The Courier has reported that the WWF has recommended that alternative methods be used to ease flood problems in Perthshire other than the building of concrete flood defenses. These include restoring flood plains and wetlands, going for a more sustainable approach to flood management.
It is unclear why the WWF has gone public on this or why the Courier has reported it as news. This method was known about 25 years ago to my knowledge and experience. In consultations for DEFRA in 2002, in the post FMD epidemic shake up of farming and land use, and in work I did for the Cabinet Office, these were changes I strongly argued for. This contributed to changes in the Common Agricultural Policy, which were pushed through with strong support by PM Tony Blair.
Really the Courier and the WWF should be looking at the reason for the unsustainable 'concrete solution' always having pre-eminence when flooding is mentioned. Is it anything to do that when a report is commissioned, it is very often done by concrete loving civil engineers?
The situation also raises the problem solving approach to environmental challenges. Far too often a technocentric approach is taken over the more appropriate ecocentric solution. The situation of flood prevention is a good example of where the media and headline makers should report on the most advanced perspectives on a subject area and not rely on reporting as news things which were current 25 years ago.
All Perth and Kinross Councillors had access to the Perthshire Flood Damage article of 17th January 2007 so for many yesterday's report told them nothing new. One benefit of the internet is that the most accurate and up to date information can be supplied to those who require it. A Benefit for all of society and the planet.
Perthshire SNP MP Pete Wishart has since written to me and informed me that his is waiting for a reply from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Though I have no doubt that any reply may fall short of the truth at least it is another point from which we can start asking questions from as to why when the Government had the solutions to flood problems in Perthshire in 2001 they chose to ignore them.