This is a graph of what the river did yesterday. You can see how close the river got to a fairly critical point – i.e. the point it reached in 2015 when Warwick Road flooded in Carlisle. Anyone that owns a house on Warwick Road knows these things very well.
I remember thinking about the novel Waterland a lot after I read it. Particularly that there is no one cause of anything. Everything is woven together and the real reasons for things can be hidden – or ignored for simpler truths. I look at buildings being thrown up everywhere. I look at how farmland is used and what farming has come to mean now. I look at what a flood plain is and what it does. I have seen (reluctantly) the people commenting on (anti)social media.
It rains in Cumbria. That is one of the things that it does. Until we take a sharp look at landscape use the phenomenon of rain that we seem so dumbfounded by every couple of years will continue to cause distress. The individual on Twitter and Facebook is always keen to point the blame at someone. It’s THAT person’s fault. In truth, the only agency at landscape level is collective government in all its forms. Swathes of England need to be repurposed. The whole landscape needs shaping for the betterment of all things living with it. The vested interest of individuals and individualism is not going to do that.