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Grenfell Tower and climate change

June 19th, 2017 · 1 Comment

A number of raving lunatics (is that too harsh a term …? probably not) are asserting that ‘climate alarmism’ (and other such delusional attack terms of those who understand climate science) is at fault for the horrific Grenfell Towers catastrophe.

Twisting arguments beyond pretzel logic, is an example

the coroner may as well scribble “cause of death: climate-change alarmism” on his report.

Before delving into these fossil-foolish muckrakers’ broadsides, some truthful analogies between Grenfell & (catastrophic) climate change. Both are

  • Preventable: expert opinion, knowledge, and advice provide(d) the tools to avoid the catastrophe.
  • Known: many voices warned/warning of risks.
  • Mired with financial and ideological self-interest driving myopia drowning out voices warning of the danger and undermining ability to execute solutions/actions to prevent the disaster.

Yes, there is an appropriate analogy between Grenfell Tower and climate change — alarmism, in both situation, highlighted/s real risks and offers paths to mitigating risks.

Perhaps the worst of these is by Ross Clark in the Daily Mail.  This immoral monstrosity of an ‘article’ blames climate change ‘extremism’ for the deadly fire with a false assertion  that climate change targets drove exaggerated energy efficiency targets using improper (unsafe) materials.  As dissected by Leo Hickman of Carbon Brief, these assertions are wrong on so many levels:

  • Climate change was an aside in the planning documents …
    • not central as asserted by Clark.
  • The project focused on energy efficiency (to save money) AND comfort

As Leo concluded:

to conclude, “green targets” are far from being the “key” driving force behind refurbishing public housing stock. Reducing fuel poverty as well as improving the personal comfort and health of residents are also key motivations, as the planning documents clearly state.

On points of fact — easily checked points of fact — Clark’s diatribe doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. As news reporting has come out (and an inquest will reveal far more …), the project seems to have cut corners and used non-fireproof materials for a miniscule short-term savings (and long-term disaster) and, through this process, residents and others had warned of inadequacies in the building renovation project.

Did an obsessive disdain for actual science and promotion of fossil foolish ideas lead to this disgusting article?

That there were warnings — that the problems weren’t secret — are being well covered and discussed.

The cause of the fire is so far unknown, but residents had previously raised concerns that a ‘catastrophic’ event could happen. An action group of Grenfell residents said their warnings fell on “deaf ears” after highlighting safety concerns about the block.

The group said there was one entry and exit to Grenfell Tower during improvement works at the block in Latimer Road and it had issues with evacuation procedures at the building.

Following the fire, the group posted: “All our warnings fell on deaf ears and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time.”

Regretfully, in terms of honest discourse about societal problems, Clark doesn’t stand alone. Here is Tony Parsons in the Sun:

Grenfell Tower is old. But this fire is the creation of the 21st Century, where politicians have placed climate change above families being burned alive. …

The residents of Grenfell Tower have been wickedly betrayed by everyone — contractors, the councillors who hired them, the politicians who placed establishing their virtue-signalling green credentials above human life.

Parsons is just as despicable in his deception as Clark … with his promotion of fossil-foolish science denial going to the point of falsely asserting that climate mitigation (rather than horrid business practice, cutting corners on contracting, bad design/execution) is at fault for Grenfell Towers’ victims.  Inaction on climate change is killing people and will directly/indirectly put 100s of millions (if not billions) of human lives at risk.  People like Clark and Parsons are leveraging tragedy in an effort to inhibit action to lessen even greater tragedies in the future. In the face of that, is raving lunatic too harsh a term?

UPDATE:  See also Koch operatives (mis)using Grenfell Tower Tragedy to advance anti-green/anti-regulation narrative.

the US is unlikely to see a fire like this.

The reason? [the Koch operative] doesn’t say it outright, but he does paraphrase a fire expert who said that the “U.S. localities have developed strict fire safety testing programs and building codes to mitigate fire risks.”

In other words: regulations.

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Tags: anti-science syndrome

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