Reality Checkpoint 2016
News from previous year

A group of MPs, The British Infrastructure group, has said that lights may go out next winter and power rationed because of mismanagement of the energy supply. There is not enough spare capacity to cope with periods of high electricity demand.

This is not news. For the last fifteen years, scientists and engineers have told the MPs responsible for energy that they had to plan for the future. Unfortunately they chose not to listen.

Instead, the Department of Energy and Climate Change took advice from environmental activists and others with no idea of how the electricity supply works. They signed up to the EU's Climate Change Act - the most expensive (£300 billion) and foolish Act ever to be passed by Parliament. They concentrated on meeting carbon targets instead of ensuring a secure energy supply. They supplied schools and others with anti-carbon propaganda based on man-made global warming, for which there is no evidence; none; not any of any kind. They closed down perfectly good coal-fired power stations years before they were worn out.

They replaced them with wind farms and solar panels which are intermittent and unreliable and, frankly, not worth connecting to the Grid.

This is a national disaster which every competent chemist, physicist and engineer in the country had predicted.

Now it seems we will have power cuts and rationing and even higher bills. What a surprise.

    An engineer friend, JC, adds......
    Easy to forecast if you have any engineering sense, even if one is not directly involved in the energy sector. I have just been looking at Gridwatch and it shows demand as 46.36 GW, outputs as Coal @ 8,85 GW, Nuclear @ 8.28 GW, CCGT @ 24.9 GW and wind as a miserable 1.01 GW. This is not a particularly cold day but even so the bulk of our electrical power is running at almost red line conditions.

    This means that a relatively small increase in demand may well overwhelm our generators unless we can import more from overseas or we can switch on enough STOR capacity, which will be very expensive and will produce more emissions than the coal stations which the idiots shut down. The supplies from France are in trouble because half of their capacity is denied to us due to a cable fault.

    Note from ND - STOR capacity means small diesel generators of around 2MW each; Short Term Operating Reserve. Price paid for the energy is around 50P per unit (£500 per MWh). For detailed information on this, see article by Richard North at http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=84095

19 Dec 2016

      Update - Another engineer friend, RE, writes....
      Yesterday evening, 20 Dec, on the grid, a demand of over 47 GW had CCGT gas on full capacity, all available coal units running on full load and even the oil OCGTs had to be dispatched to meet the evening peak. Wind was contributing about 2 GW and solar PV nothing because it was dark.

I was pleased to see another letter in the Methodist Recorder (9 Dec) on climate change from Rev. Howard Kernow, who points out, again, that the IPCC's targets for carbon dioxide as a way of reducing global temperatures are likely to be ineffective because they are based on a theory with holes in it. Click the link if you wish to read it.

Josh Freydenberg, Energy Minister, has said that the government will not be adopting energy policies which increase the already-high cost of electricity for Australian families.

However, my Australian friend AT points out that the government is not going to adopt policies which decrease the cost of electricity.

8 Dec 2016

The authenticity of some of the signatures on the petition supporting the construction of the Creag Riabhach is being examined. 250 of the signatures were from people living in Fraserburgh, Dunfermline and Doncaster. It was also noticed that the number of signatories from Altnaharra exceeded the number of adults living there.

Creag Riabhach was approved in October despite more than 200 objections being lodged. Now people are saying that the Scottish Government should cancel its approval of the construction. MSP Murdo Fraser wants the application to be reassessed.

Full article here.

6 Dec 2016

There is still much that needs to be investigated in the field of “climate change.” Perhaps the best use of our limited financial resources should be in dealing with making sure that every person in the world has clean water. Perhaps we should focus on eliminating lingering diseases around the world like malaria. Perhaps we should focus on efforts to increase food production to keep pace with an ever-growing world population. Perhaps we should be focused on developing energy sources and power production that alleviates the need for dependence on fossil fuels. We must decide on how best to proceed so that we can make lives better, safer and more prosperous.

