As research for Drowntown, I've been trying to keep my eye on the latest developments and thoughts about climate change, global warming, rising sea levels and extreme weather. An article in Saturday's Guardian (18/05/13), focusing on the more immediate future of the flood threat to London, makes for interesting reading, to me at least.
A couple of choice quotes from the article seem to point to the usual government incompetence and lack of prescience:
'Government scientists acknowledge that the risk of flooding is rising every year due to climate change, and 2012 was the wettest year on record across England, with insurers reporting £1.2bn of damage from almost half a million claims. But coalition ministers oversaw a 26% year-on-year drop in investment in flood defences after entering office in 2010.'
'In 2009-10 in London alone, over £34m was spent on flood defence projects but this fell to less than £17m by 2012-13. Some boroughs were particularly hard hit, with funding in Hammersmith and Fulham falling 99%. In Richmond upon Thames, the borough with the most homes in the highest-risk category, funding has fallen from £1.5m in 2009-10 to zero in 2013-14.'
Ironically, for the next few weeks, I'm currently staying near Richmond. Serves me right for writing a story about a flooded city, I guess!