The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

waiting for a hurricane

As a large storm system advanced across the Carribean last week I couldn't help noticing some panicky bathos in the reportage.
All the English language news services seemed to be gripped by a sort of hysteria.
The presenters were emoting like Captain Kirk.
It struck me that they might perhaps be exaggerating a little.
As the "biggest storm ever" advanced into Florida, the good burghers of Euronews were still claiming it was a Category Four storm while the cool Gallic exaggerateurs of France 24 were trying to excite us with breathless descriptions of "un tres grand vent" which they admitted had quickly decreased to a slightly less dramatic Category Two.
Well which was it?
People died.
As they do when Continental weather systems bouleverse a region.
But it seemed to me that the continual proclamation: "This is the biggest storm ever," was a bit of a stretcher.
I remember Hurricane Katrina in the year 2005 killing around 1500 people in New Orleans and surrounding areas.
From that point of view by the grace of God, this thing we had last week didn't come close.
A monsoon storm in Pakistan in 2010 flooded great swathes of that country (although it did not cause any noticeable interruption to Pakistan's vital Jihad and nuclear weapons industries).
The Pakistanis claim that a fifth of the country was flooded and 1700 people died.
Even allowing for standard Pakistani Islamist exaggerations when seeking free money from the international community (with whom they're waging continuous Jihad war lest we forget) we might still postulate that what happened in Pakistan was genuinely "big," and not just big in the CNN/Fox News/CBS/NBC/ABC/BBC sense of that word, (ie small).
Clearly this month's storm Irma in Florida and storm Harvey in Texas, both of which CNN has been trumpeting as something kin to the apocalypse, resulted in far less deaths and flooding than either Katrina or the Pakistani monsoon of recent memory.
My own view is that the news channels are turning every storm into the "worst ever" by choosing a particular metric, in Irma's case the width of the storm area, in Harvey's the rainfall, in order to dramatise it into the worst ever.
The media networks are doing this gentle travellers of the internet because they want you to believe in an arcane little fiction they call Climate Change.
I am not understating the storms the Americans have lived through in the past few weeks.
Nor am I diminishing the hardship, tragedy and death arising from any hurricane.
I am though accusing CNN, the BBC, and their ilk, of spuriously inflating the actual effects and possible effects of these storms in the interests of promoting a Climate Change agenda.
I think they should call the next hurricane Storm Anderson Cooper.
After all is said and done Anderson Cooper of CNN was to the fore in the hyperbole stakes and he along with the rest of them finally succeeded in panicking the Governor of Florida into evacuating six million people from the State.
I'd say if you tallied up the car accidents and heart attacks, the evacuation probably killed more people than the storm.


Footnote 13th September 2017: The official death toll in Florida is going up and down between six and twelve people depending on which agency is making the claims. It seems the authorities are desperate to prove someone (anyone) actually died as a direct result of the hurricane that led those same authorities to issue an evacuation order for six million people. What has become clear is that fully half of the twelve deaths currently being claimed for Hurricane Irma occurred in road traffic accidents. At least one other death was a heart attack. No disrespect to "the biggest storm of all time" but I'm beginning to wonder did it actually kill anyone.


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