Tag Archives: rain

Brazil is burning its way to climate-change apocalypse and the rest of the world is happy to allow it

[Image: Another Angry Voice.]

The people of Brazil seem to have elected a lunatic determined to trigger an environmental catastrophe.

Jair Bolsonaro seems determined to turn his enormous nation into a desert – a dustbowl incapable of supporting life.

That’s what will happen if the Amazon rainforest is allowed to disappear, you see. The soil on which it stands is not rich enough to sustain farm crops for more than one or two plantings at the most. After that, the people of Brazil will be left in the dust.

That’s science.

Mr Bolsonaro seems to be motivated by something else. Greed? It makes no sense.

He can’t make money by burning the forest. Once it is gone, his people will be doomed. And there should be no aid from other countries because they will have brought it down on themselves – and on the rest of us.

I have wondered whether this is a blackmail play – trying to get us to pay him to keep the forest from harm.

But then he would not have gone ahead and started burning it – or allowing it to be burned.

It makes no sense. It is the action of a loon.

So, while I agree with everything Tom Clark of Another Angry Voice states below, I think there is more to it.

I’m absolutely sick of people saying that the “Amazon is burning” as if it’s some kind of unfortunate accident.

Massive swathes of the Amazon are being deliberately burned in a massive land grab by ranchers and loggers emboldened by far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s anti-environmental diatribes and racist rhetoric against the indigenous people and minorities who live there.

This is what happens when extreme-right racist untranationalists cheat their way into power.

For more detail on Mr Bolsonaro’s plans, see this article.

The strange thing is, there won’t be any military intervention by the nations of the West.

It seems that, if fossil fuel isn’t involved, the United States, the UK and the other so-called “great” democracies don’t care.

We certainly don’t care, it seems, about an environmental calamity being committed in front of our noses, despite having declared that the world is in a climate emergency. What hypocrisy.

Sink, Britain, Sink! – the cost of privatising water management

– This is a song by a local musician, here in Mid Wales, written during the last serious flooding. I make no apologies for opportunistically linking to it as it says a few choice words about the situation and the government.

“And the rains came down, and the floods came up” – The Wise Man and the Foolish Man (Southern Folk Song).

Some of you may have noticed we’ve had a few spots of wet weather recently. This is nothing new to our island nation.

The trouble is, having fallen on us all, the water hasn’t had the decency to clear off and drain away. Instead, it has built up and up and caused a huge amount of flood damage to land and houses that were not built in a safe place, as in the song lyric quoted above, but in flood plains.

This is a result of bad planning – by water and sewerage companies that have failed to implement successful drainage schemes or to divert floodwater from rivers in order to prevent overflow, and by planning authorities that have allowed housing to be built in the wrong place.

What were they thinking?

My guess is that the water companies were thinking about the money, and planning authorities wanted to ease overcrowding.

We live in a country where management of the water supply went into private hands several decades ago. When that happened, it became impossible to have any kind of integrated plan to deal with the supply of water, droughts, floods and storage. Water supply became a commodity to be bought and sold by rich people according to the golden rules of capitalism: Invest the minimum; charge the maximum.

So reservoirs have been sold off to foreign water companies, meaning we have no adequate response to droughts. None have been built, meaning we have no adequate response to floods. Concerns about river flooding have been neglected. There has not been the investment in extraction and storage of floodwater that repeated incidents over the last few years have demanded.

The government is reducing its budget for handling these issues. Not only that, but it is delaying implementation of a new policy on drainage.

This would be regulated by local authorities, who have responsibility for planning approvals. Some might say these authorities should have had a little more forethought before granting applications to build on flood plains, or for adaptations to existing properties that have prevented water from draining into the soil and sent it down drains instead, to overload the sewer system.

Some of these are matters of necessity: Planning officers may have gone to the limit of what is allowed, in order to allow housing developments that relieve the burden of overcrowding; in other matters, they may have been unable to apply any legal restrictions on applications.

In short, there is no joined-up thinking.

There will be no joined-up thinking in the future, either – unless the situation is changed radically.

Meanwhile, the cost racked up by the damage is huge – in ruined farmland, in ruined homes and possessions, and blighted lives. And what about the risk of disease that floodwater brings with it? The NHS in England is ill-equipped to deal with any outbreaks, being seriously weakened by the government-sponsored incursions of private, cheap-and-simple health firms.

Something has to give beneath the weight of all this floodwater. Change is vital – from commercial competition to co-operation and co-ordination.

Privatisation of water has failed. It’s time to bring it back under public control.

Is anyone opposed?

Support Vox Political before it sinks without trace!
The site needs YOUR help to continue.
You can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Alternatively, you can buy the first Vox Political book,
Strong Words and Hard Times
in either print or eBook format here: