Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tinder Box Britain?

Woke this morning, to BBC Radio 4's news programme, paraphrasing an article from the Observer in which somebody seems to have stated that - due to Global Warming, of course - much of Britain is tinder dry and in imminent danger of wildfires. As I listened to it the rain was beating against the windows yet again. You can read some more of this guff here.
I write this deep into one of the wettest summers I can remember (although I can certainly remember some which were equally wet!) Far from being tinder box dry much of Scotland is utterly and completely rainsoaked. So is much of Wales and Northern Ireland and a friend tells me that her garden in rural Oxfordshire is pretty much the same. The usual Atlantic fronts have beset us in unrelenting droves.
So which bits of Britain does he mean exactly? Last week the Scottish news was informing us in suitably alarmist tones that we could expect lots and lots of flooding nationwide - because of Global Warming. Nothing whatsoever to do with our national obsession with concreting over our gardens or building lots and lots of houses on the floodplains of our rivers and streams then?
Are we to fry or drown? Which is it?
No wonder we become cynical about so much that is written about the environment. Presumably the findings about tinder box Britain are based on some kind of statistical model which refers to the dry spells but doesn't include this year's torrents. Our weather is certainly behaving badly, but the analysts who are as changeable as the weather aren't helping.


Scottish Nanna said...

We are having the same problems here in Australia.
Hugs Mary.

Catherine Czerkawska said...

Hi Mary,
I think your problem in Australia is much more real and serious than ours!
We have had one of the wettest summers on record, but they are still trying to tell us that Britain is 'tinder dry' when all our gardens are completely waterlogged and lots of people have been flooded. It's so patently not true that it just makes everyone mad - especially when we know that other countries DO have serious problems. Love your blog by the way!