Seven UK water firms have stated that due to two successive unnaturally dry winters, hosepipe bans would be implemented across the UK alongside water restrictions because of low stores in reservoirs and aquifers.
The companies bringing in the bans and restrictions – to officially begin as of the 5th April – are: Southern Water, South East Water, Thames Water, Anglian Water, Sutton and East Surrey, Veolia Central and Veolia South East. Collectively they service the majority of households in the south of England.
Unless there is a turn in the weather, bringing harsh rains in the next few weeks, the drought could spread as far north as Yorkshire and as far west as Hampshire/Wiltshire. The Environment Agency, the body that released the report, says that a drought would affect agriculture, pushing up the price of field-grown crops such as potatoes and vegetables.
But don’t worry. The Olympic Games will not be affected in any way. ಠ_ಠ
Neither will the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Meanwhile, for the rest of us, the restrictions could come into place as soon as the end of March. These would include bans on non-essential water use such as lawn maintenance and car washing.
The National Farmers Union has said that the restrictions would have a great impact on pastoral farming as well as arable, and has asked for restrictions to be lighter to protect their industry, having already reduced the area of land they have collectively planted by 20%.
In response the Environment Agency has issued advice to the farmers about water conservation. IMHO that is a bit of a cheeky thumb-of -the-nose, but who am I judge? The advice includes such obvious gems as:
- Farmers should attempt to improve their water efficiency now and set up groups to share what reserves are around.
- They should fill up their reserves before the bans and restrictions come into place.
- A fast-track system is being put into place for farmers to get water quickly when reserves are high.
If the unusually warm weather continues we could even see more extreme measures coming into play such as water actually being turned off in residential areas and public standpipes being brought in, like the 1976 droughts. Now, far be it from me to be suspicious of local councils, and by extension the government, meddling in peoples lives (I leave the half-paranoid conspiracy theorising for my own blog sevenjames.com) but if government is involved it is usually not in everyone’s best interests. For example: either the water could be heavily fluoridated or medicated – some government agencies have advocated adding Lithium to water in a crisis (and even when things are fine) to keep populations calm. Alternatively, a more sinister move would be to require people to accept vaccinations before getting their quota of water. They’ll say it’s to protect us from the nasty agents in the water itself, but in reality vaccines are designed to do almost nothing except overload our own, near perfect, defence mechanisms.
But I’m getting off topic. Pray for rain folks. Thanks for reading.
A joint committee consisting of MP’s and Peers, the National Security Strategy -NSS – has released a report to Parliament stating that a partial or full collapse of the single European currency was ‘plausible’. A little non-committal you might think, but they are politicians after all. Claiming that anything is 100% is anathema to them.
In the event of the collapse of the single economy, of which England is not a part remember, it is expected that economic migration and social unrest will rise. This will leave the UK ‘unable to defend itself’ as the economic crisis would force cuts in defence budgets for our already overstretched and nearly crippled military.
The NSS praised the fact that the report was published alongside the Strategic Defence and Security Review, but criticised the lack of an overall plan. The SDSR, according to former Foreign Secretary and the committee chairman Margaret Beckett, is not realistic, does not tackle the big questions and does not guide the choices available.
The report also brought up the ‘special relationship’ between the UK and United States, or more accurately, the weakening relationship between the two. The US is going through remarkable political changes at the moment and is increasingly taking it’s eye off of the UK and Europe as a whole. In a future where we face an economic crisis, the report claimed that the UK would need to adopt a more ‘partnership-dependant’ role in world affairs.
What that means is probably the centralisation of power in Europe into a central European Government out of Brussels. (Seven)
A government spokesman stated that ministers remained vigilant and were aware of “the changing global environment” and threats to the UK’s security.
“A strategy for Britain’s long term security and prosperity is at the heart of the government’s approach to foreign policy”.
The current Terror Threat Level in the UK has been raised to Substantial by the UK Security Services and Home Office.
The UK Security Services, in particular MI5, are responsible for assessing the threat posed from terrorism within the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The current levels stand at Substantial in the UK, and Severe in N.Ireland.