16 Nov 2016

It is being bandied around the BBC and other mainstream news outlets that Donald Trump thinks global warming is a hoax.

This is an incorrect quotation.

Climate change is not the hoax, but whether or not it is man-made, and this is what Trump has said. There is no evidence for man-made global warming; none; not any of any kind. The West should be preparing to deal with climate change, not trying to stop it by taking the wrong measures. Trump knows this, as his energy policy (announced in May) makes clear.

Global temperatures lag changes in CO2 levels at all timescales, therefore man-made CO2 does not warm the planet; the cart does not push the horse.

I taught science for a while and used to examine the figures upon which the AGW hypothesis is said to be based. A number of my students could point out the holes in the theory.

It was interesting to be contacted by a person in the USA who wrote as follows:

    I taught science as well. My first inkling that AGW was a political movement was when I contacted scientists who were busy spreading their warnings and asked for data to share with my students. As you well know, legitimate scientists are happy to share knowledge with children and teens -- they get excited about passing on the baton. But the AGW self-proclaimed "climate scientists" either ignored me or outright insulted me, calling me a "Denier" simply on the basis that I asked for information. As a teacher, I was shocked by their virulent reactions -- I've never seen anything like it before or since.

In view of the American election result this morning, it is worth reminding readers of what Donald Trump said in May when he outlined his ideas on the energy policies he would adopt if he became U.S. President.

9 Nov 2016

It was reported in narional newspapers recently (around 15 Oct) that lower-powered kettles are to be introduced, apparently to save energy.

It does not seem to have occurred to the half-wits promoting them that a kettle which is half as powerful needs to be switched on for twice as long. The heat needed to boil a given amount of water - obviously - does not change. So the whole exercise is futile.

One wonders if the policymakers have spoken to scientists, or if any of them have passed GCSE science.

25 Oct 2016

Extracted, slightly edited, from a letter in the DT, 10 Sep 16.
The pictures of the demolition of the chimney at the former Isle of Grain power station in Kent was a reminder of a remarkable piece of strikebreaking during the miners' dispute in 1984.

As pickets from the Kent coalfield attempted to turn away oil deliveries by road, a large tanker ship with the communist hammer and sickel insignia on its funnel was spotted unloading a huge amount of oil at the wharf in front of the power station.

The ship had taken a supply of oil from the Black Sea to Cuba. Instead of returning empty it had then sailed to Galveston in Texas, bought a full cargo of oil, then headed across the Atlantic where a contract had been agreed with the Central Electricity Generating Board. Not only was the Grain power station able to fill its supply tanks; it was also able to pump oil along a pipeline to the Northfleet power station, this foiling attempts by communist Arthur Scargill, the miners' leader, to switch off the nation's lights.

MS, Bath.

11 Sep 2016

The GLACIER environmental conference in Anchorage ended with a joint declaration calling for more international 'climate action'.

Russia, the world’s leading oil and gas producer, China, the world largest producer of goods, and India with its huge emerging economy, did not sign the document.

For China and India, reducing emissions involves huge expenditure and loss of economic effectiveness. For Russia it would bring additional costs to the oil and gas extraction industries. Moscow is boosting Russia’s military presence in the Arctic, for two probable reasons: a)future hydrocarbons extraction, b)the Northern Sea Route, a much shorter way from Asia to Europe, which could soon be operable all year because of less ice in the Arctic. (........summarised from 'Russia Today', 1 Sep 15)

2 Sep 2016

A report into the BBC’s impartiality by the BBC Trust says that presenters and journalists should do more to challenge statistics and statements by celebrities, politicians and spokesmen appearing on its shows.

The report said there were many examples where statistics were used erroneously or in misleading ways by guests on programmes and were not challenged by presenters.

Among the examples it singled out was an episode of Newsnight in September 2015, in which Emma Thompson was invited to speak about her climate change campaigning. The BBC Trust found the Oscar-winning actress was permitted to make inaccurate statements about temperature rises without being properly questioned.

