Paul Rowbottom in his letter last week cites lack of maintenance as the cause of the perennial flooding situation in Watford. But it’s not only that: the real reason - the elephant in the room which no one wants to talk about - is man-induced climate change.

If the climate is more unpredictable, weather records are consistently being broken year on year.

February 2020 was the wettest ever with nearly a foot of rain falling in the short month.

The ten hottest summers ever have been this century since 2002.

Whilst heatwaves are on course to get hotter and longer, winters are getting wetter as the warmer air is able to hold more water vapour before it unleashes it as heavy prolonged rain.

Flooding and landslides are set to get more commonplace no matter much defence is are put in place.

Forty per cent of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas which acts like a blanket holding in the heat, is from our activity - burning fossil fuels and deforestation.

Besides that there is the heating effect: internal combustion engines are predominantly giant radiators: about 10 per cent efficient. 90 per cent of the energy in the petrol or diesel goes to heat.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has floated a pay as you go type levy in a bid to rein in the reckless over-use of the car and doubtless combat climate catastrophe. It’s not the first time that such initiatives have been tabled. But governments are usually brow-beaten into dropping the ideas by powerful and influential lobby groups like the British Alliance or drivers with their narrow self-serving interests.

If we are to stand any prospect of averting apocalyptic flooding and other extreme events, it has to start with us making changes at ground level.

Dave Degen,

Whippendell Road, Watford