The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC) is responsible for assessing the terror threat posed to the UK population, both home and abroad, from foreign bodies and terrorist groups.
The Times newspaper had two illuminating Opinion articles today (2.1.12). The first was written by Richard Ward, the chief executive of Lloyd’s of London, and titled ’That was the year that cost us $350 billion’, the second titled ’Tick the box marked Personal Responsibility’ and written by David Wighton. They both add to the points that Worst Case Scenario is concerned about and stands for. Here’s a summary: The italics are my additions.
(Richard Ward) 2011 will go down in our collective memory as one of almost permanent turmoil. Floods, earthquakes, nuclear accidents, riots, regime changes. All of these figured prominently in the headlines throughout the year, not to mention the still looming global economic crisis or the still reverberating echoes of previous disasters such as Haiti or New Orleans. 2011 has the dubious title of the highest monetary losses due to catastrophe in history: $350 billion – $350,000,000,000. Put it this way, at 28 I have not been alive even 1 billion seconds, and if I was to put a pound in a jar every second from the day of my birth to the day of my retirement at 75, my children would have to take on the responsibility to take it to a single billion. That’s a lot of money lost to catastrophe, a lot of it uninsured.
2011 rolled into town with the Queensland floods in Australia, killing 35 and turning 75% of QLD into a ‘no-mans land’. Only $2.5bn of the $7bn was insured. QLD then faced Cyclone Yasi while New Zealand had massive earthquakes to deal with in February. In fact the entire Pacific rim – dubbed the Ring of Fire – faced upheavals in 2011, most notably with the earthquake and tsunami off Fukashima leading to the disastrous explosions at the Fukashima nuclear plant that is still spilling radiation into the ocean and environment. Over the course of the year, 1,600 hurricanes and tornados raged across the United States, with Hurricane Irene crushing businesses across the states. Bringing the year to a close are the devastating floods in Thailand that have effectively closed the country for business and the tremors felt again in Christchurch, New Zealand. In all, 30,000 lives were lost in various disasters world wide.
Although few of these disasters affected the United Kingdom directly, who can forget the ’Arctic Blast’ that paralysed the Glasgow region of Scotland last year? Or the London riots and their spread across the country, fuelled by class rage and (probably) cheap spirits?
What must be examined by the individual that wants to plan ahead to survive catastrophe is that disasters are no longer a localised problem. Our increasing ‘global village’ and the push of world governments for yet more globalisation and the endless centralisation of power and resources means that if that a problem occurs in any area of supply or along supply routes, then we are in for trouble here as well. So far we have been lucky our greatest threats being only late product releases (cars for instance) and long waits for new or updated technology. However, it is not such a leap of the imagination to see similar delays, either accidental or malicious, for our essentials. Power, fuel and many food sources all come to the UK from overseas or are controlled by overseas companies. In a real crisis their responsibilities to the British public come very low on their list of priorities. Almost every shop on the High Street, excluding those that specifically selling ‘local goods’ rely on the international trade routes and logistic infrastructure, a web of variables that is only as strong as its weakest link.
2012 has begun with the threat of global recession, various military campaigns overseas, social unrest in Middle Eastern countries, concern over freak weather ruining crops, even radiation in space bringing our communication systems to a grinding halt. Businesses can hope for the best, but should plan for the worst. So should we all.
(David Wighton) Don’t we just love it when we read of somebody buggering up a simple task because they followed the rules rather than follow their initiative. People driving into lakes at the behest of their sat-nav or charging into a fight for deals at the start of the January sales, just because the goods are slightly cheaper? What of common sense we cry! Surely we wouldn’t ever do such a thing ourselves!
But we do, often. So many important and intelligent people that run and rule our world so commonly follow the rules of their profession, abandoning their reason in the process, and end up either making utter fools of themselves or making seriously destructive decisions. For example look at the stance taken by the majority of the worlds banks in the run up to the economic collapse of 2008. When all of the signs pointed towards what would become the crash, the banks instead of protecting their capital and their investors, ran full pelt at the crisis as if daring it to meet them in battle. Their risk management systems told them it was all going to be fine, so even though the facts told them otherwise and the wealth of experience in the financial industry said otherwise, they went with the data. They lost. The reverberations are still felt today, four years later.