In an interview with Emily Maitlis, Emma said that if oil companies take out of the earth all the oil they want to, our temperature will rise by 4C by 2030.

The Trust noted that scientific research said that temperature rise is more likely to occur by the end of the century, but that Emma's assertion had not been challenged in any way by the presenter or the programme.

In Germany, there is a familiar chant on protest marches: "Lügenpresse".

It means 'lying media'.

There was a majority in favour of leaving the EU: 51.9% to 48.1%.

I have summarised below part of two letters which appeared in the National press shortly after the referendum.

    Kenneth Clarke and Sir Malcolm Rifkind's conversation, recorded by Sky when they thought they were off-camera, is the best illustration yet of why the public voted to leave the EU.

    They treat the electorate as an inconvenient irrelevance and can barely conceal their disdain for the views of ordinary people.

      Tony Blair suggests that those who voted Remain feel completely disenfranchised. He is muddled; to be 'disenfranchised' means to have your voting rights taken away. Those who voted Remain - 48% of the 72% who voted - merely lost the argument.

      The referendum to establish the Welsh Assembly in 1997 had a 50% turnout. Of those, 50.3% voted in favour and 49.7 voted against - a majority of 0.6%. The Labour Party, under Blair, described it as a victory, saying no matter how slim the majority it was a definitive vote in favour.

        A friend said to me recently that all Brexit voters are either fools or racists. "Which one am I, then?" I asked. He mumbled that he knew I am not a fool and ackowledged that I am not a racist either.

        Such casual contempt for 52% of the population is not confined to London. It is corrosive, and those who claimed the intellectual and moral high ground cannot accept they lost or that they may be wrong. They fail to see the irony in their intolerance and petulance.

        It is time for everyone to make the best of our new opportunities.

1 Jul 2016

Danes pay the highest electricity prices in the EU because of Denmark's failing wind energy policy.

In 2014, 66% of the average Dane's electricity bill went in taxes and fees. 15% of the cost was for the electricity itself and another 18% covered transport. This put Denmark's electricity price at the top of the table.

The 66% of the Danes' electricity bills going in taxes covers such things as VAT, energy policy levies, and a 9% Public Service Obligation tariff, which is spent on renewable energy development. According to the Danish Energy Association, energy taxes account for 40 billion kroner (about £4 billion) each year.

18 Jun 2016

The beauty of Renewables in Germany, known as 'EnergieWende' to its supporters, is the list of conflicting objectives. Here are six:

  • (1). Fighting climate change
  • (2). Reducing energy imports
  • (3). Stimulating technology innovation and the green economy
  • (4). Reducing and eliminating the risks of nuclear power
  • (5). Energy security
  • (6). Strengthening local economies and providing social justice

    If a supporter can find one or two objectives which are being met, he can claim the whole thing is working.

    Consider how the objectives conflict:
    (1) conflicts with (4) because nuclear emits no CO2. (assuming man made CO2 affects climate)
    (2) conflicts with (1) because the policy has seen Germany reduce imported mid-CO2 natural gas in favour of high-CO2 coal.
    (5) conflicts with (1) because the policy has seen Germany reduce imported (insecure) natural gas in favour of more secure coal.
    (5) conflicts with (4). Nuclear power is very secure because reactors are fueled every 18 months, and fuel takes up little space. One could easily keep many years' supply of reactor fuel.
    (6) conflicts with much of the rest. The policy is not providing social justice. The opposite is the case: fuel bills, energy poverty, and grid disconnections are all much higher.

    (...grateful acknowledgements to Mark P)

    17 Jun 2016

    Fearmongering and rhetoric aside, the real issue to consider carefully is whether or not you want to be governed by unelected bureaucrats operating (they say) in our interests. With our government pulling the strings, no matter how badly, some semblance of democracy is preserved. And like it or not, that can only happen if we leave the EU.

