Flood Defence Common Sense
Posted 13 April 2016 - 04:28 AM
So vote for the environrment on June 23rd?
Posted 13 April 2016 - 06:42 AM
I can see that this looks to be a bit of common sense (a rare commodity in government) being applied to restore the environment by planting etc to reduce flash flood risk, but can't see how this relates to the EU.
Posted 13 April 2016 - 07:57 AM
So vote for the environrment on June 23rd?
Not sure how you mean vote. Personally, the performance of the EU as an organisation, and the impossibility of it making any credible promises, has made me a firm Outer.
The interesting thing to me about this is that it was done by locals when the Govt said it would need a huge concrete scheme which they refused to fund, and research endorsements for this convinced them to fund this one, BUT...
For fun, this is what the Guardian said at the time (Jan 7th), in the person of their Jeremy Biggs, Director of the Freshwater Habitats Trust:
So-called natural flood defence schemes are an attractive idea, but they would be powerless in the face of extreme weather
when the Independent published Geoffrey Lean’s convincing article on the “town that escaped the flood”, it became an environmental sensation, with everyone from Chris Packham to former Tory environment minister Richard Benyon tweeting the story.
The only problem with this was that the town didn’t flood because of the flood scheme - but because it didn’t rain much at Christmas in Pickering.
In fact, the North York moors – where the water that floods Pickering comes from - were an anomalously dry spot in the whole of the north of England. It’s possible to see this even in the Met Office’s provisional December 2015 rainfall summary, and clearer still in the data from the weather station at Westerdale. All tell the same story – it did rain, but only a modest amount above the average.
The Indy report:
I have no idea who is bloviating, but if Geoffrey Lean was involved the original news claim may well be unreliable in some aspects. Somewhere there's a riposte from him.
There is the continuing problem of all those people saying that rewilding and reforesting will solve it all, when our uplands have been much deforested since Medieval times without a floodapocalypse, and that forest cover is at its highest for 250 years - 5% to 17% since 1900 in Scotland, as the largest change - and it doesn't seem to have stopped flooding.
The Beeb piece is by Roger Harrabin, and mentions the report suggesting "up to 40%" forest cover in catchments:
No link to the report, but I suspect that is typical BBC website sensationalising something which is more likely to say "between 5% and 40%". George Monbiot (him of all people!) says that 2% could make a difference, but Harrabin is a committed eco-enthusiast.
A battery of bullshit detectors is required.
Personally I think we need to start maintaining rivers, do some minimal (2% seems fine for a start) preventative tree planting in the uplands. I would suggest subsidisies for these doubled up as windbreaks, which would be in not dissimilar places, benefit agriculture and be green corridors etc.
Also subsidise woodlands around fracking sites .
Edited by ferdinand, 13 April 2016 - 08:23 AM.
Posted 13 April 2016 - 09:16 AM
We've discussed it elsewhere before. The BBC feature just brought it all back.
"The major funding that farmers receive is called the single farm payment, which is money given by European taxpayers to people who own land. These people receive a certain amount (usually around £200 or £300), for every hectare they own. To receive it, they must keep the land in what is called "Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition" (GAEC)."
Posted 13 April 2016 - 11:02 AM
Farm produce, be it grain, beef, milk or whatever, has been so heavily, and badly, controlled by EU agricultural policies and subsidies that there has never been a time since we joined the EEC that we haven't had "boom and bust" cycles caused, at least in part, by the inability of a subsidised market to respond in a timely manner. As some here know, I have a farming family background, and have seen first hand how subsidies have encouraged farmers to produce a particular product, only for there to then be a glut of that product on the market, with the inevitable negative impact in price.
We've even had the barking mad idea of the EEC (now the EU) buying up massive stocks of produce that has been over-produced, because the subsidy system made it so, in order to try and keep the price up. I've lost count of how many "EU mountains" we've had, but do know that their was still frozen beef in storage in the EU years after the animals had been slaughtered and subsidies were still being handed out to beef producers. I'm sure the same has happened in other areas of farming, too.
I know farmers who would genuinely like to try and improve the environment around the productive land, and years ago got involved in a tree planting scheme. The idea was to try and recreate a deciduous mixed woodland, with a natural-looking arrangement of trees. The money for the saplings came in part from the EU, but with strings attached. There was a stipulation that each sapling had to be planted a set distance from every other one. Whatever way you looked at this you had to create a grid of trees, in uniform rows. It ended up being a hopeless natural "woodland" habitat, because the even planting created large voids and weeds and brambles quickly took over in these voids and stopped a lot of the saplings from thriving. For around three years a small team of volunteers would go around trying to clear the brambles etc away, but eventually the farmer who owned the land declared the project a failure and ploughed it up, so he could sow whatever the best subsidised crop was that year..................
I watched the first of the programmes on the history of the EU and Britain's attempts to join last night (http://www.bbc.co.uk...an-island-apart ). It was interesting because I remembered clearly the speeches by Enoch Powell and Tony Benn, but I hadn't realised that the original idea was supported by Churchill and included the aim of forming a Federal Europe. The high point of the programme for me was the snippet from an interview with Ted Heath that had been conducted around 20 years ago. He was seriously unhappy at the Eurosceptics, even all those years later, and pretty much openly admitted that members of the opposition had been, in effect, bribed to pass the bill that accepted our entry to the EEC. It was also fascinating to see DeGaulle, just as I remembered, although I seem to recall newspaper headlines from the early 60's with just the single word "NON!" above a photo of DeGaulle.
I have to say that my opinion of Heath was not improved by seeing him again. I can still remember the complete mess he made of trying to control inflation by creating more inflation. I was a baby scientist, being sponsored through university by the Scientific Civil Service, and for around a year under the Heath government we had a cost of living allowance (COLA) added to our salary each month. If the retail price index rose by 1% in any month, we'd get a 1% of salary COLA addition. In my case my sponsored student salary rose from £480 a year to £560 a year in the space of 9 months...................
Edited by jsharris, 13 April 2016 - 11:04 AM.
Posted 13 April 2016 - 11:44 AM
And just checked that the wife recorded last night's programme. She hadn't, so thanks for the link, I'll watch it on iplayer after lunch.
Posted 13 April 2016 - 04:39 PM
I think they may have funded some of the research at Durham that led to the Pickering project.