PM Tony Blair grins and promises the "Greenest Olympics ever". No they can’t be or ever be the greenest Olympics if the full audit is done, as covered in Scottish Olympic Costs 20th January.
Mean while down on the south coast somebody has parked a 80,000 tonne ship on the beach. Providing a major attraction for a group of people that under went a spectrum of descriptions. Starting as beachcombers, then to scavengers, finally to looters. Why were they there? The reason was because no one else was. No police, no coastguard, no army, no anybody. No Government or other overall authority at all.
What were we told through the media? An 80,000 tonne ship has run aground on the south coast but it is thought that it is ‘only’ carrying 150 containers of toxic or dangerous material, (and 3500 tonnes of heavy fuel oil). It is reassuring that the ships manifest details exactly what it is carrying. This means that if a ship manifest doesn’t say it is carrying cocaine or heroin or illegal immigrants, then the Customs won’t need to look. A massive ship ‘only’ carrying 150 containers of dangerous materials, beached and aground, went totally missed by the radar of the Government and the opposition parties.
"Talk is cheap but Whisky costs money", as my friend Martin would say, and in this case Galore. The MSC Napoli has torpedoed the thin veneer of political pretence of concern over the environment.
While Tony smiles and glad hands on a PR and photo opportunity desperately trying to improve the image of an out of control Olympic budget, pantomime takes over.
"It’s behind you". Shout the audience.
"What". Says Tony.
"It’s behind you".
"Gosh", says Tony looking over his shoulder, "an 80,000 tonne ship left on a beach unattended, where did that come from?"
So does the PM still think he can still be a world leader with any credibility on global environmental issues. "Oh you're the guy who forgot about the ship on the beach, what did you want to lecture us about, climate change was it?
The Government could have had an applied planetary engineering centre at the Millennium Dome that would co-ordinate events like this as well as providing the solutions to climate change. but gambled on a casino instead, as part of costly sport event. While explaining how 'green' it is, completely miss the environmental agenda basking on a beach. Where is the opposition, where is the media analysis. Environment has a long way to go before it is taken seriously by either the politicians or the media. Beware the dangerous obsession with climate change.
The Torrey Canyon Disaster 1967 One reason some of us put the environment first, these were some of the events that made us what we are.