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Richard Branson Defies Sea Level Rise

December 24, 2018

By Paul Homewood

h/t Dennis Ambler

From the “Independent?”:


Does anybody look forward to that last day of holiday? The one where you’re kicked out of your fancy resort before noon, and then spend the rest of the day waiting for your transfer? Or the one where you spend the day at the beach and then have to sit on a flight with sand stuck in places it shouldn’t be?

It’ll come as no surprise that Sir Richard Branson has found a solution to the most unproblematic of holiday problems, and has opened a departure lounge, complete with check-in desk, on one of the Caribbean’s most popular beaches.

And so, now operating on Brownes Beach in Carlisle Bay, Barbados, is Virgin Holidays’ first ever Departure Beach – an innovative way to waste those last few hours of annual leave. Travellers check in at dedicated desks, picking up their boarding pass while they’re at it, before being granted access to a very slick beach club complete with showers, a toes-in-the-sand style bar and restaurant and direct access to the sea. Luggage is checked in at Brownes Beach, ready to pick up from the baggage belt at the final destination. Plus, guests get a free transfer from their hotel to Departure Beach, then onto the airport – where all that’s left to do is go through security…

The new concept was deemed so important to the holiday company that Sir Richard Branson himself had even flown in from his home on Necker Island in the nearby(ish) British Virgin Islands, alongside a bevvy of famous faces including DJ Maya Jama, Laura from Love Island and Pixie Lott. We were all sinking rum punches, with the exception of Sir Richard: when I asked what I should order at the bar, he told me he’s a “virgin guy” on the tropical punch.

Virgin Holidays’ managing director Joe Thompson hints that there may be other Departure Beaches rolled out across other islands, most likely in the Caribbean – although there are “no firm plans” right now.

That’s fine. On Brownes Beach in Barbados, we’ve got powdery sand, sun-loungers and that shimmering sea to enjoy on what feels like a proper last day of my holiday. The flight home has rarely felt further away.


Brownes Beach really is on the beach!




But what about the several feet of sea level rise we have been promised? Surely that will wipe out Richard Branson’s nice little earner?

The Independent? itself told us just a few years ago that rising sea levels caused by climate change are set to cause damage of billions of dollars to the islands states of the Caribbean by the middle of the century, including wiping out more than 300 premium tourist resorts.

Airports, power plants, roads and agricultural land in low-lying areas, as well as prime tourist locations on islands from Bermuda to Barbados, and from St Kitts and Nevis to St Vincent and the Grenadines, will be all be lost or severely damaged, with dire implications for national economies and for the welfare of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of people.


And the Independent? must be right, because Richard Branson himself told us so:

The work of Many Strong Voices (MSV) to help raise the profile of people in the Arctic and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and their struggle against climate change has gained the support of one of the world’s most influential business leaders.

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Airlines and a champion of green energy, has offered his support to MSV, which brings together the peoples of the Arctic and SIDS to meet the challenges of climate change.

"When it comes to climate change, arctic communities and small island states share similar struggles,” Branson said. “As they feel the impacts of rising sea levels and deteriorating coastal environments, organizations like Many Strong Voices collaborate, act and innovate to achieve lasting change.

“Their critical work fills the gap between those affected by adverse climate impacts and the political and business leaders focused on creating big picture solutions."

Branson has invested considerable time and money in supporting global initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the use of renewable resources and new technologies. Recently, he called on business leaders to take a stand against climate deniers.

Surely he wasn’t telling fibs all along? Or perhaps he fancies himself as the next King Canute!

  1. Ian Magness permalink
    December 24, 2018 10:45 am

    Thank you for this “Christmas Cracker” Paul – made my day.
    Thanks also for all your tireless work in 2018 – long may it continue.

  2. Mike Jackson permalink
    December 24, 2018 10:50 am

    Climatology = Hypocrisy

    The only alternative is that they are all stupid and nobody ever suggested Branson was stupid. (de Caprio, Westwood and Emma Thompson now, that’s a diffeent matter!)

    • Mike Jackson permalink
      December 24, 2018 10:56 am

      And can I add my good wishes for Christmas and a tentative wish for a Happy and Prosperous — and almost certainly eventful — New Year to you, Paul, and all my fellow posters on here.

      I detect a few straws in the wind and am optimistic enough to think there may just be a paradigm shift coming in my lifetime after all. Time to keep,the pressure on!

  3. Doug Shield permalink
    December 24, 2018 10:56 am

    And what about his proposed tourist trips to space by Virgin rocket? What’s the carbon footprint of that little enterprise. He’s a military grade hypocrit.

    • Derek Buxton permalink
      December 27, 2018 10:58 am

      Yes to that and he is not alone, no-carbon May is a serial offender along with the rest of the green blob.

  4. MrGrimNasty permalink
    December 24, 2018 11:54 am

    Lecturing us to limit our lifestyles to save the environment whilst profiting from massively environmentally damaging air travel and pointless space tourism for his ultra-elite pals.

    Yer, Branson really sounds like the sort of person we should listen to.

