And how true is that saying at the moment, what with the news showing almost wall-to-wall coverage of severe bad weather causing wide-spread flooding. As I write this blog, weather warnings have been issued, sinkholes have recently appeared on the M25 and there are dozens of flood alerts and warnings in place across the country, with some areas seeing over 100mm of rain in 48-hour periods. Inevitably of course, there have been train delays in certain areas, not only causing travel inconvenience but impacting on the UK economy too.
Day-to-day we have changing weather but the alarming and increasing frequency of these flood events point to climate change and whilst the UK government has quite rightly committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the UK to almost zero by 2050, these bold long-term ambitions can lead to complacency. Regardless of what the UK or the World does to tackle climate change, the damage done and what will continue for many decades to come will see these extreme weather events get worse and more frequent before they get better.
Bold acts to tackle climate change are good, and welcome, but they should also come with the recognition that planning and investment is also essential and necessary to tackle the consequences of climate change now and until we start to reverse things. We are doing lots of positive things already, but let us not be fooled into thinking that the task has been completed or that we are already drastically changing things. Government, local authorities, businesses and individuals need to continue to place flood mitigation high on their agendas or the damage will be more than soggy carpets, pictures of submerged cars and properties – it will be GDP and the wider UK economy that will suffer and that will affect us all!