Culvert Chaos

How much muddled thinking is it possible to include in a single newspaper article? Or, more to the point, in a single article in the Guardian/Observer.

People can’t sleep’: Rhondda valley flood leaves climate fear in its wakei

In February last year, Storm Dennis wreaked havoc in the Rhondda valley, causing flooding in hundreds of homes and businesses, leaving landslips, ruined roads, smashed bridges and broken hearts in its wake….

There was a time, before the storm, when it would have been easy to find climate emergency deniers in this area. They are fewer now. The people of the Rhondda have had first-hand experience of the crisis.

Two immediate observations. First, as is now the norm, note the trotting out of the D word – deniers. Secondly a flooding event is not, of itself “first-hand experience of the [climate] crisis.”

Next we get this:

In the nearby village of Pentre, where 159 homes flooded, Lian Roderick, who had to endure flooding followed by lockdown in a damp terrace house with two teenage children, said the authorities in charge of clearing drains and culverts were directly to blame.

Well, there you are then – failure by the authorities to clear drains and culverts: directly to blame, no less. But then what do they quote Lian as saying next?

But I do worry about climate change. We had the flooding and it’s been so hot this year. Now this week it’s been raining heavily again. It’s crazy.”

Flooding in winter because of blocked drains and culverts, a week or two of summer heat and now some more heavy rain. Climate chaos!

Well, what’s to be done? Not keeping drains and culverts clean apparently. Oh no. The people of the Rhondda Valley have a far better idea, at least according to the Guardian:

Activists are doing their bit – a repair cafe, river litter picks, seed swaps.

Well, I’m not against repair cafes, river litter picks or seed swaps. In fact I’m happy to commend them. But I very much doubt that they’ll see off climate change. Anything else?

Pontypridd town council has declared a climate emergency.

Hmm, I’m still not convinced that any climate change still lurking after the activities of the repair cafe, litter picks and seed swaps will be seen off by that declaration. But fear not, there’s more:

On a practical level, Davies said the council was thinking of investing in electric vehicles, improving allotments, looking at investing in solar tiles. She admits progress is slow. “But we are taking steps. The mindset has to be, is everything we are doing sustainable?

Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) council has produced a climate change strategy and aims to be carbon neutral by 2030.

On a practical level? They must have changed the definition of practical in my Oxford English Dictionary since last time I looked.

When the council asked what they could do to combat climate change, hundreds sent in suggestions including better bus routes, solutions to the problem of parking bikes, and setting up electric vehicle charging points on terraces, creating “final mile” delivery schemes using electric vehicles.

Lewis said there were massive challenges. “A decade of austerity has made it very difficult for us,” he said. But he said the council was committed to act. “We face challenging times ahead. Now is the time for us all to talk, and more importantly to act.”

Yes, acting now would be a good idea.

Whenever it rains heavily now I get countless messages from people saying, is it going to flood again. People can’t sleep at night, they are traumatised. Nobody feels reassured.”

Well they won’t, will they, if you don’t keep the drains and culverts clear.

i https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/08/people-cant-sleep-rhonda-valley-flood-leaves-climate-fear-wake

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August 8, 2021 at 02:22PM

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