  5. Oliver King permalink
    December 24, 2018 12:59 pm

    I heard Branson on BBC News last week say that the UK had the largest GDP in the EU and since the Brexit vote it now had the smallest (yes I did a double take). It seems there isn’t a subject on which he can’t be spectacularly wrong.

    • dave permalink
      December 24, 2018 6:16 pm

      I never bother to listen to anything from either the BBC or Master Branson.

      However, here are some possibilities:

      (1) Perhaps you misheard him: perhaps he actually said that the rate of growth of UK (real) GDP has declined somewhat compared to that of other European countries. That is almost reasonable, but still an exaggeration, because several quite important countries such as Ireland and Romania already had much faster growth rates before the referendum than the UK.

      The fact is that the WHOLE of the EU is – fundamentally – stopped in the water. One would hope that, once out of their death clasp, the UK might get out of the economic and social doldrums. There is, at least, an opportunity to really look outwards for a change, which of course can be muffed like any other opportunity.

      (2) Perhaps he said it, but sort of meant to refer to those growth rates – in which case he is tediously sloppy (like politicians who can not educate themselves on the simple difference between ‘reducing the annual deficit’ and ‘shrinking the accumulated debt;’ the latter needing an annual SURPLUS).

      (3) He was saying it and believing it because sterling has gone down in the exchange markets, and so the notional value of the UK economy has gone down – which is plain silly, and fallacious economics.

      In any case, comparisons are odious, because they are essentially pointless.

  6. RAH permalink
    December 24, 2018 2:46 pm

    How can this be? The Maldives, all 1,100+ are still above the water. The China, India, and Saudi Arabia all have big bucks tied into them and land and housing prices there are going through the roof despite the claims of climate “scientists” that they would be sinking beneath waves by now.

  7. Silver Dynamite permalink
    December 24, 2018 2:57 pm

    I note that the bearded wonder had ‘flown in’ from his little island. The hypocrisy of these sanctimonious elitists is beyond parody.

    • dave permalink
      December 24, 2018 6:32 pm

      “…sanctimonious elitists…”

      He once said there was a bit of a panic on the first Virgin Airways flight to New York when they were told that some NY politicians, TOGETHER WITH THEIR POLICE GUARDS, were coming on board to welcome them; for he and his mates had filled Upper Class with marijuana smoke. He seemed to think this was a funny anecdote.

      More to his credit, in their early days, a flight was delayed by a day, and they put me up in a decent hotel, and Branson appeared in person to say “Mea Culpa.”

  8. The Informed Consumer permalink
    December 24, 2018 3:26 pm

    It’s all a cunning plan to lower the price of beachfront real estate so the likes of Branson, Di Caprio and Gore can snap up all the peachy sites. 🙂

  9. Curious George permalink
    December 24, 2018 4:12 pm

    I love “Many Strong Voices”. Climate change “science” in a nutshell. Can’t improve upon it.
    Thanks for a nice Christmas gift.

  10. December 24, 2018 4:22 pm

    It’s much the same reason why Lush Cosmetics, sponsor of Plane Stupid, has a store at Orlando International Airport – virtue signalling versus revealed preferences.

    A Merry Christmas, by the way, to Paul and everyone commenting here!

    • Silver Dynamite permalink
      December 24, 2018 9:20 pm

      Lush provided financial support to an objector to the Bay Gateway near Lancaster. The road was subsequently delayed and motorists wasted hours and burned lots of petrol in the meantime. Please boycott these disgusting purveyors of stinky gloop.

  11. RAH permalink
    December 24, 2018 5:03 pm

    The Merriest of Christmases and Happiest of Hanukkahs to all of you. And Thank you for all you do Paul.

  12. dearieme permalink
    December 24, 2018 5:48 pm

    “famous faces including DJ Maya Jama, Laura from Love Island and Pixie Lott”: HO, HO, HO.

  13. Dave Ward permalink
    December 24, 2018 6:50 pm

    “Does anybody look forward to that last day of holiday?”

    I’ve solved that problem – I don’t go on holiday in the first place! Saves all the hassle and frustration of uncomfortable flights, missed connections and/or delays due to (possibly non-existent) drones, etc. I can sit at home, smug in the knowledge that my “carbon footprint” is but a fraction of hypocrites like Branson…

  14. Thomas the Scot permalink
    December 24, 2018 7:49 pm

    Just to set the record straight regarding King Canute and the tide. Yes, he had his throne (or a wooden replica) placed on the beach and yes, he ordered the tide to stop rising.
    The interpretation is often misunderstood. He knew that the tide would keep coming in; the message was that he, a king, was not all powerful. Only God was.

    • John F. Hultquist permalink
      December 25, 2018 1:49 am

      the Scot,
      Yes, you are correct.
      There are several other such clichés (The Ostrich one, and the Marie Antoinette one) but they keep popping up like weeds. Sort of like the 97% consensus. Still, one has to try.

      Be of good cheer.
      Merry Christmas to all.

  15. December 24, 2018 11:31 pm

    You mean the snake oil salesmen themselves don’t buy their own Eemian sea level rise fear?

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