Back in 2012, the deeply unpleasant Donal Blaney, formerly head man for the now-moribund Young Britons’ Foundation, the organisation forever tarnished by the Tory bullying scandal, was inexplicably given a platform by Mail Online to broadcast his thoughts to the nation. And on climate and energy, the ranting was all that the most discerning rant connoisseur could wish for.
On energy, he fumed “In an effort to appease the BBC and The Guardian, and to save a few cuddly polar bears and to look cool to brainwashed younger voters, British politicians have made this country dependent on foreign oil and gas”. And the appearance of wind turbines across the country, and offshore, was for him the last straw.
“Environmental extremists (beautifully termed ‘watermelons’ by the witty polemicist James Delingpole (because they are green on the outside but red on the inside)) are just as much to blame as avaricious lenders and feckless borrowers for the economic mess in which the West now finds itself”. Witty? Del Boy? If wit were TNT, he wouldn’t have enough to blow his head off. And polemicist? He’s just a whining, sneering clown. But do go on.
“None of us want our countryside despoiled. We rightly cherish Britain's green and pleasant land. Conservatives believe in conserving: the clue is in the name … But half-baked politically-driven theories such as man-made climate change should no longer be a barrier to Britain and the West providing the cheap energy on which our economic futures depend … We have wasted enough time appeasing tree-huggers and pot-smoking hippies who would prefer us to live in mud huts and communes eating organic lentils and tofu while singing folk tunes. We need some leadership. Now”. Yeah, right.
Irma - the aftermath ((c) Laura Bicker, BBC)
But then came Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 hurricane the size of the UK, barrelling its way across the Caribbean, accompanied by record wind speeds and leaving widespread destruction in its wake. Not only did the singularly repellent Rush Limbaugh, who had “told his national audience on Tuesday that he believed the press was hyping coverage of Hurricane Irma to ‘advance this climate change agenda’”, then decide to evacuate his Palm Beach mansion, even Donal Blaney had to stop and think.
Writing for Conservative Home, he told “The damage to the [British Virgin Islands] is catastrophic. At the time of writing, many roads are impassable, power is off, water is running out, phone lines are down and many homes have become uninhabitable. Lives has been lost and livelihoods ruined”. Appealing for donations to his fundraising initiative, he mused “It is at times like this that we in Britain realise truly how blessed we are not to live in an area of extreme weather”. But the penny may still not have dropped.
Irma comes after Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas coast. Following behind Irma is Hurricane José. In the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Katia is bringing more destruction. Warming oceans feed bigger and more destructive hurricanes - and more of them.
Donal Blaney has had his blinkered stupidity exposed for all to see - except, it seems, himself. Climate change has exacerbated the “extreme weather”. Hurricane season will only get worse with each passing year. It’s time he woke up and smelt the coffee.