Communities haven't recovered from the last storm - without action they may not get time to recover from Ciarán
As Britain is battered by back-to-back storms, the Met Office is warning there will likely be more to come - for quite some time
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Reading the headlines this week evokes a sense of déjà vu so strong, one could be forgiven for thinking we've all stepped into the Matrix.
Storm Ciarán has made landfall in the UK, bringing downpours and gale force winds in its wake. The entire southern coast of England and Pembrokeshire in Wales have been told to brace for severe winds, with yellow rain warnings in place for those same spots - plus parts of Scotland.
Ciarán's impact is expected to be profound. At least 82 parts of the country have been warned they might experience flooding, with a holiday park in Dorset already being evacuated. It could mean homes left unliveable, people drowning in their cars as they try to flee the floodwaters. For farmers, it could mean crops rotting in the ground.
But not even two weeks ago many parts of the UK endured the exact same thing, as Storm Babet lashed the country - claiming seven lives. Hundreds of houses and businesses, many in Scotland, were flooded, and hundreds are thought to have been left homeless.
As Met Office staff scramble to give communities urgent and lifesaving weather warnings from the eye of the storm, they are also warning that the headlines are likely to remain the same for years to come, with climate change expected to make British winters wetter and stormier. For every degree we allow average temperatures to rise, the warmer atmosphere will suck up about 7% more moisture, meaning more rain when those clouds finally burst.
Much has already been said about the government's apparent rowback on climate policies, including pushing a ban on new petrol and diesel cars - originally set for 2030 - back five years, and only requiring 80% of gas boilers would need to be phased out by 2035, rather than all of them. Plans to make landlords improve the energy efficiency of their rentals were also scrapped, and at the same time, the Prime Minister has said that at least a hundred new oil and gas exploration licences will be granted in a bid to improve the UK's energy independence - with 27 already approved by regulators.
Critics have already warned the government this equates to "pouring new fuel on the fire", and its top climate advisors have said the policy u-turns will make the country's battle to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 even harder to achieve.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has claimed many of these were a bid to save British families from "unacceptable costs". But as long as we keep allowing greenhouse gases to spew into the atmosphere without fighting to curtail them as quickly as possible, we're accepting the cost of more warming.
We're accepting more frequent storms - and all comes with them. We're accepting the school closures, the power cuts, the homes destroyed, the crops flooded, and the lives lost. We're accepting the cost of paying to clean up the very worst impacts of climate change after they've happened. After all, Storm Babet is expected to cost insurers alone as much as £650 million.
Two devastating storms in as many weeks may someday be our new normal - and many would argue that kind of unrelenting misery is a pretty unacceptable cost.