    17 Jun 2016

    For the first time since the creation of Europe’s monetary union, a member state has taken the explicit step of forbidding eurosceptic parties from taking office on the grounds of national interest.

    Anibal Cavaco Silva, Portugal’s constitutional president, has refused to appoint a Left-wing coalition government even though it secured an absolute majority in the Portuguese parliament.

    He judged it too risky to let the Left Bloc or the Communists come close to power, insisting that conservatives should continue as a minority in order to satisfy Brussels and appease foreign financial markets.

    Democracy takes second place to EU rules.

      For all the arguments put forward from both sides of this debate, there is only one principle which really matters. This is to return power from the EU to the people of Britain, who can hire and fire their politicians as they wish. This is democracy. (....taken from a letter by 'JF' in the DT, 21 Jun 16)

    13 Jun and 22 Jun 2016

    I was recently asked by a friend to say why I am not in favour of EU membership.

    This was my answer, based on issues which have affected me (or one of my friends) personally.

    1.EU free movement rules weaken the UK's ability to remove foreign criminals.

    2.Sourcing of timber by manufacturers of kitchen units in UK from the USA has to meet a strict set of arbitrary sustainability criteria which the USA does not recognise and so will not provide details of. So the timber can't be sourced - even though the USA timber sustainability regs are better established than those of the EU and the UK.

    3.Those who service antique barometers can no longer use mercury to do the job; banned by EU regs.

    4.Those who service antique Vienna regulators (mercury pendulums) can no longer do so (as above). Mercury banned by EU.

    5.Arbitrary EU carbon dioxide targets not related to any scientific studies are used to set emissions targets for industry and for electricity generation even though climate change is not attributable to the tiny fraction of CO2 produced by man's activities.

    6.Outlawing of diesel cars has begun; momentum and propaganda for this is coming from the EU. Diesel cars are more efficient than those running on petrol.

    7.Increasing of the amount of biofuel in petrol from 5% to 10% has been introduced by the EU without regard for the consequences on engine damage or the ethical consequences of burning edible oils.

    8.The growing of 'elephant grass' on UK farmland for bio-fuel at biomass power stations is taking place locally to meet EU targets - e.g. at Coton, Northants. This takes good agricultural land out of food production and is paid for by subsidies. A field of elephant grass keeps a power station supplied for about five minutes of electricity production.

    9.The hypocrisy of Germany building new power stations to burn coal whilst Chancellor Merkel uses EU regulations to authorise the closing down of coal fired power stations in the UK.

    I am not overly political so have no idea how many of these matters involved the UK in the voting process. However I know that if I have a concern and want it raising at the EU parliament by my MEP, he's not authorised to do it. The only people who can raise the matters for discussion, as I understand it, are the failed politicians and their friends who run the EU.

    12 Jun 2016

    This website is not primarily interested in the European Union, but EU energy policy has an enormous effect on that of the UK, particularly with regard to the 'decarbonisation' agenda, which is sending much of the UK's manufacturing industry overseas. We have already lost Aluminium manufacture because of high energy prices; steel will probably be the next to go. Tata is in deep trouble.

    The view of this website is that the demonising of carbon dioxide is unhelpful. There is no evidence linking man-made carbon dioxide to any change in global temperatures.

    The mainstream media have been obliged to admit that there has been no significant global warming for twenty years, in a period when atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased sharply.

    Since much of the climate change alarmism industry originates from the UN and Europe, it would be healthy for our energy policy if we left the EU. It would also be healthy for our democracy. It is important for ordinary people that those who have control over their lives should be accountable. This means - capable of being voted out via the ballot box.

    The EU is not democratic. We cannot elect its policymakers.

    This website recommends that we leave the EU. Decisions affecting the British are best made in Britain.

      There was an interesting interview with Christina Speight in the DT recently. Christina has spent most of her life in the drinks trade, advising Guinness and forming her own consultancy company.

