Posted on 13th August 2022

It is hard this week to write about, no less think about, anything without feeling the heat. The last time I encountered something like this was in 1976 when I gave up my publishing job in London to return home to Slane and started a new chapter in my life. Then, like now, weather dominated everything. Hyde Park is like a dust-bowl but the Hill-of-Slane has yet to turn brown.

Distant view of Slane Castle

The grasslands in Ireland are going brown but hopefully Sunday will bless us with some rain. Thank God for our temperate climate and our geographical location. The cardinal difference between then and now is climate change. What is profoundly shocking was the behaviour in the intervening period of Big Oil and that giant of American capitalism ExxonMobil in particular. I have to thank the BBC for bringing the deeply disturbing facts surrounding this issue to our attention in that excellent series “ Big Oil v The World”. To put this in context, by 1977 a Senior Scientist at Exxon, James Black, told company executives that the burning of fossil fuels was most likely contributing to climate change. That should have set alarm bells ringing all over the place. Instead in the case of Exxon you saw a pattern of denial and downright opposition to measures to be introduced to curb green house gas emissions. It is utterly sickening – think of the time lost. Instead you see greed threatening the very future of our planet. It can only be described as a crime against humanity, indeed against life itself. So no wonder somebody talking to me during the week used the term Biblical about the weather. For me I will pray for rain.

So finally the war in Ukraine comes back to where it began, with the annexation of Crimea in 2014. This week there’s a holiday traffic jam, but this time it was caused by Russian holiday makers fleeing for home after a series of explosions which destroyed up to 9 aircraft at Saky military base. This is either attributable to a precision strike by long-range weapons or Ukrainian Special Forces combined with local partisans. None of this will have amused Vlad the Bad and his cronies. Indeed, former President and Putin-puppet Dmitry Medvedev, warned last month that “judgement day will instantly await” if the Ukrainians hit Crimea. This week President Zelensky said “ This Russian war began with Crimea and must end with Crimea – with its liberation”. One gets the impression that the war might finally be moving in the Ukrainian’s favour, as in addition to the Himars rocket systems supplied by the U.S., the Brits are now providing extra m270 rocket launchers with a range of 50 miles. The troops that are going to operate these weapons have been in the UK for training to help them maximise the effectiveness of the weapons. Meanwhile Vlad the Bad is making frantic efforts to recruit additional troops. Keep in mind the Russian losses are enormous. They probably amount to 80,000 killed or wounded. That is equivalent to wiping out the British army. He is a truly evil man whose ambitions have inflicted a terrible price on the Russian people.

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