this flood plain, which is now walled off from the river becomes a housing estate. Then a village. Then a town. Tarmac, concrete, cement, bricks... This place where the water would usually be absorbed is now a brick-covered sponge, so the water runs straight into the river. For good measure, the towns drainage system now ALSO dumps into the river.
The moors and forests have been hacked, chopped, burnt and generally buggered, so the water that would usually be absorbed here has no where to go. With so much extra water, it just runs down hill, across the big flat open farmland, and dumps straight into the river.
Water + Water + Water + Rain = Lots and Lots of Water
It's not rocket science, and the big strong walls they built to hold the deeper, wider, man-buggered river are actually not that strong. So the Not-So big strong walls go pop and leak all over the flood plain.
Did I say flood plain, sorry, it's a TOWN now. Covered in tarmac and concrete and cement and bricks - so the water that would usually slowly ebb away has precisely zero places to go.
Let's put it another way that people might understand - less sciencey. Think of it in terms of supply and demand.
- The clouds are our supply;
- They piss water all over us because of the demand - the trees and plants and grassland and forests and all the brooks and streams and rivers and flood plain;
- The clouds aren't too smart, so they will supply regardless of the demand;
- Take away MORE demand - cut down trees and forests, build over everything that could absorb water, get rid of the waterways - and you have a surplus;
- That surplus is what us common folk refer to as "a f$cking great flood"
And so with swathes of our country under water, the next logical step is for everyone to blame everyone else. Take some bloody responsibility.
AND! Why is it that every politician and semi-important spod decides to put on their wellies and go take a look?! The Prime Minster has been, the other bloke from the opposite side of Parliament... Wallace, I think, from the Wallace & Grommit movies. The bloke next in line to the throne who will never get there at this rate - he turned up, on the back of a tractor trailer. They all look around, all with their "Grr serious" faces on, listening to the locals rant about their soggy sofa, damp sheep, waterlogged cows, overflowing pond, and whatever else they are screaming about...
Then there is "Social" Media, where people are sharing a photo with a caption like "Share this picture to show your support for the wet blokes down south" Aw that's nice, I am sure a picture of a flood being shared is doing SO much for everyone. "Click Like if you think more should be done to help those affected by Noahs Flood" Aw yes, over twelve thousand people have liked a picture.
Those people with a new pool where their downstairs used to be are SO lucky to have so many likes and shares...
So whats being done?
Well, the Army is involved now (though I think the Navy would SURELY have been a better help) and they are doing the same as the others, standing around, scratching their heads, pulling a boat of cold old ladies and their little shivering dogs.
Then there are the water pumps everywhere, pumping the water from one place to another... Very helpful. It must be that well trained water that knows it's not allowed back where it came from.
There are the councils that are now charging residents for sandbags. That's nice and properly in the spirit of things.
People are trying to work together to rebuild sea walls and river walls, using whatever they have to hand, but you have to wonder... If a properly-built wall didn't stand up to That Wet Weather A Few Days Back, I'm not convinced a wall of sandbags, bricks and mounds of rubble will do the job - especially as there are about a thousand more storms building in the Atlantic and heading our way.
My personal favourite is watching the bloke on the news stand in the middle of a town-come-lake with a somber face on, talking about how these devastating floods will have effects that last for many months, and how worried the residents are - followed by a group of worried residents to go rushing past in the background, laughing and shouting and playing in the water, body boarding, riding their bikes through it, and generally having a proper fun time of it.
Of course, I also can't help but think they should be aware that the flood waters are also churning out every flushed poo living in the sewers, mixing them in with all that water... Yum, enjoy your norovirus.
I hate to say it, but this is our doing. I don't mean me and mine - granted we might flush the toilet a lot, but I don't think you can blame us exactly. I mean "OUR" doing, as in, us people. We've cut, and built, and developed, and blocked, and removed, and diverted - all in the name of progress. But with all that progress, no one seemed to take into account what might happen if - like now - things got a little wetter than usual.
And even now, our councils and our governments continue to change their minds about protected land and greenbelt land, and regardless of what us, the people, have to say about it, woods become housing estates. Parks and lakes become housing estates. Forests and Nature Reserves become housing estates. And the water has no where to go.
Another day in science clearly everyone else missed. Water will pretty much go where ever the hell it wants. It's stronger than us, more powerful than us, has the ability to piss people off whether it's falling out the sky or bubbling out the ground or washing around our private parts. People hate it if it's too hot or too cold. Neither us, nor our local leaders, nor our government, nor out planet - none of us can tell water to get stuffed and stop being such a dick. If it wants to come and play in our towns, it bloody well will. If it wants to rearrange the coastline, it'll do that too. If it wants to piss off and dry out your entire country, hell, it'll do that as well. Whatever water does, it's in the wrong. Just think, it wasn't THAT long ago that everyone in the UK was crying out for more water to prevent a hosepipe ban and drought.
Water grants your wish, and you're not happy.
No more news or social media for me for a while.