#EarthToParis: Lancaster Catastrophe

Saturday, 5th of December

It’s 7am in the morning and our train is meant to depart in 38 minutes. However, a few minutes later the speaker makes the announcement: all trains coming from the North have been delayed due to severe weather conditions. Every minute that passes, the train delays even further. Luckily, we still manage to get the train that takes us to Euston station in London in time, and we say luckily because at around midday we find out that all trains going southwards have been cancelled.

Sunday, 6th of December

“About 55,000 homes around Lancaster are without power and could be cut off for days after an electricity substation was flooded during Storm Desmond.” The BBC website depicts the catastrophe in Lancaster. As we go on social media, we’re shocked to see the pictures posted by all our friends back in Lancaster showing flooded homes and being evacuated. Shortly after, we receive an email stating that the University has called off all classes, exams and deadlines, and suggesting those able to leave to do so.

Marco Petagna, a senior forecaster at the Met Office, said parts of Cumbria and Lancashire have been hit with more than a month’s worth of rain in just 24 hours.

That’s it. Our society is built to function within a stable system, but 24 hours were enough for unpredictable Mother Nature to change the lives of more than 55,000 families. Nature cannot be tamed. Nature doesn’t follow our rules – we need to follow hers.

After hearing news like this, the need for change becomes imperative. The WBSCD provides a platform for discussion -and action– to align the industry’s objectives with the planet resources. The meeting in Paris has increased awareness on climate change around the globe but it now needs to live up to the expectations. The recent episode in Lancaster might be a warning – how many more do we need?!

From Paris, we send our biggest support to Lancaster University and to everyone that has been affected by this disaster.


Flooding in Lancaster city centreWritten by Celia Iordache and Veronika Wiesber on behalf of the LUMS students in Paris.


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