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Article posted Aug 02 2010, 2:01 PM Category: Commentary Source: James Delingpole Print

So I was right about the BP oil spill

By James Delingpole, The Telegraph

“There’s nothing the greens like more than a nice, juicy oil spill disaster”, I wrote seven weeks ago, in a blog arguing that the environmental damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon disaster was being talked up by green activists like Barack Obama in order to advance an eco-fascist agenda and that really, in the great scheme of things, this spill was as nothing compared to, say, the quantities of oil pumped into the oceans during World War II every time an oil tanker was torpedoed.

At the time, what with all those Louisiana fishermen apparently doomed never to work again and all those pelicans slowly expiring in brown gunk, this probably seemed a bit insensitive and provocatively contrararian. As insensitive and provocatively contrarian, perhaps, as the blog some cynical meanie – I forget his name – wrote at the beginning of the swine flu epidemic: “Journalist dies, oinking horribly, after failing to take swine flu seriously.”

But after all those stories in the papers about how Deepwater Horizon was the greatest ecological disaster in the history of ecological disasters what do I read in yesterday’s Telegraph? Why a story suggesting that the long-term damage caused by the spill is actually going to be pretty minimal.

Well no ****, Sherlock!

Look, I am not claiming to be the world’s greatest expert on oil rigs. Or swine flu, for that matter. But I do know a pattern when I see one, as indeed will anyone else who has read Richard North’s and Christopher Booker’s Scared To Death: How Scares Are Costing Us The Earth.

Whether it’s BSE or Sars or Swine Flu or the Millennium Bug or the Exxon Valdez or Deepwater Horizon or – the biggest con of the lot – “Man Made Global Warming”, the trajectory followed by these scares is exactly the same: a vaguely plausible threat gets exaggerated by journalists, publicity- and funding-hungry “experts” and activists to the point where it seems very real and captures the public imagination; in steps the government keen to be seen to doing something to address this urgent new public concern; vast sums of money are squandered to deal with this non-existent threat; the story moves on to a new scare (repeat ad infinitum); afterwards it emerges that the supposed threat wasn’t nearly as great as had been supposed but – yesterday’s Telegraph piece being an honourable exception – this is rarely reported because the story has moved on.

Remember how upset people were about the Torrey Canyon disaster, how it was going to ruin the English coastline for at least the next three thousand millennia? Well, no, hardly anyone does because after a year or two the beaches cleaned themselves up and it was as if the problem had never been. It will be the same with Deepwater Horizon. It will be the same, one day, with “Man Made Global Warming.”

Unfortunately, by the time that happens, the money will have been spent and the country ruined with wind farms. And all for the simple reason that our political class – and the majority of those who vote for them, unfortunately – have no grasp of history.

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