As Bob Ward wrote, the terrible UK floods are doing strange things to fake sceptics.
After I wrote this article about how Anthony Watts decided that mammoth floods in Somerset were all because "the one pump" was "turned off", he shifted tack. He isn't back-peddling, he's shuffling sideways - morphing into dredging.
Who cares why? Blame it on the guvmint!
Anthony has re-written his headline and changed his introduction. He's decided to jump on the "dredging" bandwagon instead of the "one pump was turned off" silliness. This latest idea of Anthony's doesn't have too many takers outside of the anti-science mob in cyberspace and a few people in the UK who are looking for someone to blame. Anthony Watts wants to blame the "guvmint", so he's prepared to sacrifice evidence and expert advice for the sake of keeping his ideology-driven denier mates happy.
(It's interesting that he's not saying that people are to blame for living on the Somerset Levels. It would be supremely ironic if fake sceptics got so incensed with guvmints that they started blaming them for adverse weather events.)
This tweet from Anthony Watts:
and this headline (as archived here and as I discussed here)
The real reason for flooding in Somerset Levels? Not global warming – the pump was turned off!
has become this (archived here):
The real reason for flooding in Somerset Levels? Not global warming – river management
...The real issue has to do with the lack of flow capacity in the Kings Sedgemoor Drain, (gravity drain, not pumped) due to silting and vegetation encroachment, as well as similar issues in the River Parrett where a campaign was launched in 2013 to get it dredged, to no avail. ...
Anthony Watts refuses to acknowledge that the real reason for the flooding in Somerset Levels is unrelenting record rain and storms.
Anthony Watts couldn't accept that rain can cause floods. I don't know why he won't accept that. It's probably the same disability that stops him from accepting that as the ice melts, sea levels will rise.
Dredging won't prevent floods like this, say the experts
As for dredging, the experts say that's not the answer. From the BBC:
Dredging is a "cruel offer of false hope" to those living in flood-prone communities according to a new report.
The document is the work of an independent body of experts from the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).
It says that solely relying on dredging could make some areas more vulnerable to rising waters.
The CIWEM says working with nature to slow down the rate that landscapes drain water is a more practical option.
From New Scientist:
The trouble is, the recent deluge has been so sustained that nothing could have prevented all the flooding, says Cloke. "I've just been down to the Thames, and it's really full. It would be unrealistic to think you can control these enormous floods with any measures."
"The solution for residents and communities is to adapt to living with it," Cloke says. "They shouldn't expect the government or the Environment Agency to protect them from a flood that's impossible to protect against."
From the Guardian:
The Somerset Levels sit near sea level, such that the river-to-sea gradient is very shallow. This means that even if they are dredged, rivers will only drain during low tide. And widening the channels will actually allow more of the high tide to enter.
Land and waterways can be managed to reduce the damage caused by heavy rains and flooding and undoubtedly these latest floods will result in changes. However, it won't stop rain or storms or floods from ever happening again.
Eventually, as sea levels rise and if the recent trend to flooding continues, the UK might have to adopt similar strategies to the Netherlands for low-lying areas like the Levels.