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2020 Jan 04 - Australian Wildfires

20200104
It's 2020, a new year, and a lot of people have a new years resolution to stop drinking for January but it seems that the country of Australia have massively misunderstood what the term 'Dry January' means as a tinderbox of dry undergrowth has contributed to some of the worst wildfires in recent history. Looking over the headline claims there's death, hundreds of millions of dollars of damage, vast clouds of smoke visible from space and scenes resembling something out of Mad Max. Certainly this was probably not what people were expecting last year at Edgbaston when they chanted and gloated about Australia retaining the Ashes in 2020.

But of course the real crux of this story inevitable turns to whether this tragedy was man-made and I saw someone on the internet commenting that if that's how hot and arid the weather is in January, imagine how bad it could be in the summer, completely ignoring of course the this IS the summer in the southern hemisphere. Probably one of the few good thing about this particular disaster is that it's about a month's journey by sea to get to Australia so it's unlikely that we'll see Greta Thunberg sailing out there. Nonetheless, I think it's important to add that this fire was very much man made. A hundred years ago, people used to actively manage the forest, the aboriginal people recognised that you needed to start small fires to burn away the undergrowth, otherwise you'd create a nationwide tinderbox that burnt faster and fiercer than the chicken phall that my old curry house in Durham used to make. A dish that ironically was best put out with a pint of Fosters or Castlemaine XXXX.

What we do know for sure is there's a lot more urban development and stuff to burn down than the last time Australia last had a fire like this, and thus the damage (in terms of dollars) will be higher by definition, because there's more nowadays to physically destroy and not because of climate change. Probably the saddest part to the story is that if a huge rainstorm were to gather and douse the flames in the next few days, it would be declared unusual, perhaps "unseasonal" and get the climate protestors more excited than the time that failed presidential candidate Al Gore decided to go on tour promoting a conspiracy theory that actually had nothing to do Russia. Lesson there for you Hilary.
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2019 Aug 24 - Fires in Brazil

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This week the French President met with the British Prime Minister and faced a number of domestic issues and so it was with little surprise that many news outlets decided to show all the investigative integrity of Fred West's gardener and instead they focused on a vacuous tweet he made about the fires currently raging in the Amazon.

The comment in question was about a number of admittedly under-reported fires in Brazil, although the press didn't seem to mind when the Olympics were being held in ......

2019 Jun 29 - European Heatwave

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This week in Southern Europe, the wave of political populism gave way to the wave of heat, a heat wave, as temperatures crept high enough that the trees are beckoning dogs over to them. Yes, the mercury in the thermometers would be rising to the top, if the EU hadn't banned the use of mercury thermometers years ago. Remember that supposedly silly scene in the 4th Indiana Jones movie where he climbs into a lead-lined fridge, well that seems like a sensible idea now, it's probably quite cold in th ......

2019 Apr 20 - Notre Dame & London Protests

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This week started with the sad news that a fire had almost led to the destruction of Notre Dame, and certainly Quasimodo will have to spend the next couple of years living on the Phantom of the Opera's sofa. The atrocity drove to people around the world pledging hundreds of millions of Euros to rebuild and President Macron says it may be rebuilt in just a couple of years, presumably because there's an election in 2022 and he'd like to reopen the cathedral as a last act of office before he's kick ......

2018 Sep 15 - Hurricane Florence & 2 Russian Spies

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It's once again tropical storm season with Hurricane Florence crashing into America's east coast like Mel Gibson in the parking lot outside a liquor store. In addition to the loss of life and the economic impact of the storm, the property damage alone is estimated to be $170bn and you have to remember that that's just the initial quote the repairman gave. So bear that in mind when you look at the pictures of mobile homes and trailers which have been for whatever reason, remained firmly in place ......

2018 Jul 29 - Fires

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The news has been a bit quiet this week in the world of politics although former cricketer Imran Khan won an election and will be in charge of Pakistan if such a thing were in any way possible. But this is the age of celebrity of course where sportsmen become politicians, tv reality show host Donald Trump became the US President and the UK has a prime minister who frankly wouldn't look out of place on Countdown's Dictionary Corner, managing to somehow still misspell things and insist that her an ......

2018 Mar 03 - Snow and Brexit

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It's snow joking matter, the UK's been so cold that pickpockets have been keeping their hands in their pockets and the counter-terrorism police have considered extending their remit to combat both ISIS as well as just regular Ice.

It's been a while since the UK last had a winter, nearly a year in fact and as usual their's the shots of slow moving motorways, roving reporters wandering deserted small town high streets and my favourite, the shot of hundreds of children sledging and hanging out at ......

2017 Sep 07 - Hurricanes and Jeremy Corbyn

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Not content with the damage it’s already done to the ExxonMobil share price, the Caribbean has another three storms moving in; the latest one (Hurricane Irma) has pretty much wiped out Barbuda and Hurricanes Jose and Katia are forming out at sea. I suppose hurricanes come in 3 or 4s like busses, although if I was a cyclist I’d frankly rather take my chances with hurricane Irma than take on a Bendy Bus.

The names of these storms by the way are preassigned and go up alphabetically, earlier in ......

2017 Aug 30 - Hurricane Harvey

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I decided to stay inside and draw today because it’s raining outside but for real rain we have to go to the US because everything is as they say “bigger in Texas” with the possible exceptions of tax rates and tolerance for firearm legislation. This week Hurricane Harvey has been doing far more damage to Houston than North Korea could ever hope to. It’s a real shame that Kim Jong Un didn’t just dress up like Blofeld and put out a videos claiming that he was responsible and that they’d ......

2017 Jul 28 - Banning petrol cars by 2040 plus Brexit

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One of the problems with making promises is that you tend to be held to account, so this week we saw a promise about getting rid of petrol and diesel cars by the tear 2040. That’s 23 years from now when a lot of the politicians will be retired, deceased, rotting in a club in St James’ or simply arguing about how many more leadership elections it will take to oust Jeremy Corbyn. Given how electric cars have been coming along though it’s all fairly silly really, there’s an expression that ......

2017 Jun 03 - Trump pulls out of the Paris Agreement

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There was utterly shocking news this week when a politician actually did something he’d promised to when running for office. Nick Clegg said it was madness and that he should have done the exact opposite of what he promised like you’re supposed to. Just look at David Cameron – he promised a referendum to get Britain out of the EU and when he managed to accidentally deliver on Brexit he resigned in shame and left politics.

Agree with Paris or not (and we’ll get to that later) President T ......