      When asked 'What is the main reason you will vote to leave?' she replied as follows:

      We should be able to control our own affairs and make our own decisions.

      The civil service takes orders from Brussels and it takes instructions from the World Trade Organization.

      If we had direct membership of the WTO, we would then have a share in framing their recommendations. Brussels doesn't listen to us and there we lose every vote of substance.

      (For those who are undecided about the EU, let me refer them to a poster which they may find useful; print one and send a copy to your friends - Ed.)

    28 May 2016

    Mr. Trump has brought out his Energy Plan for the USA which he will implement if elected.

    It says that foreigners are not going to tell the US how to develop its energy resources.

    The US will withdraw from the IPCC and so will ignore its rulings on greenhouse gas emissions.

    The US will promote and develop its huge coal, gas and oil resources in its own way and become independent of the Middle East for oil.

    If he is elected it is reasonable to expect other leaders of the major industrial countries to follow his lead viz., Putin of Russia, Xi of China, Abe of Japan and Modi of India.

    28 May 2016

    You may remember the enthusiasm with which the Guardian, BBC, DECC and others met the launch of Canada’s first CCS plant a couple of years ago. They are less keen to publicise the problems it has had.

    1. Initially the power plant’s capacity had to be reduced from 139 MW to 100 MW. A further 25% of the electricity is lost in operating the CCS unit.

    2. It was claimed initially that 90% of the CO2 produced would be captured. However, it seems that only about half of this is permanently stored.

    3. Documents from SaskPower show that there were design problems in the carbon capture system, resulting in breakdowns and maintenance problems leading to the unit being operational for only 40% of the time.

    The low productivity of the plant meant that SaskPower was only able to sell half of the 800,000 tonnes of captured carbon dioxide which it had contracted to sell (at $25 per tonne) to Cenovus Energy for use in enhanced oil recovery. This meant that SaskPower had to pay Cenovus $12 million in penalties.

    The original claims that this was a viable commercial scale operation are clearly untrue. An independent financial analysis by James Glennie calculated that the CCS plant would lose $1042 million over its life.

    It seems that the complex infrastructure required to capture carbon dioxide from power plants, transport it through miles of pipelines and store it deep underground is beyond the grasp of most utilities.

    2 Apr 2016

    The industry minister, Anna Soubry, says that the EU is about trade and properity, not politics. This is untrue. It is about political control.

    There is a clash between two systems: Britain's parliamentary democracy and the system of Jean Monnet, the instigator of a unified continent of Europe. His title was President of the Action Committee for the European Superstate. The superstate is the intent.

    Monnet wrote: "Europe's nations should be guided towards the superstate without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation".

    This means post-democratic government by unelected committee.

    Mike Walker wrote a radio play about him which went out in 2011, and there were some interesting reviews in the national press. I have compiled a page about this and about Monnet on the Diversity website.

    31 Mar 2016

    It has recently been reported by the Office for National Statistics that one million people migrated here from the EU over the last five years, but that 2.5 million applied for National Insurance numbers over the same period.

    This illustrates why we should not believe Government statistics - including those supposedly showing that wind energy is economic.

    We want evidence-based policy, not policy-based evidence.

    31 Mar 2016

    The Government's policies on so-called man-made climate change and subsidies for renewables have led to ridiculously high energy prices: about twice the median EU price and three times that of Sweden, which has a thriving steel industry.

    This is leading to the wrecking of energy-intensive industries such as aluminium and steel production, and jobs being moved overseas. It is time for the Government to adopt a coherent energy policy to sustain a competitive economy.

      ND comment: As I understand it, the EU has prevented the British Government from putting tariffs on dumped Chinese steel, which is reaching the UK at below the price of production. The EU has known about this for 14 months and has done nothing. The USA put tariffs on Chinese steel in just three weeks, and the dumping ceased.

