The biggest floods since Noah got his sea legs?
It's been impossible to watch, listen or read news of Britain's floods without a certain phrase being rudely inserted into the reportage: "global warming" (or the phrase to which it's changed since temperatures began flattening instead of rising, "climate change.") Said the near hysterical Baroness Mucky Muck on behalf of some environmental bureaucracy on the BBC the other night, "this is what climate change will look like." [Barf.] But writing in The Times, Paul Simons brings Shocking News: Britain's a Wet Country.
...Britain is drowning under floods of biblical proportions and nothing like it has been seen since Noah got his sea legs. In a wave of hysteria, the cry goes out for millions of sandbags, better drains and more flood defences. And fingers of blame are pointing at global warming.Read on here to avoid ahistorical panic. [Hat tip Samizdata]
But a simple fact has been overlooked: Britain is a wet country... Of course, British summers weren’t always as wet as this year’s, but some were certainly worse. 1912 was the wettest and dullest summer on record, far ahead of this summer’s downpours. It pretty much rained all summer, reaching a peak in late August, when a seven-inch downpour in one day in Norfolk left Norwich completely marooned in a sea of mud and devastation. Even that deluge is overshadowed by the 11 inches of rain that fell in less than a day on Dorset in July 1955 – about half of London’s yearly average rainfall. The longest nonstop rainfall record in the UK was more than 58 hours in London during June 1903, in a summer when there was an epidemic of lung disease in farmworkers caused by mouldy hay and grain.