With so many insurance flood claims in the UK in recent years insurance companies have pulled up the drawbridge. If you have experienced any type of weather related flooding to your property, and that includes secondary flooding, you may find that getting affordable comprehensive insurance is not easy and in some cases impossible.
The government has been promising it would address those issues and has been working with insurance companies to set up a new affordable scheme, and finally Monday Flood Re is launched.
That scheme may have finally launched after a series of delays but there are exclusions.
Flood Re dedicated website explains;
Flood Re is a reinsurance company, which means it enables insurance companies to insure themselves against losses because of flooding. Unlike other reinsurance companies it is a not-for-profit fund, owned and managed by the insurance industry, and it has been designed to address a specific issue for a specific period. It’s also publicly accountable.
When you purchase or renew your property insurance the Flood Re scheme should enable you to get affordable cover from your insurer. You will do nothing but your insurer will be able to offset your known flood risks, at least in many cases;
The majority of homes in high flood risk areas will be eligible for Flood Re, but there are some exclusions. Properties built after January 1st 2009 are not covered because it’s important not to incentivise home-building in flood risk areas. This cut-off date was introduced for a previous agreement on flood insurance between insurers and the Government which began in 2008 so this is being rolled over to Flood Re. Flats in leasehold blocks containing four or more homes are also excluded.
Overall though Food Re is good news for flood victims.
The government pledged to work with insurers to enable people who have experienced home flooding to buy affordable cover and although launching the scheme has taken longer than expected it is finally here.
Ahead of the scheme-unless you declare any flooding which has affected your property in a given timescale future claims could be null and void but mention the word "flooding" when you apply for building, home and property insurance in the UK and it has been a case of "no room at the Inn." Some insurance companies have been offering limited cover; in some cases only available by paying huge premiums or by paying hefty flooding excess premiums.
If you have been flooded the next time you renew your insurance will be the big test.
However if you are a flood hit business you will be excluded from Flood Re help.
But expect the scheme to be tweaked in the future and possibly insurance premiums hiked up to cover costs.
Does that sound a perfect area to frack?
Last weekend world leaders completed days of talk on climate change and how to stop it in its tracks but they all must have arrived in Paris for the talks via flying carpets; if not the irony of much increased carbon footprints all to chew the fat about saving the planet is almost too hard to bear.
Their entourages and mainstream media representatives helped push the environment that bit closer to a suicide precipice and we were then treat to the participants patting each other on the back as they secured a second-best, half-ass deal.
David Cameron, UK, PM, was quick to, unintentionally, illustrate how unworkable that deal will be.
This week the Tory government announced tough cuts to solar power subsidies proving again they are not committed to helping stop climate change but rather making money.
The cuts will affect jobs, the solar power industry and climate change reduction plans.
If that is not enough proof for you look at Cameron's record on wind turbines. In order to payback rural Tory voters for his May 2015 election win his government plans to end on-shore wind farm subsidies next year.
That change was defeated in the House of Lords in October but fear not Cameron will limit the power of the Lords to get his own way.
The Tories are poised to announce plans to curtail the powers available to the House of Lords mainly as that non-elected body of government led to child-benefit cuts being put on hold.
Slowly but surely Cameron and his Tory government are turning the screw.
They are scrapping climate friendly deals and limiting any attempts to stop their headlong race into all out fracking in the UK.
Earlier reports such as the following reinforce that view:
Hypocrisy rules the day in 21 Century England.
Tenants of tiny homes are hit by an under occupancy benefit cut if they have just one small spare room but pensioner Elizabeth II resides in Buckingham Palace and we pay for her to do so.
The Royals have various estates and properties available to them around the country and all are under occupied; each could help ease the dire lack of affordable homes and homelessness.
With revelations this week that not only has Prince Charles been allowed access to confidential government papers for decades as Prince William is now also on the mailing list you may ask why?
Those who say as heir to throne Charles has the right miss the point.
He is well able to keep on amassing wealth when he has such insider information. The Queen has been less embroiled in government but it seems that meddler Charles wants his son to follow his lead not his grandmothers.
Fracking is a divisive subject but there are many more worrying matters arising all linked into government transparency or lack of it including the way the establishment has the system stitched up and stacked in its favour and the increasing rich poor and north south divide of the UK.
Friday North Yorkshire's Kellingley pit, the last working deep coal mine in the UK, has closed for good.
