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« Missing the point | Main | Lawson vs Hoskins »

Floods of PR - Josh 257

 But to be clear, we love water voles!

Cartoons by Josh

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Reader Comments (29)

They're both up to their necks in it. Great interpretation, Josh.

Feb 13, 2014 at 6:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

I see you have their heads above the water, suggesting that they are not yet out of their respective depths. Another example of your impressive generosity to such people. History, I suspect, will not be nearly so kind to them. Nor would the immediate future, if we had wise government.

Feb 13, 2014 at 6:32 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

The cartoon reminds me of the saturation coverage by the BBC of the floods. :-)

Feb 13, 2014 at 6:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

From the Environment Agency September 2013

'Creating new habitat helps protect our native species, like water voles and otters, and helps tackle climate change. The Environment Agency has created nearly 5,000 hectares of wetland and river habitats in the last 10 years and we hope to double this in the next 10. Added to this, our rivers at their healthiest for over 20 years, but control of the American mink is essential if water voles are to benefit from these healthier rivers and new habitats.'

It looks like they achieved their targets in slightly les than 10 years ...

Feb 13, 2014 at 6:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Is there an oxymoron somewhere at the end of your post John?

Feb 13, 2014 at 7:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

Which one is the Lord and which one is the Dame? The honours system at its very best.

Feb 13, 2014 at 7:23 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

In homage to the original TV comedy* surely the Heading should be: 'Alas Smith and Slingo'.

* The Marx dictum: 'History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce'

Feb 13, 2014 at 7:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

It ought really to be Smith and Baroness Young, previous head of the EA. she of the limpet mine persuasion

Feb 13, 2014 at 7:41 PM | Unregistered Commentermike fowle

Here is the good practise guide that the EA published in December for some pilot areas.

Some do and don'ts:

Check if you are within or near a nature conservation site, a Water Framework Directive sensitive are or scheduled ancient monument. If so then apply for flood defence consent.

Find out what type of fish are present and schedule your works according to which fish are present.

Make sure your work doesn't impact upon water voles, white-clawed crayfish, mussels, great crested newts etc.

Make sure your work doesn't cause non-native species to spread.

Make sure there are no tree preservation orders

Do not disturb nesting birds or stop them returning to their nests. If you find a nest then delay work until eggs are hatched and chicks have left.

You must stop work if you are removing lots of fish or mussels

You should check the removed silt every 30 minutes and return any animals to the watercourse.

There is even a nice Water Vole flowchart showing you what to do (and not do).

Feb 13, 2014 at 7:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

"We made a mistake. We perhaps relied too much on the Environment Agency's advice. We thought we were dealing with experts." Eric Pickles

Feb 13, 2014 at 7:58 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

John Shade (6:32 PM): both have clearly shown that they are well out of their respective (or should that be “respect-less”?) depths; I suspect that the reason they have their heads above water is that they are standing on the shoulders of other people – i.e. the tax-payers.

Feb 13, 2014 at 8:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

Feb 13, 2014 at 7:58 PM | Pharos

Pickles was right on that. I did think he was, by the general standard of politicians, a reasonably down-to-earth kind of guy - pity he also said that overseas aid money spent on 'climate change' projects would help prevent such events in the future.

Feb 13, 2014 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

Tea breaks over, back on your heads!

Feb 13, 2014 at 10:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

Would this be considered an "own Vole" by the administration? (sorry...)

Funny how the same folks who are yelling survival of the fittest, adaptation, etc. are claiming the animals and the environment in general can't deal with continual change....

In the US we've had numerous cases of the Army Corps of Engineers (among others) either digging where things would better have been left alone, or not digging when there was a dire need for things to get cleaned up. Somehow nature takes care of its own, nonetheless...

Here's hoping that you all get through this quickly without too much trouble, and in good health, in any case!

Feb 13, 2014 at 10:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeff

On another thread but worth repeating...

The tragedy is that even the intended beneficiaries of the agency policy have suffered.

‘Any time you went for a walk in the Levels, you’d hear plopping – the sound of the water voles diving into the rivers,’ said farmer Edwin White. ‘I haven’t seen a vole for ten years. They’ve all been drowned.’

Read more:
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Feb 13, 2014 at 11:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterThorne

La propriété, c'est le vole.

Feb 13, 2014 at 11:47 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

Radical Rodent

"I suspect that the reason they have their heads above water is that they are standing on the shoulders of other people – i.e. the tax-payers."

Heh! I'm no artist, but wouldn't something like that be great to add to the bottom of the cartoon.

Feb 14, 2014 at 2:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil R

I still want Slingo to explain precisely what weather event is NOT consistent with "global warming!"

Feb 14, 2014 at 2:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterPolitical Junkie

Slingo is a cloud physics' specialist. She has got that wrong too.

Feb 14, 2014 at 7:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterMydogsgotnonose

I think there should also be a mollusc, but of course it may be there under the water. As Thorne reminds us, the only voles will those like Josh's, with little boats. The laws of Murphy and Unintended Consequences seem to have joined forces around both the EA and MO lately - I wonder why?

Feb 14, 2014 at 8:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Perfect, Josh ... as always :-)

Seems to me that there may be a pattern forming here! Remermber in mid June of last year, the Met office had convened what Hickman had declared to be an "emergency meeting", that - according to Richard Betts - was just a normal run of the mill gathering of scientists to chew the fog fat?!

