For once I almost feel sorry for our politicians.
There has been extensive flooding here in the past few weeks and it was a regular occurrence to see various gubmint bods being harangued by people who had effectively lost their homes.
Naturally these bods made all sorts of promises that "things will be done" and "we are introducing measures" and shit like that, showing the standard tactic that we will have jam tomorrow but never today.
But for once I don't blame the politicians, or at least I concede that it's not entirely their fault.
There are many factors that cause flooding. Stripping trees off a mountain causes rain to run off the land, where the trees would normally bind the soil and produce a slow release of water. Building dams and bridges doesn't exactly help. Nor does the propensity for covering the ground in concrete whenever a housing estate or other scheme is built, so that rainwater heads straight into drains instead of being soaked up by the soil. Rivers should also be dredged which is where I do blame the politicians. The latter are blaming the EU while the EU says it's not their fault which is exactly what I would expect from a load of bureaucrats.
One of the biggest problems though is appalling planning. They persist on building houses on flood plains so it's not a case of the river encroaching on private property, rather a case of private property encroaching on the river.
There is a web site I browse occasionally as I love maps. Ireland Map is an Ordnance Survey portal which not only allows browsing of current maps and satellite imagery but also gives historical maps. So you can pick a spot, see how it looks now and see how it used to look. It didn't take long to find a perfect example of modern planning.
The first is an historical view. Note the word "floods" bang in the middle? [Click to embiggen]
And then we have the latest satellite imagery of the same area.
Yup. Right bang in the area marked "Liable to floods" we have a complex of apartments, offices and shops.
It took me about two minutes to find that example so it must be a very common phenomenon.
Very clever, huh?
I just heard an item on the radio. It's about two and a half minutes long.
Some people will never learn.