People have died from Hurricane Irma, one on Barbuda and eight on the French side of the French/Dutch island of St Martin, so it’s no joking matter. The physical damage is immense, but there are few images of the kind that would suggest massive casualties, like Tsunami-type waves or the collapse of large buildings, and the few people on the streets in the telephone images we’re seeing from St Martin suggest no panic or large scale rescue efforts. The main call that’s coming out from residents on French TV is for the army to prevent pillaging of supermarkets. One resident said the biggest problem was keeping the kids amused with no TV due to power failure. We’ve seen aerial photos of solar panels torn from the roofs of a hotel, and the diesel powered electricity supply is down on both French islands of St Martin and St Barthélemy. A French spokesman for renewable energy group CLER on the rolling news channel BFMTV suggested that the failure of the diesel generators showed the need for a transition to renewable energy. He didn’t say exactly what he had in mind – wind turbines in underground bunkers?
Things might get much worse in more populous Haiti or Florida of course, for very different, contrasting reasons.
Meanwhile, thanks to the Guardian’s rolling news service, we have news from the British Virgin Islands, specifically from Virgin boss Richard Branson, who is on his private island of Necker and who wrote ahead of the storm that he, his family and staff would be staying in “a concrete wine cellar” as Irma passed.
Here’s an extract from the twitter conversation of his son Sam:
Glad to say that all humans on Necker are ok although a lot of buildings destroyed 😞 Very concerned for our friends and everyone on the neighbouring islands and people in its path. Please don’t take this hurricane lightly if it is heading your way. If your building is not very solid, do find somewhere safe! Homes can be rebuilt but lives can’t. Nature warning us again of the impact of #climatechange We must all do more to combat this.
I haven’t had the NEED to ever fly and the last time I chose to fly was totally for leisure reasons. India in 1995. My carbon footprint print is lower that hipocrites who lecture me about what I MUST do to prevent climate change. You haven’t a leg to stand on lecturing from your private island.
These reasons and more are why I choose to fly Virgin whenever, wherever I can and in Australia that can be costly but it’s also the only conscientious choice to make
Wine cellar ???? Gee Richard did you bring the island with you or just count your $$$???
So you are grounding all of the airplanes owned by virgin to combat climate change right?
Hope all your beautiful flamingos and lemurs are ok.. Some ignorant people we have in this world.
Holy freaking moron Batman, this guy thinks climate change causes hurricanes now. I guess you will have to buy yourself a bigger island huh. If only we could figure out a way to fly all of your planes and drive all of your cars carbon free. Maybe you created this hurricane huh? Idiot.
What about all the animals?
It’s phenomenal to me to watch all these negative comments about air travel and carbon footprint in regards to the Branson family. Try reading a book or investigating all the good the Branson’s as a whole have done for this world it’s actually quite impressive.