With less than three days to go 2012 has proved to be the wettest year in the United Kingdom since records began one hundred and two years ago. It has rained and it has rained and it has rained.
When I talk about London’s weather with people who live abroad, they always associate London with rain. When I point out that Athens has on average more rainfall than London they are surprised. Usually in London we get occasional rain and showers of light rain. This year has been different.
Britain has a temperate climate, which means that it lacks extremes, usually, but its position where great air and sea oscillations meet and sometimes, like ignorant armies clash, means that we can experience extremes of weather, but usually they are never too cold, never too hot and never too wet.
This year has been wet, not particularly cod and certainly not particularly hot, although in the South of England we did experience a small drought for a short while which prevent folk from using hosepipes to water their gardens. That ended rapidly and thoughts of a hosepipe ban are now out of everyone’s mind.
Yesterday the Thames Barrier, which is a flood prevention device located in the mouth of the Thames, was brought into operation as threats of high tides, a high river caused by rain runoff and too much water meant that without the Barrier parts of London would have been flooded.
The rain has stopped trains, flooded houses, made roads impassable and generally made many people miserable over the Christmas holidays.
I suppose that we humans get too confident, too cocky. We think that because we can work technological wonders and can enjoy lives of what our great grandparents would have thought of as extreme luxury, we are immune from danger caused by simple things, like rain. We should remember that humanity creates and destroys but the creativity and destruction of nature makes all our greatest creations and destructions no more than the vain boast of a foolish mind.