Mitigating the storms of our grandchildren
Congratulations to the planners and the emergency services for what seems to have been an exemplary operation to contain the huge storm surge all around our coast on 5 & 6 December. Now that we in East Anglia have survived this threat, it is time to start planning for the next time, and the time after that. . .
With this surge following so hard on the heels of the terrible biggest-ever storm (with hurricane-force winds) in Scotland, it is clearer than ever that we are living in an age of extreme-weather events. We all know -- we all see, every month and every year now -- that our weather-patterns are not the same as they were; this is part of the effect of human-induced dangerous climate change. And our world-leading climate scientists here in East Anglia tell us that this climate chaos will be joined, over time, with an even more disturbing and systematic change: the gradual rise of sea-levels, as the polar ice-caps wilt under the greenhouse effect.
This makes it more critical than ever that we here in the East do our bit to tackle the causes of this problem, as well as protecting ourselves against their effects. We need to step up our efforts to reduce our greenhouse-gas emissions; we need a massive programme of insulation for every house to reduce energy waste (and so to reduce bills, too); we need to increase our investment in renewable energy (notably, in offshore wind around our coast, but also in wave and 100%-reliable tidal energy, so far terribly neglected); we need to combine tidal and wave energy schemes innovatively with new flood-prevention devices; and we need to stop building-projects in flood-plains.
If we make these changes, which are Green Party policy, we will be helping to prevent sea-level-rise. And so we will be helping to insulate ourselves in the best possible way, collectively, against the storms of the future.