Cheap foreign imports are blamed for the closure but if the mine was still nationalised it may have been a different story. Job losses will damage the community and ultimately cause further job losses.
Working numbers at the deep coal mining pit have reduced but even so Friday 450 miners finished work and will receive severance packages at 12 weeks of average pay; Christmas on the 'dole' such as it is in 2015.
Britain's coal-fired power stations are scheduled to be phased out over the next ten years and Energy Secretary Amber Rudd hopes they will all be shut by 2025.
But they will need coal until that time.
If the coal is sourced from a climate damaging country how will that sit with Cameron's commitment to Paris the COP21 climate change deal?
The LA Times reports Thursday "The United Nations Conference on Climate Change, with 150 world leaders gathering near Paris, has an ambitious goal: to limit rising global temperatures this century to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. In the first days of the conference , President Obama pushed for a pact even as the U.S. House moved to block climate rules at home. California Gov. Jerry Brown is to speak Friday, arriving in France a day earlier than initially planned."
How is he getting there? On a flying carpet?
As the number of truly starving and deprived people on the planet increases these so-called leaders will enjoy rich pickings as they debate what can be done to save the planet from climate change caused in some part by greed and excess. They will aim to develop a strategy that allows fat friends or even themselves to grow ever fatter at the expense of the poor and vulnerable.
Days into the summit the US committed to more ground troops in Iraq, though the Iraqis do not want them, and the UK opted to launch airstrikes legitimately, or so they say, in Syria. The odds are much has been happening away from prying eyes already.
Within hours of a 'yes please let's bomb Syria vote' in the House of Commons London RAF jets left a base in Cyprus to pummel parts of Syria.
We are told that they bombed valuable oil supplies cutting off Daesh funding. We have also been told this year that the security services in the UK have foiled at least five terror plots but few people these days believe the words of a politician.
Too many politicians are working to their own agenda and not for the good of all or their country.
Will bombing oil supplies help the environment and our climate? Will an increase in military airstrikes, bombs and conflict serve Mother Earth well?
How can any world leader stand shoulder to shoulder with colleagues espousing protecting the climate and environment then authorise military action that will damage the world further.
We are again being selective when we label Daesh as there are many, many other groups with terror a priority.
The world appears almost full of hate right now, indignation and self-righteousness and good old hypocrisy.
I guess it shows how stupid world leaders think most of the population of the world is.
Well we are not. Do not talk a load of hooey about saving the planet until you have the guts to put an end to conflict and the proliferation of weapons once and for all.
If you cannot put up shut up and that includes climate change propaganda.
A tropical storm brought winds of up to 125km/h (78mph) to central Aichi prefecture a day ahead of the rains.
"These heavy rains are unprecedented. We can say this is an abnormal situation and there is imminent serious danger," the chief forecaster at the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), Takuya Deshimaru, said on Thursday.
As weird weather continues to catch citizens of the world on the hop it will soon be impossible to say 'unprecedented' with regards to our weather as it will be a case of 'anything goes'. Governments will face escalating costs and an increasing threat to populations.
The Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe said the authorities were doing their best; "The government will stand united and do its best to deal with the disaster... by putting its highest priority on people's lives," he told reporters.
Updates as available.
Scientists discover and create and down the years we learn that some 'inventions' are damaging.
Sometimes we make the necessary changes quickly; other times when jobs and business are at stake we do not until we have to.
But the damage goes on.
Look at the table below for just an idea of some of the harm caused by everyday products. In some cases they will affect generations to come for many years. And remember these are just the tip of the iceberg.
Gas Use Lifetime in atmosphere (half-life) Global warming potential
CFC-11 Early refrigerant (banned) 45 years 4,680x CO2
CFC-12 Car air conditioning (banned) 100 years 10,720x
CFC-113 Refrigerant, propellant (banned) 85 years 6,030x
HCFC-22 Refrigerant, propellant 1780 years 12x
HFC-23 Microchip etching, fire suppressant, by-product of
HCFC-22 production 270 years 14,310x
HFC-134a Fridges, car air conditioning 14 years 1,410x
HFO-1234yf Replacement for HFC-134a 11 days 4x Tetrafluoromethane
(CF4) Biproduct of aluminium smelting 50,000 years 5,820x Hexafluoroethane (C2F6)
Biproduct of aluminium smelting 10,000 years 12,010x
Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) Etching silicon 740 years 17,200x
Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) Anti-sparking in electricity
substations, magnesium production 3,200 years 22,800xBanning CFCs had real and positive change on our climate but the terrible legacy in some cases will live on for many years.
