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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Our shifting shores

The National Trust, this morning, have issued a stark warning about the impact of global warming on Wales' coastline. Their report, Shifting Shores, shows that more than 70% of the coastline managed by the Trust in Wales, much of it internationally renowned, is under threat from coastal erosion and flooding. The land covers more than 143 miles bordering the sea - a sixth of the Welsh coastline.

The Environment Agency confirms this trend: A spokesman said, "The Severn Estuary is at high risk of flooding and the Lleyn Peninsula, inner Severn and Dee Estuary are vulnerable to coastal erosion and damage to coastal defences.

"The vulnerability of the Welsh coast poses problems for a large proportion of the population living in coastal communities, affecting the waste infrastructure - landfills, incinerators and waste transfer facilities - and transport infrastructure, rail and road."

As if that isn't bad enough Eluned Morgan MEP warns that rising sea levels could drown the landmark £67m Senedd building itself.

This process is a long-term one of course and how much land is lost very much depends on what we are prepared to defend. It is also possible that no matter what we do now, much of this flooding and erosion is inevitable.

Still, at least the First Minister is looking on the bright side. He told an audience of business people that it will “hardly be unhelpful” to the Welsh economy if global warming gives Wales a Spanish or Californian climate. He believes that a warmer Wales will have a competitive edge over other parts of Britain. Well, that is OK then. I am sure we will all sleep more soundly in our beds as a result of those soothing words.
Dredging the sea floor at various points off the Welsh coast should be a HUGE issue, but seems to be on the back-burner. Judge Dredge.
The First Ministers attitude to this matter is quite simply despicable.
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