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HomeClimate WatchThe climate scaremongers: Luton Airport fire is a stark warning about EVs

The climate scaremongers: Luton Airport fire is a stark warning about EVs

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THE blaze which closed Luton Airport last week was declared a ‘major incident’ just an hour after the first 999 calls came through. It’s lucky that it was not a catastrophe.

The fire started at about 8.45pm on Tuesday October 10 in a multi-storey car park. By the time the fire service got there ten minutes later, it had already spread out of control. According to the local fire chief, when his crews arrived they were faced with ‘a rapidly developing and escalating fire, involving a large number of vehicles spread across a number of floors’.

About 1,500 cars were parked there at the time, and it is unlikely any will be salvageable.

It is reported that the fire started in a Range Rover diesel, but it is abundantly clear that the rapid spread of the fire, and the multiple explosions, could have been due only to one or more electric cars (EVs) catching fire.

These two video footages give some idea of the ferocity of the fire. In the first, you can see and hear one of the blasts, while the second shows how one of the ceilings collapsed with burning wreckage falling through:

Only intense heat could have caused the floor to fail in that way.

There was a previous fire incident at a multi-storey car park in Liverpool in 2016, which destroyed a similar number of cars. But the subsequent report by the Merseyside Fire Service reveals some significant differences. For a start, it was about two hours after the 999 calls that the Merseyside fire spread out of control, in contrast to the ten minutes at Luton.

The Merseyside report also found that the fire spread via ‘running fuel fires’. In other words, as one car caught fire, its burning petrol escaped and set the next car alight. That meant that the fire spread relatively slowly, unlike the Luton fire. After the first hour in Liverpool, the fire still only affected two rows of cars, according to the report. It spread to floors below as burning fuel descended through the drainage system, whereas the whole floor at Luton simply collapsed, allowing burning cars to fall through.

One of the recommendations by Merseyside Fire Service was that sprinkler systems should be the norm. For some reason, this was never acted upon by Luton Airport. However, while sprinklers can contain normal fires, they are worse than useless in an electrical fire. Far from putting it out, water makes it worse.

A car park at Sydney Airport had an EV car fire just a month ago. Fortunately it was an outside car park, but the EV battery fire still destroyed five cars. 

The Luton fire spread so far and so quickly that it was extremely fortunate that no lives were lost. How much worse it would have been with a floor full of EVs, as will soon be the case. If you think that’s bad enough, just imagine the carnage if a similar fire broke out in an underground car park beneath a block of flats.

The government must act immediately to ban all EVs from multi-storey and underground parks. But of course it won’t, because it would be an admission of failure.

Has the ONS been leaned on to ‘prove’ that hot weather kills?

A STUDY from the Office for National Statistics claims that more than 50,000 have died in England and Wales since 1988 because of ‘extreme heat’.

According to the BBCThere have been more than 50,000 heat-related deaths and more than 200,000 related to cold in England and Wales since 1988, new official figures show. The Office for National Statistics said very low and very high temperatures both increased the risk of death. And although cold is the bigger killer, the ONS said heat-related deaths appeared to have risen in recent years. Some 4,507 deaths were estimated to be linked to heat in England last year – when temperatures topped 40C.’

There are a number of issues with this study. For a start, the claim of 50,000 heat deaths since 1988 works out at 1,400 a year. Out of total annual deaths of around 600,000, this figure is tiny and cannot be regarded as statistically meaningful.

There is also the fact that according to the ONS themselves, excess winter deaths have been running at around 30,000 a year since the 1980s. Plainly the new claim of a total of 200,000 cold-related deaths since 1988 is a woeful underestimate, which raises the question of the legitimacy of this study.

More fundamental is that the number of deaths in summer is always by far the lowest of all seasons, this year being no exception:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/monthlyfiguresondeathsregisteredbyareaofusualresidence

If heat is killing people in summer, what on earth is killing them in spring and autumn? Mild weather?

The ONS include this note in the new report:

Interestingly, that earlier study stated: ‘We found relatively little increase in deaths caused by warmer weather and a reduction in deaths caused by cold winters, leading to a net decrease in deaths; in contrast, there was a net increase in hospital admissions linked to warmer weather, especially from injuries. Previous research has linked warmer weather to injuries from outdoor activities, increased violence and mental health problems.’

That message could not have been clearer: a warmer climate has saved lives. But that was not the message the government wanted, so they told the ONS to go back and produce ‘the right result’.

So what has changed?

The new study examines spikes in daily deaths on days with either extremely high or low temperatures, and counts these ‘excess deaths’.

However last year the ONS published a report into excess mortality during that summer’s heatwaves. It too found excess deaths on the hottest days, but crucially the report stated:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/articles/excessmortalityduringheatperiods/englandandwales1juneto31august2022

In short, people may have died a few days earlier than they would otherwise. But the heat did not kill them at all – they were dying anyway, and the heat was no more than a trigger, just as a bit of cold or wet weather could have been. Over the summer as a whole, the number of deaths was no higher than usual.

Disgracefully, there is not a single mention of this fact in the new report, and its omission means that the report’s findings are grossly misleading. This of course explains why the overall mortality rates in summer as a whole remain lower than other seasons, as they are not affected at all by daily spikes. On the contrary, in winter the cold and damp weather kills relentlessly throughout the season.

It seems clear to me that the ONS have been leaned on by the government to come up with some dodgy statistics to ‘prove’ that hot weather kills to scare the public into accepting Net Zero policies.

The ONS even warn that ‘any change in climate towards more extreme temperatures would likely lead to an increase in attributable deaths’. But why would a warmer climate lead to more extreme temperatures, as a warmer climate would mean fewer extreme cold days? Statistically, the whole idea is absurd. And statistics is after all what the ONS is supposed to be about! They must know full well that a warmer climate will reduce winter excess deaths in the UK. So why are they lying about it?

Thanks to the complicit media, the government has got the headlines it wanted. But in the process, the ONS has lost a little bit of its credibility and trustworthiness.

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Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood
Paul Homewood is a former accountant who blogs about climate change at Not a Lot of People Know That

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