by Jennifer Marohasy at wattsupwiththat.com
I watched the coronation of King Charles III last night with my 92-year-old mother. She is from the same generation as the late Queen Elizabeth II, both of them having lived through World War II in London. The air raids, the bombings, the not knowing if it was ever going to end. After days of rain, my mother still remembers waking up to clear skies on 6 June 1944 and to the drone of aircraft overhead.
My mother used to think the war would end with, ‘Hitler gassing us all in the bomb shelter at school.’ But as she remembers it:
The whole blue sky was covered in thousands of aircraft each one pulling a glider. Then came the broadcast on the wireless by Mr Churchill that the Allied troops had landed in Normanby. It was D-Day [Deliverance Day], and Europe was about to be liberated.
The D-Day landing had been postponed by two days because British Meteorologist James Stagg knew how to forecast the weather, enabling the Allies to take the Germans by surprise and stage the landing during a lull in the stormy weather. Otherwise, it may never have happened, or it could have been a failure, a casualty of bad weather. My mother could have been right after all, and the war may indeed have ended quite differently.
Meteorologist James Stagg understood the key variables affecting the weather (including lunar cycles) and he relied on a network of weather stations (mostly at post offices, including at Blacksod Point in the far west of Ireland) to provide information on temperatures and barometric pressure in order to provide accurate weather forecasting.
While the late Queen will always be remembered for never leaving London, even during the ‘Blitz’ – from the German term Blitzkrieg, this was the sustained campaign of aerial bombing attacks on British towns and cities from September 1940 to May 1941 – and being a part of the war effort more generally, the back story that King Charles has fostered is quite different. The new King’s story is all about him being one of the first to realise what he still believes is the real threat posed by human-caused climate change.
I read former Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex’s memoire Spare when it first came out, and at the same time The King by Christopher Andersen. In both books it becomes evident that despite tragedy after tragedy befalling his immediate family, and Harry perhaps needing some of his father’s time, if not access to therapy, Charles distracts himself by attempting to save the world from climate change.
When Camilla was ‘utterly devastated’ following the death of her brother in New York City, Charles apparently ‘continued to sound the alarm about global warming’. While on the one hand crediting his grandchildren for bringing the issue into sharper focus, Prince Charles missed his first grandson’s birthday instead opting to be part of a ‘saving squirrels from climate change’ campaign in Scotland.
Harry is not critical of any of this in his book, rather appearing in awe of his father’s ability to spend evening after evening reading IPCC white papers on climate change. Camilla, and William, with perhaps less of the warrior spirit so evident in Harry, are less enamoured with King Charles’s obsessions with environmental campaigning if you read between the lines in Christopher Andersen’s book.
So, it is perhaps in deference to the new King’s long-standing penchant for all things catastrophic climate-change, including a stoush with a denier, that the British tabloid newspaper The Guardian has included something on this topic among all the Coronation stories today. Of course, their climate-change article is big on politics while being misleading when it comes to the actual science.
It paints me as the leading protagonist and villain. While never articulating the essence of ‘the campaign’, the article is titled ‘Climate scientists first laughed at a bizarre campaign against the BoM – then came the harassment.’
The title reminded me of the famous quote from Mahatma Gandhi: ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’