Wednesday, June 27, 2007


The kitchen is full of wet newspaper, soaking up the water pushed up by the pressure of a months rainfall (old reckoning) in a day soaking through the limestone. Down the hill, it’s worse. They were giving out sandbags for the first time since the big flood alleviation scheme was finished a few years back. Down river, it was much worse than that. Cities flooding, power and transport gone. Helicopters. Evacuated people. Dead people. Sounds bad, eh?

Well, put like that it does. I suspect a few of you instantly, internally thought ‘that's exaggerating!’ Well, no. I’m not using the standard detached tone of news speak perhaps, but the facts are pretty bald. Chunks of Leeds and Sheffield inundated, power cuts and cancelled trains. Four people are dead.

Nothing, of course, compared to sub-saharan African droughts, to Katrina, to Philippino mudslides. Nothing compared to tomorrow. Look at the news, and it’s measured, if breathless tones. Look at the pictures. Think on the chaos, disruption, misery - and death - of a months rain in a day. Think. What does a years rain in a month look like? What does a years wind in a day do? What does a decades tides in an evening do?

And what are you going to do about it?

And when?