C’est en Septembre

A Great Comedy for a Rainy Day

Al Gore for less than a Euro. Fine with me. It’s been a while since someone mentioned that movie. Incidentally, yesterday, I friend told me that when her daughter had to watch it in class, she gave her a list with the ten worst fallacies in the movie. To her surprise, the public school teacher copied it and distributed for the following discussion.

Those are the sorts of things that can brighten a rainy summer day. The other thing is to take the time to read all the newspapers, even though really interesting news normally are scarce this time of year. The global warming hysteria really seems to have slowed down and the IPCC people seem busy trying to find their own explanations to the lack of warming the past decade. Still people, especially in the media – on all sides – still hastily interpret any change in the ever changing weather as either a sign that they were right. And then about the weather forecasts not being reliable. They never have been.

One thing that is fairly predictable, and sometimes devastating – in Russia this year, tragic – is flooding. Right now an emergency in many parts of Northern Europe. Local flooding is fairly possible to predict, and risk areas ought to be rather easy to identify by now. As every year, take precautions, and think twice before building that dream house on that extraordinarily cheap piece of land on the river bank.

Precaution, however, can also be taken to far. This year I’ve noticed that, as local flooding occurs every year, the weather forecasters, and especially the media reporting the risks are beginning to irritate some people with their precautionary principle. The fact that some areas are hit more easily (and they can easily be identified) does not call for a warning against an entire region. Still, that is what is being done. The result is that the tourist industry, and then not whatever local attraction there is, but also hotels, restaurants, cafes and other business are severely hurt, sometimes into the next season, when even booked parties cancel. Most of these businesses get almost all of their revenue during three months every year. No business this year, might very well mean no business next year too. And this often in perfectly safe areas with unaffected infrastructure.

Those are the reflections you can make when reading your paper in the deserted, and yes, rather relaxed and pleasant, city. And as the late Gilbert Becaud, I’ll wait until September to do my ususal European holiday tour. Have a nice summer. Now it’s time to head out in the rain and find that paper and cosy corner.

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About the Author: Einar Du Rietz

Einar Du Rietz is a journalist and communications consultant based in Europe. He has authored several environmental reports for the Electrolux Group and written many blogs for the Center for the New Europe at CNE Environment.