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‘Fewer climate change deniers’ in Rhondda following devastating floods

09 Aug 2021 3 minutes Read
Flood damage in the Rhondda

There are fewer climate change deniers in the Rhondda following devastating floods, it has been claimed.

Storm Dennis wreaked havoc in the valley 18 months ago, and according to environmental campaigner Caspar Harris attitudes towards the climate crisis have changed.

Harris, who helps run the Pete’s Shop wholefoods store in Pontypridd which was flooded when the storm hit, also said that people in the area are living in fear that the same thing will happen again.

He told the Guardian: “The thought that it could happen again – probably will happen again – is always on your mind.

“You get the occasional person still in denial but not that many now. I don’t think enough is being done quickly enough to fight it. I’m sick of governments and councils setting distant goals. We need action now.”

Hayley Richards, co-chair of the town’s Friends of the Earth group, recalled how as part of the global climate strikes in September 2019, young people in Pontypridd had led a march through the town.

She said: “Ponty hadn’t seen anything like that. I remember some shopkeepers telling the children they ought to be in school. A few months later, those same shops were flooded.”

According to Richards her nine-year-old son, Rowan, worried about his future.

She said: “He’s asked me if we need to move to a higher place. He feels climate change is at our door.”

She added: “But we need an honest dialogue,” said Richards. “We can’t survive if society continues to be about making money and exploiting the earth.

“And the government and councils must do more. There’s always something to distract them – Brexit, Covid, whatever.”

‘Nightmares’ 

Katie Whelan, whose end-of-terrace house in the village of Ynyshir, near Pontypridd, was flooded, said: “I still have nightmares about the river rising again.

“Looking back I can’t believe the water rose so quickly and so violently. I keep sandbags in the back garden for if it happens again. I don’t think I’ll ever relax again.”

Lian Roderick, from the village of Pentre, where 159 homes flooded, had to endure flooding followed by lockdown in a damp terrace house with two teenage children, said the authorities in charge of clearing drains and culverts were directly to blame.

She added: “But I do worry about climate change. We had the flooding and it’s been so hot this year. Now this week it’s been raining heavily again. It’s crazy.

“We’ve got a floodgate now. Back in the winter every time it rained that went up.”

Plaid Cymru MS for South Wales Central Heledd Fychan, said: “Whenever it rains heavily now I get countless messages from people saying, is it going to flood again. People can’t sleep at night, they are traumatised. Nobody feels reassured.”

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
2 months ago

“The authorities in charge of clearing the drains and culverts were directly to blame”.

Remember that when next you vote.

Neighbourhood watch is not just about crime…

hdavies15
hdavies15
2 months ago

A strong awareness of the risks and challenges linked to Climate Change would lead residents to question those whose beliefs allowed the building of massive wind turbines on uplands that had played a key role in absorption of heavy rains. They too failed to make anything remotely like adequate provision for an alternative safe drainage ( if that ever exists). Upland woodland, peat bogs etc serve a natural purpose. To dig them up was madness. To ignore the consequences was and is criminal. Next in line – Bryn and the surrounding uplands.

j humphrys
j humphrys
2 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Turbine Install Deniers?

hdavies15
hdavies15
2 months ago
Reply to  j humphrys

It’s a case of thinking the thing through in detail not rushing out and buying into it just cos it’s got a green label stuck on it ! There’s an array of energy generation options available to us in Wales yet the others have been shut out or under represented. Is this evidence of a powerful lobby, lazy decision makers or a bit of both ? As things stand I have become very suspicious of the prevalence of wind turbines among the solutions deployed. Add to that the damage done to the terrain, much of which could have been predicted… Read more »

Lyn Thomas
Lyn Thomas
2 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

There is no evidence to support your assertion, please provide some?

hdavies15
hdavies15
2 months ago
Reply to  Lyn Thomas

Are you telling me that scientists and engineers couldn’t have predicted the consequences of the damage done to the forestation and soils to make way for turbines ? Just go and have a look.

Last edited 2 months ago by hdavies15
j humphrys
j humphrys
2 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Built on heavy concrete bases, made of steel (which involves coal?) oil for the fibreglass blades, and copper and iron for the generator. I would be much more for them in case of small ones provided by our Gov. for hill farmers?
But built on upland bog, no!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
2 months ago

Noah might have said something similar…

Glen
Glen
2 months ago

There were a couple of fields near where I lived as a kid that got flooded every few years after heavy winter rains.
I now see there’s a spanking new estate built on the same fields, no doubt when these homes are flooded in future we’ll be told it’s all down to climate change.

hdavies15
hdavies15
2 months ago
Reply to  Glen

Just another example of how national and local government engage in endless virtue signaling on climate and the environment yet can’t resist the draw of more houses to boost their take from council taxes and other transaction taxes. Not denying the need for more housing but they need to study their available data/information to ensure long term viability and risk management.

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