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Hurricanes and Tsunamis

7 January 2016

There still are global warming deniers in spite of the historic 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference agreement.

UKIP for example and Fox TV are seemingly united in requiring more evidence.

Donald Trump's conspiracy theory is that "the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive."

God save The United States of America and the planet from Donald Trump.

The warmest December ever in the UK has followed other warm winters generating ever worse flooding year on year.

The Paris agreement has been accepted by the US in 2015 but in 2004 such an agreement was unthinkable

More than a decade ago I met a large man with a large cigar on the roof of the Holiday Inn in Key West, Florida and had a conversation with him man to man on this subject. I learned that he was a retired army officer, and a global warming sceptic. I was neither.

I think of him every time this subject reappears on the news agenda.

This was my contemporary note of meeting the gentleman on the roof.

26 December 2004

Hurricanes and Tsunamis

Purchased Tennis balls and drove to Holiday Inn where there is a tennis court, and had a knock-up with Mrs. Monk.

Unfortunate wind storm stifled play. The Palm trees swayed.

Mrs. Monk was given advantage of wind, and I faced it. If I hit the ball with all my might the ball just about made it to Mrs. Monk. If I tried a defensive lob the ball would hang in the air like a gliding gull.

We soon gave up.

Returned to our hotel where Mrs. Monk re-established herself on a sun lounger alongside the pool.

I went to the top of the hotel where there is a viewing deck. The hotel is the tallest building in Key West, which is not saying much (just seven stories), but it does mean that you get a pretty good view of the island from there and especially the all important legendary sunsets.

It also means that if you are depressed and wish to end it all, then this is the building from which to throw yourself, as someone did the week before we arrived.

I was there on the roof to take a snap of Mrs. Monk on sun lounger below but I came upon a large man smoking a fat cigar who was the only other person on the roof deck. I think maybe he was there to enjoy his cigar away from the anti-smoking hotel lobby and critical eyes.

I apologised for invading his space, but since I am British, soon we were talking about Tony Blair, the Kyoto Agreement, Global Warming, Margaret Thatcher, Football, Rugby, and sunshine vacation escapes from Christmas and Iraq.

He was not at all didactic with his right wing agenda, and went out of his way not to appear to disagree with anything I said. A gentleman.


Waiting for the hotel lift, a hassled man came out of his room and was surprised to see me standing there and also a little embarrassed to hear his wife raising her voice in his room the other side of his door. He was dressed in shorts and a big floppy hat. He was tall and gangly and animated like Kramer in the Sienfield show.

I kept a dignified but embarrassed silence and wished for the lift to get there fast. He mumbled an explanation. I did not ask but he told me they had a room key malfunction. I told him we had the same problem and that Mrs Monk was given to licking the magnetic strip, and that seemed to do the trick.

Without hesitation he licked his key and put it back in the door.

Almost immediately the door opened but only because his incompletely dressed wife had opened it from the inside.

"What's going on?" She said.

She saw me standing there with her husband and immediately shut the door.

"I guess that didn't work" he said to me, not attempting to renew the experiment.

The lift arrived, and we made the short journey to the lobby without saying another word.

How this and other Florida stories appeared in 2004

Hurricanes and Tsunamis


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Global Warming and the large man smoking a fat cigar

#Florida #Globalwarming #floodaware