Damien on… The 1987 Climate Shift
I’ll never forget the night of the 15th October, 1987. It was the night a HURRICANE hit Britain – the size of which had not been seen for centuries (although, a few years later, it would happen again).
I was one of the few people who actually SAW it – since it occurred during the small hours of October the 16th. I was taking a late bath – and having the traditional SMALL British bathroom, had opened the window for some fresh air.
But as time went by, the fresh air got fresher. And FRESHER. The note of the wind rose. And ROSE. And… Holy crap! I thought. The bathroom curtain was now HORIZONTAL.
Towelling off, I approached the window – and saw bits of tree blowing past it. As I poked my head out, it was like poking one’s head out of the window of an Inter-City 125. This was SERIOUS wind.
I watched the havoc for a while, but eventually the note began to drop – so I repaired to bed.
In the morning, I turned on the radio in time to hear the announcer remark that Sevenoaks had now become ONEoak. He then went on to describe the catalogue of disaster that had befallen southern Britain. He finished by reading out a government recommendation to stay at HOME.
But, not wishing to piss off my lords and masters (not to mention I was curious to SEE the devastation) I rang my company. At that time, I was a service engineer and the company told me there was one job near me at Southend and that if I could reach it, that would be nice – but to take it EASY.
So off I went. The first thing I noticed, upon leaving the house, were the walls and trees that had been FLATTENED last night. There were not many cars about and it did not take long to discover why – there were trees down EVERYWHERE. Fifteen MILLION, I later learned.
After slowly picking my way around them, I eventually arrived at Southend. My abiding memory of that day was a standard, two-storey brick building which had had its entire outer wall RIPPED away, by suction. It looked like a dolls-house with the front open.
But it was about three years later before I realised this was not an isolated incident. After the Summer of ’90 had begun in late June and ended in early July, I got a hunch. I booked my ’91 holiday for the same period.
People thought I was nuts – and booked theirs for the conventional August.
Next year, I was the ONLY employee who enjoyed a SUNNY British holiday.
As those early Nineties progressed, I noticed the strange weather was not being limited to Britain. And when finally there was a twelve-month period where, EVERY month, somewhere in the World an extreme weather record that had stood “since records began” had been SMASHED – I realised Something Was Up.
I began to tell people that in my view – there had been a World-Wide Climate Shift – but I might as well have tried telling them the sky was falling. I began to understand how Galileo must have felt.
But eventually, others began to notice things had changed (when they are up to their arses in water, even BRITS wake up). Rain in deserts, mudslides where they had never happened before – the sort of things that GET noticed.
In time, questions began to be asked.
But for several years, the weathermen (despite their technology, they are as reliable as astrologers – you cannot predict the weather) trotted out their lame anecdotes of MINOR decade-shifts – and claimed people only remember extreme weather.
While the government stayed shtum about the whole business. Finally, they began saying there MIGHT have been a shift. But by that time, the TV companies had no DOUBT – and began making PROGRAMMES about it, stating it as FACT.
However, it was now SIX YEARS after THIS reporter began HIS claims (it IS nice to be able to say – “I TOLD you so!”). My only regret is I did not start WRITING until 1994 – so I have no PROOF.
But I still KNOW I was right – and it was ME who gave it its name…
The 1987 Climate Shift.