      Alistair Heath (DT 31 Mar) writes that between 1990 and 2014, the UK economy grew by 62%, but that steel production over this period decreased by 24%. He is scathing about energy policy, which he describes as a combination of European Union idiocy and domestic self-harm.

      Because of an obsession with decarbonization and costly renewable energy, prices have been pushed up dramatically across the EU, putting manufacturers at a serious disadvantage to the US. This is hitting even those parts of manufacturing (high-value-added) which should be thriving.

        A fortnight ago, the energy minister, Andrea Leadsom, said that Britain, alone in the world, would commit to a target of reducing net carbon emissions to zero. ‘The question is not whether but how we do it,’ she told Parliament.

        It is now becoming clear how this target will be reached: not by eliminating our carbon emissions but by exporting them, along with thousands of jobs and much of our manufacturing industry.

        This week, Tata Steel announced that its entire UK business is to be put up for sale.

    31 Mar 2016

    Amber Rudd, the Energy a Climate Change Secretary, has said that we should remain in the EU to insulate us against Russia's gas prices.

    However the UK only gets 5% of its gas from Russia; the rest comes from the UK, Norway and Qatar. The price of Russian gas is hardly going to disrupt the UK energy market; if it doubled, it would add just 5% to the bill.

    Is Ms. Rudd a part of 'Project Fear'?

      Amber Rudd says that our energy bills will rise astronomically if we leave the EU.

      It is difficult to see why.

      Nearly all of our energy companies are in foreign hands, including EDF, whose proposed price for electricity to be generated by the not-yet-built Hinkley Point C is about three times the current unit price, whether or not we are in the EU.

      The Government has no energy strategy. This is not surprising since our strategic resources were sold off 30 years ago.

    24 Mar 2016

    The Guardian, a British newspaper known for its global warming activism, is cutting its workforce by 18 percent after losing £85 million during the last year.

    It said it was cutting 310 jobs, including 100 editorial staff. The paper is hoping to make the cuts by voluntary redundancies.

    17 Mar 2016

    Germany’s carbon dioxide emissions increased by about 10 million tonnes between 2014 and 2015.

    Higher demand for heating oil and diesel and use of lignite for power generation caused the increase.

    The think tank Green Budget Germany pointed out that this didn't tally very well with the 2020 target of a 40% emissions reduction from 1990 levels.

    15 Mar 2016

    Some of Britain's environmental charities have been accused of misusing public donations - to campaign for staying in the European Union.

    On Monday the charities watchdog will issue new guidance on political neutrality. This is after Friends of the Earth, The Wildlife Trusts and Greenpeace all made public comments backing EU membership.

    The charities have all said that Britain being a member of the EU is vital to protecting Britain’s wildlife. Apparently we cannot protect wildlife if we are not in the EU.

    The charities' public support of the Remain-in-the-EU campaign has prompted formal complaints from eurosceptics and has led to the Charity Commission issuing new guidance on political neutrality during the referendum period.

    7 Mar 2016

    In a trial of smart meters in Australia, users found that their bills increased sharply because meters allow suppliers to charge a higher unit rate at peak times when households most need the energy. Only a few items, such as dishwashers, can be timed for night use, when rates are lower.

    The declared cost of the UK smart meter program was £11 billion a couple of years ago, which works out at about £450 per household. The only way this can be paid for is by adding the price to customer bills.

    It should also be noted that electricity use, as shown by the smart meter data, reveals when you are not in the house. This obviously has implications for house insurance and security.....


      I'm a special app that lets me talk to Smart Meters.

      I can tell when you're home or when you're out.

      I'm for sale on the Dark Internet for just $300. You'll recoup the sales price on your first break-in.

    7 Jan 2016

    China currently has 27 operating nuclear plants and 24 under construction. They plan to have 110 nuclear plants by 2030. They are also issuing coal plant construction permits at the rate of 4 per week.