In the UK we have become increasingly subservient to ’box-ticking’ culture, the absurd but all pervasive Standards That Must Be Met. Under the Labour rule our national and local government/councils became obsessed with targets, figures, regulations and standards. This damaged catastrophically the way that people related to their public figures. We soon became certain that our local council and local services – Police, Fire & Rescue etc – didn’t care about us, only about filling their quotas. Alternatively, they wanted to help us but were paralysed by regulations, health and ’bloody’ safety and the fear of being sued in a liability culture.
Eventually this became normalised, everybody was ticking boxes at work, metaphorically ticking boxes in their private lives (with no small assistance from lifestyle magazines) and had become used to the clerical box ticking of their services. We began to believe that if the boxes were ticked, all would be well. We would be safe, things could carry on and most of all, we wouldn’t be blamed if it all went wrong.
David Wighton then starts talking about banks and performance targets. It’s good reading but irrelevant to my points here. Follow the link to the original story at the end of this article.
It cannot be argued that a sense of regulation and the expectation of targets met is a help to our public and private sector industries. Without them there would be nothing to stop these industries slipping into corruption or ineffectiveness. However, this regulation should not come at the price of, or become more important than human personal responsibility.
Instead of living in the delusory state that tells us that ‘all will be well’ as long as the boxes are ticked, we need to re-establish our own sense of personal responsibility and take back our sense of moulding our own destiny. In the event of an actual crisis the massive majority of people will automatically have to depend on the government to drag them out of it. All of a sudden the government will be under a deluge of people that have become so dependent on their ministrations and handouts that they cannot survive without it, even when there isn’t an emergency to face! There is no way in the world that the UK government, who have proved laughably ineffective in various crises before, will be able to cope. Instead, martial law will be implemented, riots will erupt and people will die.
Do you want to be in the middle of that? You want to be another member of the starving, begging masses crying out to their hapless government for help? Or do you want to be strong in the face of adversity, prepared for what is coming, and a responsible member of a troubled society? I think I know the answer.
It doesn’t mean protesting, demonstrating and chanting that ‘they must do more’. It means that the time has come to take responsibility for your own safety. It is time to sacrifice a little in order to gain a lot in the future. It is time to man up and be ready.
Simple answer: Worst Case Scenario is the name of the project/company that intends to spread tips, knowledge and skills about surviving the worst that life can throw at you and your loved ones.
Disaster survival is 90% you and 10% your equipment. There is no substitute for human ingenuity when it comes to a crisis, but as anyone will tell you: Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. You might be a survival genius, capable of thriving in all situations, but without the right kit to back you up you could find yourself quite literally ‘up the creek’.
Survival is about expecting to have to face a crisis and preparing accordingly. By no means should you live day to day with the constant fear of danger, paranoia achieves nothing but ruining your state of health, but instead recognise that risk is inherent in the world and taking steps to both minimise and alleviate the associated stress.
Worst Case Scenario: Disaster Survival UK is not here to spread fear. We are not apocalyptic prophets, psychics or doomsayers. WCS:UKintends to empower people, to make them feel strong and happy; safe in the knowledge that life can take a swipe at them and they and their families are ready to stand tall in the face of adversity. We do this by providing a range of products and services through our website and by blogging about the huge variety of things that you can do immediately or learn to prepare yourself for any hardship in the future. You do not have to be living in fear of Armageddon to realise that a certain level of preparation is not only good sense, but could quite realistically preserve the health and well being of yourself and your family in a large scale emergency.
Bear in mind that the advice given on this site is either gathered from reputable sources such as books by accredited writers and experts or collected by word of mouth from family, friends, police officers, military personnel and members of the public. Where possible, everything recommended on this site has been researched and experimented with by staff of Worst Case Scenario. Remember, in an actual crisis the tips and advice given on this site will only give you the best possible chance of survival. You have to put in some effort and preparation as well. God moves in mysterious ways, and nobody can guarantee your safety in an emergency. Put to good use and with a certain amount of common sense, the advice given here will put you right ahead of the pack when ’the ship goes down’.