As large parts of the country are flooded, the cost is estimated to be around £5 billion for the various insurance costs and clean up. Although, we did save £100 million or so by making cuts to flood defences and the Environment Agency. Hurrah!
This is just another example of how the austerity agenda actually results in more costs. By investing in flood defences, particularly the lower cost, upstream mitigation projects, such as planting trees, you save in the long term.
In the same way, investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy now will reap rewards in the future.
Plus, with man-made climate change correctly predicting an increase in frequency of such extreme weather events, as are being seen in this and other countries, we need to be doing far, far more now to prevent future catastrophes.
Merely responding to each event, promising a little extra money to fit some flood barriers, is not going to work any more. However, with many within the current Conservative government (both locally in Worcestershire and nationally) not taking climate change seriously, it is unlikely that we will see any joined-up, long-term plan from any of them.
Yet, it is only by having a long-term vision that these kind of problems can be addressed. But, once the flood waters drop and another political story comes to the fore, what’s the betting that climate change will be dropped down the political agenda? It didn’t take long after the Paris Climate Conference for the term to disappear.
It is up to the Green Party, environmental pressure groups and as many other people and groups as possible to keep climate change and the risks it poses continually high up the political agenda. It is only by doing so that meaningful action will be taken.