    China's latest Five Year Plan, covering 2016-2020, has the government investing $78 billion to build seven new reactors a year. If the plan is followed, the country should reach 88 gigawatts of nuclear power by the end of 2020. By 2030 China is expected to have 110 reactors in operation. By 2050, according to the Atomic Energy Agency, the country will have around 250-300 GW of capacity; around a quarter of the world's nuclear power, according to the International Energy Agency.

    The government has approved the building of six Chinese-designed Hualong-1 nuclear reactors. Westinghouse Electric will, after years of delays, finally fire up its first AP1000 reactor in China in 2016 in Zhejiang province. This is on the east coast. The AP1000 is a pressurized water reactor, electrical output 1.1GW.

    2 Jan 2016

    Until relatively recently, rivers in the UK were dredged regularly. The dredgings were put on the riverbank.

    Then the UK signed up to the EU Waterway Framework Directive.

    The dredgings are now classed as 'hazardous waste'. Therefore they cannot be dumped on the riverbank. They have to be undergo chemical analysis, and if any of the substances in them exceed arbitrary EU limits, the dredgings have to be carted away and disposed of at a licensed site.

    This is why a lot of dredging has ceased. Imagine the expense of going through this rigmarole in disposing of a substance which is essentially harmless.

    My friend in Yorkshire adds ......

    We have know-it-all idiots in charge of our rivers and drainage, plus Cameron's crew cutting the finance. On top of that, new build is putting down hard landscape where once there would be natural seepage. DEFRA and the Environment Agency have been messing around with computer models when they should have been out in the fields clearing ditches, dykes and dredging river beds. All common sense stuff which local folk have been telling the 'idiots' for years.

    Another person I know in Yorkshire (JJ) sent the following:

    Sad to see the flooding in various areas. Makes me wonder how much effort was put into maintaining the drainage ditches, culverts, watercourses and rivers over the last few years. 2007 saw severe impact on my village but research in the aftermath revealed that the drainage board had quietly stopped clearing the major drainage outlet from the village some years before.

      ....and finally a letter from the DT, edited slightly for clarity:

      The floods in York remind us that flood defences do not remove water; they merely push it somewhere else.

      The rivers Ure and Swale, which join to form the Ouse, are embankened across theVale of York, preventing flood water from spreading out over agricultural land. Ditches and streams are cleared by the Environment Agency, bringing land-water quickly into these rivers, but the huge volume of water reaching York is impeded in its progress by lack of dredging.

      This is because the EU Water Framework Directive stops the Environment Agency from dredging the rivers.

      HG, North Yorkshire

      As for the cause of the heavy rainfall, Piers Corbyn looking at sun cycles, says that currently they are sending the Jet Sttream wobbly, causing larger temperature differences between areas; the temperature gradients lead to heavier rain events.
    1 Jan 2016

    We are frequently told by the BBC and others that man-made carbon dioxide is causing increased amounts of property damage by affecting the climate and causing extreme weather events.

    What is not reported is the damage resulting from building houses on flood plains. Take a look at this excellent picture by Warren Smith of the Daily Mail .... I've linked the thumbnail below to the article in which it appears:

    building on floodplains causes more flood damage to houses

      Amid all the devastation and recrimination over the floods in Cumbria hardly anybody mentions is the almost complete cessation of dredging of our rivers since we were required to accept the European Water Framework Directive (EWF) into UK law in 2000.

      Yet until then, for all of recorded history, it almost went without saying that a watercourse needed to be big enough to take any water that flowed into it, otherwise it would overflow and inundate the surrounding land and houses. Every civilisation has known that. City authorities and, before them, manors and towns and villages, organised themselves to make sure their watercourses were cleansed, deepened and sometimes embanked to hold whatever water they had to carry away.

      So next time you see politicians around Cumbria in wellingtons, high-viz jackets and hard hats, wringing their hands and promising to do whatever it takes to protect us from flooding, ask them how exactly they intend to get round the European Water Framework Directive.

      (excerpt from not a lot of people know that .. - Ed)

    27 Dec 2015

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