People? Who cares about people anyway? It’s easier to let it all go to the birds. Here’s what’s happening now.
Fire crews rescued 37 secondary school pupils after their bus got stuck in flood water near Faringdon, Oxfordshire. There are also more than 180 flood warnings across England and Wales, and about 300 flood alerts.
About 40 Royal Marines from 40 Commando, based in Taunton, were sent to the Somerset Levels to provide help sandbagging and moving householders’ property to higher levels; meanwhile soldiers have helped put out sandbags in Saffron Walden in Essex.
The Environment Agency has created a £31m bird sanctuary on the Steart peninsula, but can’t find a few million to dredge rivers, remove silt and improve river capacity. Farmers wouldn’t mind doing the job themselves, but then they discover that the silt is now classed as a controlled waste requiring removal to a licensed tip. They can’t simply dump it on farmland to the side, a practice that for centuries has produced, when combined with the natural peat, an incredibly rich soil. Not only that, they would be asked to take oxygen readings of the water.
There is a notion that flooding is inevitable and that strategic choices needed to be made. Rob Duck (no, honestly), professor of environmental geoscience at Dundee University, suggests that “as a nation we’re going to have to look at certain areas that we can – I wouldn’t say sacrifice – return to the sea in order that we can focus our efforts on the cities and other settlements”.
Some must be flooded for the good of the environment.
The problem began, they said, in 1996 when the new Environment Agency took overall responsibility for managing Britain’s rivers… The rivers have always been crucial to keeping the Levels drained, because they provide the only way to allow flood waters to escape to the sea. Equally worrying was how scores of pumping stations which carry water to the rivers were being neglected.
And although the drainage boards were still allowed to operate, their work was now being seriously hampered by a thicket of new EU waste regulations, zealously enforced by the EA. These made it almost impossible to dispose sensibly of any silt removed from the maze of drainage ditches which are such a prominent feature of the Levels.
But all this got markedly worse after 2002 when the Baroness Young of Old Scone, a Labour peeress, became the agency’s new chief executive. Dredging virtually ceased altogether. The rivers began dangerously to silt up. The Baroness, who had previously run the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Natural England, talked obsessively about the need to promote the interests of wildlife. She was famously heard to say that she wanted to see ‘a limpet mine put on every pumping station’. The experts I was talking to had no doubt that this apparent wish to put the cause of nature over that of keeping the Levels properly drained was eventually going to create precisely the kind of disaster we are seeing today.
A key part in this had been played by those EU directives which govern almost everything the Environment Agency gets up to – including two with which Baroness Young was already familiar when she presided over the RSPB – setting out the EU’s policy on ‘habitats’ and ‘birds’. But just as important was a 2007 directive on the ‘management of flood risks’, which required ‘flood plains’, in the name of ‘biodiversity’, to be made subject to increased flooding.
This was just what Lady Young was looking for. She had already been giving lectures and evidence to a House of Lords committee on the EU’s earlier Water Framework directive, proclaiming that one of her agency’s top priorities should be to create more ‘habitats’ for wildlife by allowing wetlands to revert to nature. As she explained in an interview in 2008, creating new nature reserves can be very expensive. By far the cheapest way was simply to allow nature to take its course, by halting the drainage of wetlands such as the Somerset Levels. The recipe she proudly gave in her lectures, repeated to that Lords committee, was: for ‘instant wildlife, just add water’.
In 2008 her agency therefore produced a 275-page document categorising areas at risk of flooding under six policy options. These ranged from Policy 1, covering areas where flood defences should be improved, down to category 6, where, in the name of ‘biodiversity’, the policy should be to ‘take action to increase the frequency of flooding’. The paper placed the Somerset Levels firmly under Policy 6, where the intention was quite deliberately to allow more flooding. The direct consequences of that we are now seeing round the clock on our television screens.
What we are looking at is literal environmentalist evil that could have cost human lives, including those of children, and unquestionably has cost large amounts of property loss.
This is how environmentalists think and act, not just in the UK, but also in the US, as we are seeing with the California drought, they are contemptuous of people’s lives and obsessed with restoring the world to some pristine pre-industrial and even pre-human state. And they are just as willing to kill and destroy in the name of their Green ideology as their Red colleagues were in the name of theirs.