High water gets political across the pond

Summary:The 2005 New Orleans flooding and aftermath remain a political hot button here. Now British politics is awash in flood problems.

The 2005 New Orleans flooding and aftermath remain a political hot button here. Now British politics is awash in flood problems. Meteorologists say the British summer has been especially wet because the jet stream is running further south than usual. At least that's how the Yank publication, "International Herald Tribune," sees it.

But with thousands of homes flooded along the Thames and its tributarties, and many areas expected to be under water for days, it's instructive to see how the flood plays across the political spectrum of British papers. Rupert Murdoch's newspaper sees it just another freakish wet London summer, like they're supposed to be. Murdoch's reporters note how some people are so stupid they swim in the floodwater which is rich in sewage and pollutants. Without no apparent sense of irony "The Times" quotes an official saying there's plenty of water for everybody. Of course, floods often wash out the local water systems leaving folks with no safe driniking water.

Meanwhle the liberal "Guardian" paper just plays the flood as a natural catastrophe and calls for government action to be more effective. By the time we get to the gadfly "Independent" we find this month's flooding in Britain is directly linked to global warming. While the "Herald Tribune" says it's the worst flooding in sixty years. The "Independent" finds it the worst flooding in a century, a product of 21st Century weather.

That paper evens quotes James Lovelock of Gaia fame. He has said one hallmark of climate change will be meteoroloigcal surprises. No fan of Lovelock, "The Times" thus finds this month's flooding to be sort of England as it's supposed to be. OK, everybody back to work.

Topics: United Kingdom

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