[I hope readers will forgive the shameless plugs in the following]

At the time - when it was becoming increasingly untenable for the Met Office, and other stalwarts of the IPCC, to ignore the evidence of the pause - my speculations had included:

The world waits with bated breath for the outcome of this “unprecedented meeting”. Will these “experts” be able to conjure up a new, improved icon for the IPCC?! A mirabile dictu “statement” that will rescue the IPCC from its quandary? Who knows, eh?!

Then again, perhaps this workshop is an attempt to bolster the claims of the Met Office in its April 2013 submission of “evidence” (pdf) to a forthcoming hearing of the U.K. parliament’s Science & Technology Committee, Select Committee which is holding an inquiry into “Climate: Public understanding and policy implications”

And wouldn't you know it ... a mere six weeks (if that) later, under the "Lead" acknowledgement of Slingo ... as I had observed on July 24:

[...]for the past couple of years there have been numerous scientists and commentators who have discussed what has come to be known as “the pause” in “global warming”.

As each declaration made its way into public consciousness, someone or other from a “jewel in the crown, of British science and global science” (aka the U.K. Met Office) has leapt into the fray and dutifully performed some remarkable feats of linguistic gymnastics in order to “refute” such claims and/or (along with a virtual army of knee-jerk non-scientists such as Bob <fast fingers> Ward) berate those who have had the temerity to remark on this (evidently now former) taboo.

[On July 23], however, the Met Office appeared to be doing an about face and finally acknowledged “the pause”. And they did so by releasing not one, not two, but three papers.


So the bottom line seems to be that this “pause” – which the Met Office and others have spent at least the better part of a year, in effect, insisting was not occurring and berating those who had the temerity to observe that it has – has finally been acknowledged!

But (in keeping with past “standard operating procedures” on far too many such dragged out acknowledgments), the “experts” have, in effect, pronounced that “it doesn’t matter, anyway … our models continue to rule!”

I could be wrong, but my guess would be that this is a rather determined and elaborate exercise in “spin” ahead of the Sept. “approval” of WG1′s contribution to AR5, [...]

In the interim things have not been going well for the "must have a carbon tax now" crowd, and while the seeds of the "extreme meme" were planted quite a few years ago, they've been bursting out all over ever since the Sept. release of WG1's AR5.

And curiously, once again we find a(n extreme) Dame leading the charge of the handwaving spin brigade, to rescue the oh-so-sinking credibility of the "mainstream" movers and shakers of the GreenDream crowd.

As I had noted, yesterday, in More fog from Dame Julia’s jewel in the crown, this "briefing" paper appears to have been such a hasty effort that there have already been two "updates" with some very interesting word counts and a rising Fog Index which indicates that even the Summary:

was not intended for a “wide audience” – and it’s way out of the communication ballpark if Dame Julia and her ten co-authors were aiming for “near-universal understanding”.

In light of the word counts and fog index, some might conclude that the main purpose of this “briefing” was simply to have something in the way of pseudo evidence to which Dame Julia – and others of the advocacy persuasion – might point if, Gaia forbid, push came to shove and they were actually challenged while flogging the unscientific extreme meme. But I couldn’t possibly comment ;-)

Feb 14, 2014 at 8:30 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

We have a scientific form of Gresham's Law, bad physics driving out good in political disciplines like Climate Science. Hence the dumb schmucks coming out of this mill cannot go back to first principles to establish the correct physics.

Experiment is showing the failure of the IPCC GCMs. These charlatans are now claiming extreme weather from humidity increase when real data show it's decreasing, predicted from real science as the way the planet makes CO2-AGW near zero.

Feb 14, 2014 at 9:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterMydogsgotnonose

There is no doubt that humans progress at the expense of some wildlife but other wildlife thrives along with us. Draining of marshland is crucial to human health, agriculture, well-being and a heck of a lot of of other wildlife.

The Landes area of France is now their largest forest, full of wildlife, but it used to be unusable marshland. Who would be stupid enough to bring back those malarial marshes for the sakes of some wading birds or otters?

And why is moorland considered an untouchable natural wilderness if man created it in the first place by denuding the previous forest? In fact the use of coal and oil protected European forests far more than any treehuggers.

We cannot afford to have any environmental agency putting humans last because they don't ever seem to consider or care about the potential adverse consequences of their blinkered dogmata.

Feb 14, 2014 at 9:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

I am afraid that the cartoon simply shows that Josh, like all other sceptics, is waaaaay behind the times - soooo last century, in fact! Everybody who is anybody knows that:

Wet is the New Dry; Cold is the New Hot.

Feb 14, 2014 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Excellent cartoon!

For Singo I dedicate a Carole King tune -

Feb 14, 2014 at 10:20 AM | Unregistered Commentertom0mason

Pickles on the Environment Agency, "We made a mistake.....we thought we were dealing with experts"

Here lies the nub of the problem, whether its the IPCC, UEA, The Met Office or the Environment Agency or the EPA in the USA, they're not experts, they're (usually not too sharp) activists who wholeheartedly support eco-terrorists such as Greenpeace. None of them could get a job outside a Quango (or University), a job where you're performance is likely to be scrutinised because getting it right actually matters.

Everything related to infrastructure (and most other things in life) is a compromise but the people we have running this show probably think Swampy was balanced, intelligent and thoughtful individual, while I think he was a fool. We need these people out of positions authority.

Feb 14, 2014 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered Commenterjaffa
Feb 14, 2014 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat

According to our Environment Agency, creating habitats for water voles helps tackle climate change!

As for the UK Water Vole Steering Group, do our taxes go to this instead of flood control?

Feb 15, 2014 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterSidF

(Mole, sobbing): Oh Ratty, whatever shall we do?


(apologies to Kenneth Grahame)(and everyone else...)

Feb 20, 2014 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeff

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