24 February 2016

Desmond's Legacy


At the weekend Cyclone Winston hit Fiji, a few weeks earlier an earthquake struck Taiwan, over the past few months storms and hurricanes have battered many parts of the world, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake, destruction that we see in pictures sometimes as the disaster is unfolding.  A few days later the news has moved on, whilst for the people effected the long process of clearing and rebuilding begins.

This winter has been an interesting one weather wise.  We had a cool, wet summer here in 2015, I had high hopes for a proper cold winter, but it has been wet with temperatures well above the norm for the time of year, on some days not that much cooler than during the summer.  I know from the blogs I read that winter weather has been unusual in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere.  Whatever you view on climate change it would be difficult to argue against the view that temperatures are rising and weather is changing.  Changes that are highly likely to continue into the future and with it the likelihood of more damage and destruction.

Back in December last year my part of England was severely effected by flooding.  It wrecked havoc on homes, businesses and roads, the process of rebuilding and repairing is slowly ongoing.  The waste alone creates a hefty bill, for some this was the second or even third flooding in ten years, each time rebuilding their house back as it was before.  Is that the answer?  Flood defences can work for communities but the water still needs to go somewhere, we do seem to insist on building on flood plains, they can also create problems further downstream.  Would it be cheaper to buy the house off the occupier to allow them to move elsewhere away from flood risk areas or should we be looking at how they build houses, in those parts of the world where flooding is regular occurrence, on stilts.  Now I am not for one minute suggesting that we should put existing houses up on stilts but maybe the ground floor should cease to be a living space and the houses are extended upwards.   Perhaps, if we are going to continue to build on flood plains, stilt houses would be a much more sensible idea.

I mentioned climate change earlier, a topic that always arouses debate.  Whatever side of the fence you sit on I think it is very easy for us to ignore its effects if they don't affect you personally.  When we see pictures of homes and lives destroyed of course they arouse compassion and we may contribute to collections made by charities for those effected.  But it is all to easy for us to forget about it once those pictures have gone from our news feeds.  I don't have the answers but what I do hope is that any debates are open and honest.

30 comments:

  1. I fully agree about building the houses upwards, I think I'd nothing else it would be less costly than building the same quota of houses in a different place away from the flood plains. I'm not entirely sure climate change affects me the the bearded wonder, but the weather certainly does, we live on a peak, and there aren't many houses on our street so as a result we add e very exposed to extreme winds and lots and lots of snow

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    1. We get all the weather for similar reasons!

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  2. The weather patterns are definitely changing, why, I am not totally sure, but I definitely think our human impact on the earth plays a huge role. And sadly, I am not sure there is much we can do about it. I hope I am wrong.

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    1. It would be good to think we could do something about it. I just hope we don't leave it too late.

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  3. It's been devastating for many communities this year, even areas which don't usually flood have been under water which is very disturbing. I'm not sure what the answer is.

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    1. It has hasn't it, I still drive around my area not quite comprehending the scale of it.

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  4. weather is changing and I'm positive that we have a hand in it some way or the other. I remember cold cold winters and now the winters are mild. I keep hoping that we (us humans) will alter our habits to help stem the changes if we can.

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    1. We do need to alter our ways, I just hope we don't leave it too late.

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  5. climate change is happening yet our world continues oblivious and/or and continue to buy into the commodification of weather and nature. I see it in the nature calendars, resort vacation advertisements and even the sensationalism of the weather channel. I agree with you about the need for more open and honest dialogue and debates

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    1. I had not thought about commodification of the weather you are so right. When are we ever going to stop. Sometimes I hang my head in shame at our species.

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  6. I fully agree with you about thinking of changing the way we go about building houses. For a country that experiences regular flooding we seriously are lacking in damage reduction. I don't understand why.

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    1. Our arrogance is incredible at times. I genuinely think there are times when we think that we can control water but we can't and the sooner we realise it the better.

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  7. After the earthquake in NZ in 2011 they did actually have to buy out some whole communities houses and then demolish them as the areas were considered too damaged and dangerous to continue to be there. Sometimes places are so affected by nature that the way we use the space just simply has to change and we humans just simply have to find all manner of ways to adapt to that. Its hard to accommodate the personal injustice of that though.

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    1. It is hard to accept the personal injustice of it, I agree that is why the answers are not easy. However I do think we are not going to find any answers whilst we still think that we can control the water and where it goes.

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  8. I believe the topic of climate changes is one of the most important subjects to be discussed in our era. Personally, I can´t help to feel kind of lost when addressing what I can personally do, and a bit demoralized by the impact of what I can do has on the bigger picture.

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    1. I agree Cristiana. When we are helping those that don't live near us by our actions it can make us feel a little lost. We are all in it together but somehow it doesn't feel very together.

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  9. When I was growing up the typhoon season in the Philippines was from June to December, the rainy months. These days we have typhoons throughout the year even in the summer months (April and May) and they bring so much destruction. There is definitely a change in global weather, it is so obvious. I don't see how some people still say worldwide climate change is just a myth.

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    1. I agree, it is ostrich behaviour. I just hope we don't leave it too long to really start changing what we do.

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  10. I didn't know climate change was a topic of debate in England...I thought it was just us dumb 'mericans who refuse to acknowledge the evidence. A lot of terrible incidents like the one you mention are going to take place before people wake up, I'm afraid (if they ever do!).

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    1. It is a topic of debate but maybe the debate is different. I don't think the no camp is as big or loud here, it is more a frustration at those who are in denial. As a small country I think we are more aware of what is happening in the rest of the world. My brief periods in the US made me feel very out of touch with the rest of the world compared to living in the UK.

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  11. I'm sure we all feel deeply for anyone caught up in an extreme weather event (and even the so called experts are unable to agree on the causes of these or even whether they are increasing in frequency) and having to live with the aftermath. Demand for new housing here is very high but, yes, houses do need to be built in different ways using different construction methods. We probably need to look at how we manage our rivers and waterways, too.

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    1. I think it needs to be considered sooner rather than later, flooding seems to be a regular occurrence here now.

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  12. As our glaciers are melting here in " Glacier National park" a stones throw from where I live - global warming here it's happening and can't be ignored. I only hope we can slow it down and find a solution soon- I want my youngest to know Polar bears!

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    1. I dread to think how many species we are destroying in the process. I fear for the future.

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  13. Climate change is happening and I think we are going to have to invest in new technologies that will be able to aid us through this journey. Houses on stilts seem to be a feature in many flood affected areas and I don't see why they wouldn't work here.

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    1. To rebuild houses as they were before in an area prone to flooding seems to be mind bogglingly stupid. What a complete waste of money and resources.

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  14. I'm not sure what the answer is but I rather fancy a house on stilts! Just catching up on your previous posts. I love the look of your smoothie. I always have one for breakfast; it sets me up for the day. You asked about smoothie recipes, here's my usual: banana, kale, medjool date, oats, bran flakes, chia, hemp, flax, gogi berries, forest fruits and blueberries - I didn't realize I put so many ingredients in until I wrote them down! Usually, I'm on autopilot. I love smoked paprika in goulash but never thought to put any in stew - I'll definitely be doing that next time. Have a good weekend. xx

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    1. Your smoothie sounds delicious thank you for sharing your recipe!

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  15. Oh, that is a very disturbing topic indeed. I've been affected by climate change in 2014 when we got hit by the strongest hurricane in history in our area. The summers get hotter and the water warms up every year more and more which cause stronger hurricanes to form... Something is definitely changing in the world...

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    1. It is Alina, I just hope we realise before we can change our ways to do something about it and not leave it too late.

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