The ozone layer which protects people on Earth from excessive Sun damage is reportedly stabilising. Earlier use of CFCs in a range of products including deodrants had resulted in holes in the ozone layer and global warming.
But our dependence on motorised vehicles and white goods will not be abandoned.
Developers and scientists working or more environmentally friendly ways to refrigerate and power vehicles sometimes unwittingly add to the problem.
For each banned substance a replacement is found; in the long run that substance may be as bad or worse. It is trial and error with business and money too often the main priority. Once unleashed the resulting damage does not simply disappear.
"Consider toothpaste. It contains tiny amounts of those aggressive fluoride ions. But once in your mouth, the ions combine with calcium in your teeth to provide a protective coating of chemically resilient calcium fluoride."
Fluorine is an evil gas. And it is also used to manufacture a string of other artificial gases, some of which nearly left mankind exposed to burning ultraviolet light - and are even now warming the planet.
High-profile world leaders need to remember that in the 21st Century the 'do as I say mentality' is dead and buried and their actions are under intense scrutiny 24/7 due to technological advances. The prime example of this today is US President Obama who Wednesday flew to the Florida Everglades for Earth Day; his one-day trip which is reported as including a flight emitting 'as much carbon dioxide as 17 passenger vehicles do in one year of driving' defeats the object of Earth Day.
Earth Day is an annual event which takes place on April 22 and has since 1970. The event will by and large go unnoticed in the UK but will be marked by environmental activists here and around the world. Events held to mark this special day aim to demonstrate support for environmental protection, which is why Obama's carbon boot print for today is being noted.
The President hopes his Florida visit will highlight the plight of the Everglades a region which is doomed if sea-levels continue to rise and extreme weather becomes the norm. The Daily Caller reports;
“The Everglades is one of the most special places in our country. But it’s also one of the most fragile,” Obama said in his weekly address video. “Rising sea levels are putting a national treasure – and an economic engine for the South Florida tourism industry — at risk.”
The old adage that the Road to Hell is paved with good intentions remains as true as ever.
The President is not the first person preaching about climate change while carrying on regardless.
In June 2014 Greenpeace hit headlines but for hypocrisy.
As a great supporter of Greenpeace and the important work they do trying to protect and improve the world's environment I hated to knock them, but conceded knock them I must. An early morning report on Russia Today caught my attention and I wondered was it just media fluff or a report of substance? Checking online the latter is apparently true.
Greenpeace hypocrisy is hard to ignore when the organisation preaches so often about limiting flights and travel to improve our carbon footprints; it seems they are playing the do as I say not as I do game on this one.
News that Pascal Husting, Greenpeace International’s international programme director takes a round trip flight between Luxembourg and Amsterdam a couple of times a month was both shocking and annoying.
The 250 Euros cost of the flight is paid for by Greenpeace but it was the hypocrisy that angered.
Looking online it was easy to find earlier reports about such Greenpeace flights since the story went global in June the organisation has come in for some flack, and rightly so.
Some financial supporters of Greenpeace vowed to stop donating to the environmental charity unless such flights are ended.
We concluded that "It is the height of hypocrisy to ask people to curb flights, which may only be once a year for a much needed vacation, when the head of your organisation is flying on a regular basis."
The same conclusion is drawn with President Obama's choice for marking Earth Day.
And the bad news is that in 2014 Pres. Obama made an equally bad choice to mark Earth Day. The Mail Online reported in 2014 "President Barack Obama is marking the 44th Earth Day with a carbon-emitting extravaganza, spending more than 15 hours on Air Force One and 15 minutes aboard the Marine One helicopter. Not including his motorcades in Oso, Washington, the site of a recent devastating mudslide, his trip will consume an estimated 35,565 gallons of fuel. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the statistics arm of the Department of Energy, burning each gallon emits 21.1 pounds of carbon dioxide, bringing the president's Earth Day carbon footprint to more than 375.7 tons."
The administration failed to answer questions as to whether or not new trees would be planted to offset the carbon transmissions.
Either he was ill advised or hasn't a clue when it comes to how people react to such hypocrisy and what it does to the campaign to make people take global warming and climate change seriously.
As CBS news man Mark Knoller noted on twitter "Pres Obama's Earth Day trip will cover 1,836 miles roundtrip and consume 9,180 gallons of fuel on Air Force One."
The Daily Caller report can be found here