Britain's warm, wet winter brought floods and misery to many living across southern England, with large parts of Somerset lying underwater for months. When in January rainfall was double the expected average over wide areas, many people made cautious links between such extreme weather and global climate change.
Back in the UK one could blame the farmers but the real culprit is our government and their ideology of scrapping environmental regulations in the absurd belief that a free market will hold back the waters. Whether through corruption, ideological dogma or an obsession with self-serving headlines rather than finding lasting solutions, both governments fail their people.
The overarching theme of this blog is to show that better use of the skills and creativity of the UK advertising and communications sector would benefit society as a whole as well as business... But even I admit that, with all the creativity in the world, none of us could stop the floods which have dominated our media landscape.
Type the phrase "good in a crisis" into Google and you get 1.8 million hits. Search for "good at preventing crises" and you get just sixteen. It's a sad fact that - whether as individuals or as nations - we spend infinitely more time, energy and money dealing with problems than we do preventing them.
With a lot of our rail infrastructure and most of Somerset under water, not to mention water levels continuing to rise across Britain it is fair to say we are in the midst of a national crisis. He might not be in the top ten list of people I love in retail, but when former Tesco CEO Terry Leahy spoke about the occasional difficulties brands have - from local service problems to major outage and inconvenience - his catchphrase was "never waste a good crisis". It stuck with me and comes to mind now; not least because I love a paradox. The idea of a major problem being an opportunity is a tough one for executives to grasp whilst it's all happening.
As a weather presenter, I get to examine the latest Met Office charts so I know exactly when I'm going to need an umbrella. But which one? Over the years I've tried them all. I've tried big and small, traditional and high-tech. I've been wooed with lightweight materials, sturdy frames, hard-to-ignore colours and all sorts of other clever new gizmos.