Top Leaderboard, Site wide
October 2, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Help us grow by sharing
and liking Truthdig:
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Newsletter

sign up to get updates


Open Letter on Censorship




The Underground Girls of Kabul


Truthdig Bazaar
Canada

Canada

By Richard Ford
$27.99

In Search of the Blues

In Search of the Blues

By Marybeth Hamilton

more items

 
Ear to the Ground

Will Climate Change Destroy British Beaches?

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Feb 13, 2014

    A view of Orford Ness, one of the areas affected by an unusually powerful storm season. alexbrn (CC BY 2.0)

All around the English coast, erosion scenarios drawn up for 2044 were realized this winter. “Everybody thought this would hit us in 20 or 30 years’ time,” said a site manager, “but it’s come now.”

During an early February of rare, high-power storms, natural history writer Patrick Barkham reports at The Guardian:

Denial is a natural human reaction, and it is writ large in the government’s response to this week’s water torture. David Cameron pledged £100m for repairs and maintenance of our battered coastline and the stricken Somerset Levels. Eric Pickles added £30m and criticised Lord Smith, chair of the Environment Agency, for suggesting we would have to choose between “front rooms or farmland”. Some political interventions are as surreal as the storm damage. “We have got to force the sea back and keep it out,” cried one Tory backbencher, “not retreat from it like we have been for years.”

The British Isles are more edge than middle. We are never more than 75 miles from the sea. It protected us from invasion, it gave us an empire and then it became fun. Unlike those flood gurus, the Dutch, whose nation depends on protecting just 451kms of coast, the UK has an indefensible 17,381km (far more than Brazil or India). Despite this, we have fortified it ferociously: 45.6% of England’s coast is buttressed with sea walls, groynes or artificial beaches, compared with just 7.6% of Ireland. Most erosion is on a geological timescale (the 10,000-year-old east coast is regarded as recent, and is still adjusting to current sea levels) but scientists believe it is likely to worsen. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year increased its projections for sea level rise. Some climate scientists predict a global rise of between 0.7 and 1.2 metres by 2100. Nearly a million homes in England and Wales could be at significant risk of tidal flooding by the 2080s.

Read more here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

More Below the Ad

Advertisement

Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.