Deadly Flooding in Northwestern Europe: It’s the Infrastructure, Stupid!

The catastrophic rainfalls that killed nearly 200 people in Western Germany and Belgium, and drowned entire villages in veritable flash floods, were immediately claimed to be due to “man-made climate change” by all sorts of voices that demand even more energetic measures to curb CO2 emissions. But the fact is that there have always been floods, droughts and other extreme weather events in earlier centuries, and they will continue to occur in the future, climate change or not.

The immediate task now, of course, is to provide relief to the victims of the catastrophe and to unblock the funds needed to rebuild the destroyed infrastructure, as well as the businesses and enterprises hit by the floods, so that the local populations again have a job and can earn their living. The goal should be to create better conditions for the people than existed before.

But above all, EIR’s weekly Neue Solidarität points out, “we need to draw the right conclusions from the disaster so as to be better prepared for such situations in the future. Whether such natural events, which are always to be expected, turn into catastrophes depends on whether the necessary infrastructure has been created in time to be able them to cope with them. We do not need vague talk about ‘climate protection’, but rather, concrete measures to protect people.”

Chief editor Alexander Hartmann further stresses that protecting people means transforming nature to improve conditions for mankind, and to become increasingly independent of “natural catastrophes”. “That is exactly what we have done far too little of in the last few decades, especially under the influence of the green ideology, but also under the influence of the austerity apostles of ‘balanced budgets’, the prophets of the ‘free market economy’, the financial speculators, and the Davos billionaires. Instead of building, budgets were cut, and essential facilities –such as nuclear power plants –were abandoned and destroyed in the name of environmental and climate protection, and replaced by wind and solar power plants, which put our energy supply even more at the mercy of the whims of nature.”

In fact, a widespread and long-lasting failure of the power supply would have far more dramatic consequences than last week’s record rainfalls. And yet, after the exit from nuclear power, the German government remains committed to shutting down all coal-fired power plants, and to expanding notoriously unreliable “renewable” energy sources.

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