« Kiddie Fiddlers | Main | Tony, poor Tony »

London Calling

Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary, Chris Huhne MP said:: "Climate change matters because if we don't tackle it quickly it will cost far, far more later on. Already storm damage, rising sea levels, drought and flooding are taking their toll. For example, the Thames Barrier has had to be raised 55 times in the last five years compared with just 12 times in the previous five".

Thanks to Numberwatch we know where he got his figures from and how he massaged them to produce this sensationalism - he asked in Parliament for the figures and then found the ones that gave the trend he wanted. Here are the figures he was given, work out your own trend -

Environment Agency figures show that since its construction, the Thames Barrier has been closed to prevent flooding during the winter flood season (generally October to April) on 95 occasions as follows:

1982-83 1
1983-84 0
1984-85 0
1985-86 1
1986-87 1
1987-88 0
1988-89 1
1989-90 4
1990-91 1
1991-92 1
1992-93 4
1993-94 7
1994-95 4
1995-96 4
1996-97 1
1997-98 1
1998-99 2
1999-2000 6
2000-01 24
2001-02 4
2002-03 20
2003-04 1
2004-05 4
2005-06 3
2006-07(1) 0
Total 95
(1) To date.

At present the Thames Barrier is closed on average three to four times a year. In extreme conditions more frequent closures have been necessary to protect London from flooding—such as during the winter of 2000-01, when the barrier was closed 24 times and January 2003, when it was closed 19 times. These unusual occurrences were generally the result of continued high freshwater flows which only required a smaller tidal surge to necessitate a closure of the barrier.

As The Clash sang when the Zeitgeist was different;

The ice age is coming, the sun's zooming in
Engines stop running, the wheat is growing thin
A nuclear error, but I have no fear
Cause London is drowning and I, I live by the river

Now get this
London calling, yes, I was there, too
An' you know what they said? Well, some of it was true!
London calling at the top of the dial
And after all this, won't you give me a smile?
London Calling

I never felt so much alike, like-a, like-a...


For a more alarming figure he could use data from the past 100 years. I mean pre-1982 it was never raised at all.

Ahhh!..a little bit of the clash...well done.

Post a comment