Tuesday, 11 January 2011

flotsam and mackintoshes

The gradual warming trend here is melting the accumulated snow and the cold, cold ground and rivers cannot accommodate much more of the water. It is strange to think that the chief weapon against flooding the world-around is the humble sandbag and neighbours helping neighbours, and not something novel, unwieldy and dangerous like Ice-9, especially considering the weather-weirding factors that are most likely contributing to the extremes.
European communities along major rivers, particularly where the waters have been straightened and manicured for shipping and are more prone to flooding because of these alterations, are equipped, however, with impressive retractable retaining walls, steel panels that rise out of the harbour automatically and as articulated as the sluices of the canals that they guard. It is potentially tragic and certainly nerve-wracking but always handled with poise and steadfastness, and not the same breed of stubborn prospectors on eroding beach-front property.  Venice and Amsterdam have endured below sea level for centuries, recognizing that the constructs and artifices encroaching on the environment bring the floods regularly, and even harnessing the power of the waters wanting to be untamed.