Tag Archives: Ireland

Jan 8, 1979: The oil tanker Betelgeuse explodes in Ireland

At around 1am on 8 January 1979, the oil tanker Betelgeuse exploded in West Cork, Ireland. Fifty people died in the explosion and fire, with only 27 bodies recovered. During the salvage operation a Dutch diver died. [wikipedia]

Context: We don’t see it, do we? The people who die mining the coal, or moving the oil from there to here. A measure of our “civilisation” is the invisibility of the energy we use.

Meanwhile, the satirical newspaper The Onion is, as ever, your most reliable source…

jan8onionmillionsofbarrels

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

Jan 6: Devastating weather event hits Dublin

On January 6th, known as “The Night of the Big Wind”, a “powerful European windstorm … swept without warning across Ireland, causing severe damage to property and several hundred deaths; 20% to 25% of houses in north Dublin were damaged or destroyed, and 42 ships were wrecked.” [wikipedia]

Context: Don’t remember that? Well, go easy on yourself, it happened in 1839…

Now, this is a favourite trick of denialists. They point to these sorts of events and say “bad weather happens” as if people who “believe” in climate change were ignorant of the fact. Battles over “attribution” are something this site will return to when it commemorates the attacks on Ben Santer and the second IPCC report of 1995/6, which used the word “discernible”.

As James Hansen tried to explain in the late 80s with his model dice that he took to Congress, what we are doing with climate change is painting extra dots on some of the faces. Alea iacta est and all that…

See our “Attribution” page for more quotes.

As ever, see the disclaimers, help the project and comments policy.

See also:
Professor Steven Sherwood has some interesting things to say about all this.