Flood and drought
Mar 10, 2012
Bishop Hill in Climate: CRU, Climate: WG2

Charlie Flindt is a farmer, who has written a rather funny piece at Farmer's Weekly wondering about the antics of DEFRA and the climatologists. Flindt doesn't like conferences but, he says:

...there was one meeting the other day that I would have given anything to attend, even at breakfast time: the DEFRA drought summit.

All the great and the good were there: Mrs Spelman, the Environment Agency, Natural England, British Waterways, the Met Office, and representatives from the agricultural sector and environmental NGOs.

Reports suggest that there was much earnest discussion of this year's drought, the problems it brings, and measures that can be taken. These measures ranged from the bleeding obvious, like stopping leaks, to the fairly major, like suggesting that farmers consider on-farm storage of water.


If I had somehow blagged my way in as an important person or a quangocrat, I think that it's at this point that I would have been forced to put my hand up. Perhaps Mrs Spelman would have called for a silence, and all heads in the room would have turned to face me.

"Well. Mr Flindt?" she'd have asked (I assume these meetings are all very formal).

"Um, I'm sorry to butt in, Mrs Spelman, but I'm confused," I would have said. "Ten years ago, there was another conference. It was called 'Flood Risk in a Changing Climate', and was held at the Royal Society in November 2001. The message from this conference was very simple: winters will get wetter. Rivers will burst their banks more often, and flooding will become more regular - as was indeed happening at the turn of the century. Climate change – or perhaps it was still called Global Warming in those days – was to blame. Messrs Osborn and Hulme, scientists at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, had models to prove it. Now, if a farmer at that conference had suggested it would be wise to start planning the building of a reservoir, he would have been laughed out of the building."

Read the whole thing. It's very amusing.

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