–Scoring points from Grenfell fire (26/06/2017)

June 29, 2017

But now to more sombre matters and the terrible London fire in which 79 people lost their lives.

New pictures emerged last week of some of the burnt-out apartments, showing the devastation inside.

And also of firemen heading to the blaze and seeing it for the first time.

Mate, it’s Towering Inferno, innit?
How is that possible?
It’s jumped up all the way along the flats, look.
How the f*** is that even possible?
How does that happen?

— ABC News, Online, 20 June, 2017

And that is the question the whole of Britain is now asking.

But luckily News Corp’s fire expert Miranda Devine already has the answer:

Innocents burnt in the flames of green ideology

YOU can’t overlook the deadly green ideas that contributed to the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in London.

— Daily Telegraph, 18 June, 2017

Yes, Miranda Devine reckons it was green ideology and deadly green ideas that caused at least 79 people to be burnt to a cinder and scores more to be scarred for life.

It’s hard to see how you could sink much lower than writing stuff like that.

But next day in News Corp’s Courier-Mail, her fellow right-wing warrior, Rowan Dean, managed to do so, telling readers:

The towering, deadly inferno in London is an extreme, but apt, metaphor for climate change alarmism and progressive politics.

— The Courier-Mail, 19 June, 2017

And adding:

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

— The Courier-Mail, 19 June, 2017

So what was Dean’s evidence for this extraordinary claim?

Well, as he’d put it the previous day to a nodding Piers Akerman on Sky’s Outsiders, climate zealotry had to be to blame, because:

ROWAN DEAN: There’s no other rational explanation for why this building went up like a tinderbox, like a Roman candle.

— Sky News, The Outsiders, 18 June, 2017

Well, actually, Rowan, a very simple explanation had already been offered.

The cladding added to Grenfell Tower in recent renovations contained a plastic core which was extremely flammable.

And it’s possible it wasn’t installed correctly, which helped spread the fire rapidly up the outside of the building.

As one lucky 17th floor resident who escaped the inferno told Channel 4:

EYEWITNESS: … I see the fire blazing and coming up really fast because of the cladding. The cladding was flammable and it just caught up like a matchstick.

— Channel 4 News, 14 June, 2017

For that very reason, according to several building experts and British government ministers, that particular cladding should not have been used on a multi-storey block:

PHILIP HAMMOND: Well again, my understanding is that the cladding in question, this flammable cladding, which is banned in Europe and the US, is also banned here. That’s my understanding.

— BBC News, 18 June, 2017

Miranda Devine told her readers that this flammable cladding, which she and Dean both labelled ‘green-energy’ cladding, was added to Grenfell Tower:

… to achieve green ticks in the carbon-obsessed British regulatory system.

— Daily Telegraph, 18 June, 2017

But that is just plain wrong.

As the planning application for renovations shows, the primary driver behind the refurbishment was to reduce excessive heat loss during the winter months.

Or, put simply, to cut heating bills and keep people warm.

That’s irrelevant anyway, because fireproof cladding was also available and could have done the job just as well:

Grenfell Tower: fire-resistant cladding is just £5,000 more expensive

Grenfell Tower refurbishers would have needed less than £5,000 to upgrade the building’s external panels to a fire-resistant version …

— The Times, 16 June, 2017

But don’t let the facts or a few dead bodies get in the way of making cheap political points.

And don’t let’s dwell on the other key reasons why people were trapped in the blaze.

EYEWITNESS: There was no fire alarms, anywhere, because we don’t have a kind of integrated fire alarm system, it’s just everyone’s house for itself …

— Channel 4 News, 14 June, 2017

Grenfell Tower also had no sprinklers, no smoke alarms and only one staircase.

But Rowan Dean had another reason why climate zealots have blood on their hands. As he told Courier-Mail readers:

… the fire appears to have been started by a fridge that exploded thanks to its “environmentally friendly” coolant …

— The Courier-Mail, 19 June, 2017

Again, this was something he and Akerman had been kicking about on Outsiders the previous day:

ROWAN DEAN: So it could be that the, it could be, we’re not saying it is…

PIERS AKERMAN: It could be that the initial explosion was caused by a green refrigerant.

— Sky News, The Outsiders, 18 June, 2017

Well it could be. Even if they were quote not saying it is—a weasel get-out if ever I heard one.

And back in 2009 Britain’s Daily Mail and America’s Fox News certainly claimed it was a problem.

Alert over new wave of exploding fridges caused by ‘environmentally-friendly coolant’

— Daily Mail, 1 September, 2009

But that claim was hotly disputed at the time and, as even the Mail acknowledged, there are hundreds of millions of these fridges and these incidents are very, very rare.

What’s more in the Grenfell fire, while a fridge freezer did start the blaze no one has yet suggested that green coolant was to blame.

Indeed, the London Fire Brigade warned last year that there is:

… one fire a day in the capital involving white goods such as dishwashers, washing machines, tumble dryers, fridges and freezers.

In 90 per cent of cases, the cause was a fault in the appliance or its electrical supply

— Daily Mail, 14 June, 2017

And, yes, that includes electricity produced by coal.

All in all, Dean, Devine and Akerman have excelled themselves.

For cheap, nasty, tasteless political shots you really could not do much better.



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