The World According To Damien
in a World gone mad – one sane voice emerges…

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.


6 Responses to “Damien on… The 1987 Climate Shift”

  1. I did a Comment here yesterday but it disappeared as my finger slipped onto the back-a-page key. All I said was nothing is new under Sol. Ice Ages (we are still in one they tell us, and I believe them) are mega variations. At the other end of the scale are the tiny variations as a cloud blots your sunshine for a minute. In between is a whole range of zig-zags upon zig-zags, not quite ad infinitum but our human lifetime is bigger than many but smaller than most. Modern news media gives celebrity status to every crazy theory, anthropogenic climate variation being just another.

  2. I just don’t KNOW about this one. The Med has filled and emptied several times. Various species have come and gone. Catastastrophs have occurred …And the World has gone on regardless.

    But more recently, because of US, megatons of Industrial Age smoke turned white butterflies grey. And 9/11’s grounding of planes had an effect. I recall waking near Schiphol, early one cool morning and seeing the sky criss-crossed with vapour trails. It looked like a giant game of Noughts And Crosses.

    So HAVE we pushed this planet beyond the point that WE can survive on it? Like I said – I just don’t KNOW…

  3. I believe volcanism will continue to chuck muck aloft and have it cleared away effortlessly by Earth’s systems. I do NOT believe that we need to ban cars, trucks, and jets. I DO believe we need to clean up air, water, and soil just for its own sake. The recent Iceland volcano stopped jets and gave us blue skies. The vapour trails which renewed a week later are, I understand, just water vapour bonding to the particles. Sounds good.

  4. PS I too noticed the moving of Flaming June (a week of hot sun which UK calls summer) to May.

  5. Have you noticed that at this time of year everything anyone writes (well you and Cy anyway) reminds me of something to do with the annual Barclays Bank Sea Fishing Match?

    Two weeks after the 1987 gale my fishing buddies and I were in Hastings – the South Coast copped it far harder than the North!

    Because of the shortages of repair materials the hotel we were using still had a tarpaulin in place of its roof which had collapsed in the storm and carried a couple sleeping on the top floor down several levels until they were stopped by the ceiling of a strongroom belonging to a Bank on the ground flour.

    The man died but his wife became entangled in the mattress on the way down and survived.

    We didn’t know about THAT at the time and OUR sufferings were limited to rainwater running through the electric conduits (we used our paraffin lamps rather than touch the switches!) and the fact that the dining room had no windows whatsoever! Draughty!

    At home in Chelmsford the damage I had to cope with was limited to one woven fence panel which blew out like a safety valve leaving the rest standing!


  6. I think the “corridor” of the 1987 Big Blow was fairly TIGHT. I was living in Basildon (if you can CALL it living, in Basildon) at the time – and from there to Southend, the devastation was complete.

    From that area (if my addled memory serves) the corridor went south-west, down to the middle of the South Coast. Thus, despite Chelmsford only being ten miles from Basildon, I can understand if it was relatively untouched.

    Incidentally, lest ye should think me brilliant (or SAD) for REMEMBERING that distance – I just opened a second Window and Googled “distance from Chelmsford to Basildon” and VOILA! Wonderful, this Interweb!!

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