Environment Agency has been much criticised over floods in southwest recently but they are simply implementing EU and UK government policy.
This publication from John Gummer’s (aka Lord Deben) Climate Change Committee
makes it explicit this is government policy, right from first page. See the section highlighted in yellow here
And if we zoom in
Over in Somerset RSPB, Somerset Wildlife Trust are actively campaigning for Somerset Levels to be abandoned by humans, flooded and left to birds and other wildlife.
Could it be that pressure groups such as RSPB are directing UK government policy?
If this is correct, should it be allowed to happen?
I am pleased other people are now also reporting what I have been saying for 3 years on this blog. The policy was always politically driven, starting with Maintenance of Uneconomic Sea Defences and Making Space For Water.
The alleged reasons for this policy are
- Climate change is going to cause accelerating rates of sea level rise
- It will be uneconomic to maintain sea defences in face of accelerating sea level rise
- Sea level rise is killing saltmarsh, so we must recreate saltmarsh
Well there is no sign of accelerating sea level rise
So there will no accelerating erosion of sea defences, which means it won’t be uneconomic to maintain existing sea defences (or even to strengthen them).
Oh and EA themselves have recently carried out a saltmarsh survey and found saltmarsh growing back (though they went to great contortions to argue they hadn’t found this). See sections 4 and 5.2 of EA Saltmarsh Survey. And this is despite sea levels continuing to rise (just not at an accelerated rate).
So there is no justification of the policy of flooding.
Someone needs to tell EA to stop.
Whilst I was writing DailyMail published a piece about EA completing a bird survey rather than saving railway at Dawlish, where it ran next to the sea.
This misses the point. The EA should have acted years ago to build some sort of breakwater to ensure the full force of the sea could not reach the sea wall. This is hardly new technology. Dover has 2 fine breakwaters. Harwich has one as well.
EA have been infected with the idea hard sea defences don’t work.
So EA guys, will you be pulling down breakwaters at Dover?