The Spectator

Barometer | 25 April 2019

Barometer | 25 April 2019
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Spires on fire

Paris was lucky not to lose its medieval cathedral entirely, a fate which London suffered in 1666 in spite of great efforts to keep the Great Fire away from it by pulling down surrounding buildings. The original St Paul’s, commissioned by William I in the 1080s and completed in the early 14th century, would still be one of the world’s largest cathedrals. It was 586 ft long, 68 ft longer than the current St Paul’s and 30 ft longer than Winchester cathedral. Its spire was estimated at between 60 and 80 ft higher than that of Salisbury cathedral (404 ft) — although still 30 ft short of Lincoln cathedral, whose spire collapsed in a storm in 1549. By the time of the Great Fire, St Paul’s had also lost its spire — in an earlier fire in 1561, which had also melted the bells.

Protest arrests

Responding to criticism that the Met police had not been tough enough on climate change protesters, commissioner Cressida Dick said she had not seen a time when so many people (more than 1,000) were arrested in relation to a single incident. Some comparisons:

ARRESTS

Brixton riots 1981

82

Battle of Orgreave, 1984 miners’ strike

82

Poll tax riots 1990

339

2000 fuel protests

1

London riots, 2011

3,927

2015/16 football season

1,895

Declining carbon emissions

Has Britain really done nothing to tackle climate change? UK carbon emissions based on the ‘end user’ of products and services (million tons CO2 equivalent).

1990

794.4

1995

745.6

2000

707.5

2005

683.7

2010

600.9

2015

498.0

2017

460.2

Source: BEIS

Where there’s smoke

A blaze on Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire, was reported to have been started by a barbecue. How dangerous are barbecues?

— According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), in one recent year 1,800 people attended A&E as a result of barbecue accidents, 800 of which were for burns and 200 for cutting themselves on sharp edges. 1,400 attendances were as a result of fires in private gardens and 300 on public property.