Drowning in money: the untold story of the crazy public spending that makes flooding inevitable

Vast amounts of public money, running into billions, are spent every year on policies that make devastating floods inevitable. This is the story that has not been told by the papers or the broadcasters, a story of such destructive perversity that the Guardian has given me twice the usual space today in which to explain it.

Flood defence, or so we are told almost everywhere, is about how much concrete you can pour. It’s about not building houses in stupid places on the floodplain, and about using clever new engineering techniques to defend those already there. But that’s a small part of the story. To listen to the dismal debates of the past fortnight, you could be forgiven for believing that rivers arise in the plains; that there is no such thing as upstream; that mountains, hills, catchments and watersheds are irrelevant to the question of whether or not homes and infrastructure get drowned.

Read more and learn: Drowning in money: the untold story of the crazy public spending that makes flooding inevitable | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian

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6 thoughts on “Drowning in money: the untold story of the crazy public spending that makes flooding inevitable

  1. amnesiaclinic

    Yup. An environment secretary that knows nothing about the environment and ignores all the advice his department gives him.
    Dismantles and takes away the funding that alleviates flooding in the towns.
    Follow the money – it is going to the big landowners who pursue policies which make flooding worse while flood schemes which work are being dismantled.
    Feudalism at its worst.

  2. Guy Ropes

    What remarkable timing George Monbiot has. He’s copped this previously unseen information just in time for the new flooding debacle. Why can’t he pre-empt these disasters with his reportage? Another Guardian “scoop”.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The information in the article isn’t previously unseen, though – it’s well-known and was in fact part of a BBC documentary a couple of years ago, if memory serves.
      Monbiot’s article is a reminder of what we already know.

  3. Dez

    Very interesting piece that really captures the fact there is no joined up management thinking and helps explain some of the main reasons that this flooding problem has come to a head. Not sure having captured the problem there is anyone in this Government capable of putting things right especially when it is noted that badly managing Grouse hunting grounds maybe partly responsible along with Eu Subsidies being responsible for the deforesting of the uplands …… coupled with letting the majority of the environment agency go in cost savings just makes devestating reading of just how short sighted governments are when it comes to common sense….. ho hum

  4. yarmouthboy

    George Monbiots article is spot on. Looking at the CAUSES of flooding in the first place rather than blaming nature or global warming and dealing with the EFFECTS of the flooding is not a strategy. It is a tactical response which is doomed to failure in the longer term. Trouble is there are too many vested interests in NOT having a National Strategy. Farmers get CAP monies from the EU which The Treasury encourages to ensure UK gets its “fair share” of EU funds.

  5. Guy Ropes

    What exactly IS the connection between no national strategy and British farmers getting funds via CAP.

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