They just can’t wait can they? They’re on the starting blocks waiting for the first warm spell of summer to arrive so they can warn us about the dangers of climate change induced heatwaves and how we should prepare for the upcoming taster of Thermageddon. It’s getting beyond a joke now. Not funny. Seriously narking. Even before any ‘record-breaking’ hot weather arrives, the Con wheels out their go to ‘Sustainability and Climate Change Communication’ expert to tell us ‘5 things we should do to prepare for the next heatwave’

The 2018 summer heatwave in the UK broke records – and it won’t be the last spell of such severe heat. In fact, climate change means that hot summers which would once occur twice a century may soon occur twice a decade. As the population grows and ages, this will lead to more premature heat-related deaths and place extra strain on physical and mental health services.

Previous research on resilience to heatwaves, such as the recent report by parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee, a cross-party group of MPs, has focused predominantly on policy, regulation and infrastructure. Such research barely addresses behavioural or social responses that occur during hot weather events and how these can contribute to building resilience.

This is what my own work looks at. In a new book I explore these ideas and assessed how to improve resilience to climate change through communication, collaboration and co-production. So what can the UK do to be better prepared for heatwaves in future?

Get lost; seriously, go away with extreme prejudice. Bore off. We can no longer be left to enjoy decent summer weather in this country without climate zealots preaching to us from the pulpit about how we should mend our ways. It won’t bloody last. I bet it goes pear-shaped by July and coming summers will probably be wetter and more miserable – and that will be the fault of our SUVs too.


  1. “As the population grows and ages, this will lead to more premature heat-related deaths and place extra strain on physical and mental health services.”

    This is a logical contradiction. If the population continues grow and get older how can simultaneously more old people be dying from heat stress. If that were true then the population would be getting younger !

    The extra strain on mental health services is due to reports like this scaring the shit out of people. Warm weather makes people happy and we can’t have that can we?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Clive, there’s a woman on the FaceBook Conversation post who actually wrote this:

    “I frequently write to media and point out that language about heatwaves needs to change. “Basking” is a frequently used verb in the media, when the reality is that people in homes, offices and on transport are seriously uncomfortable and even at risk. Reporting on heatwaves frequently fails to mention climate change and instead focuses on people at the seaside.”

    We’re not allowed to enjoy the sunshine anymore; we’ve all got to be miserable it seems.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Another logical problem. If heat waves occur twice a decade instead of twice a century, people will be better prepared for them. There should be fewer deaths, not more.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jaime

    What “won’t bloody last”? Apart from the couple of very warm days at Easter, we’re still waiting here (Cumbria) for summer to start. It’s been dry and reasonably sunny, admittedly, for a while (which makes a nice change) but I think I can count on one hand the number of days that have reached 20C here so far this year.

    The highest temperature in the 14 day forecast (which takes us to 5th June) here is 15C, and in those 14 days, the temperature is forecast to reach those dizzy heights for a whole 13 hours.


  5. Mark there are climate change fanatics here in the (relative) South who would give their eye-teeth to have the security you have, and are complaining about, to withstand increasing thermal stresses that not installing sufficient wind turbines in time will inevitably produce. Be grateful.
    You are getting quite a reputation, complaining about snow down to unbearably low levels in May the other day. Now complaining about reasonable temperatures and not needing sunscreen when we in the South will suffer terribly. Goodness what a climate change boon, you ungrateful wretch.


  6. Mark, what I mean is, once the record-breaking climate changed dangerous heatwave starts, then “it won’t bloody last”. Of course, the record-breaking climate changed heatwave may be restricted to a few hot days or weeks down south but that’s a minor point. Cumbrians like yourself may have to just accept that global warming is global and it’s extreme weather – except when it’s not and it’s regional and just weather.


  7. Alan, Jaime – yes, sorry, mea culpa and all that. I’m so lucky not to be affected by climate change!


  8. The Con post is from last year, I’ve just realised. What they’re doing is plugging it again on Facebook because we have some warm summer weather forecast. The effect is the same. Pleasant warm sunny weather = heatwave = dangerous climate change.



  9. There’s a lot more in the Con article.

    People must be trained to think more carefully about their vulnerabilities and responses to hot weather. Everyone’s experience of hot weather varies, and this is often associated with positive memories of past summers…  But this often leads to people being more exposed to the effects of the sun, which affects their health and productivity and puts extra strain on hospitals. Hot temperatures also cause roads to melt and train track to buckle resulting in delays. As hot weather becomes more common, people need to bear these things in mind. British people famously love talking about the weather. But they still need to get better at talking about heatwaves …

    Forget the sixth great Mass Extinction. What about the sixth great Train Track Buckling, Resulting in Delays? Luckily there’s a university person around to remind us that we need to be trained to think more carefully and get better at talking about heatwaves.

    Could someone please introduce the author to George Marshall? Candice could invite him to a dinner party, and for the first time in his life, he would be listened to and not ignored, and Candice could flog him a signed copy of her book.

    Candice is Senior Lecturer in Sustainability and Climate Change Communication, University of Surrey. She is funded by ESRC Nexus Network, and ESRC CCCEP. That’s the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy to you. I do what I always do in these cases and clicked on “Who we are.” The CCEP consists of 88 people, from Lord Professor Sir Nicholas Stern and a few dozen mostly foreign PhD students right down to Bob Ward (PhD failed). You are paying their salaries.


  10. The “Heatwaves Kill” meme was first popularised during the 2003 European heatwave which resulted in several tens of thousands of premature deaths, first highlighted here in France. A whistleblower in the French emergency health services alerted the media, and his analysis was later confirmed in an official report by the French Senate: the main reason for the excess deaths was the French habit of closing down government departments for the month of August, which meant that it wasn’t possible even to provide a simple series of TV ads alerting the elderly to the need to drink more liquids, since there was no official on hand to sign a cheque to the ad agencies.

    A subsequent IPCC report dealt with the 2003 heatwave, citing both an article by the whistleblower and the Senate report in support of their thesis that it was down to global warming, despite the fact that neither source made that claim.

    This article is one of many propagating the message: “even if we can’t say it’ll get worse, it’ll be bad more often.” To which the obvious reply is: “Well, do something about it, and stop rabbiting on about climate change.” As Michael Collared says above, familiarity breeds efficient methods of dealing with stuff. The Thames barrage protects London from flooding, whether it happens once a week or once a century. If you live in a tin shack under a mud cliff in the Philippines, it matters little whether your hut will be washed away once a year or once a decade. You only die horribly once.


  11. Geoff,

    “You only die horribly once.”

    You can only say that because you don’t live in Middlesbrough.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. “You only die horribly once.”
    Sounds like a title for a depressing, avant-guard, 007 movie with a resubmitted Lewandowsky screenplay.

    Liked by 1 person


    “Chaotic world of climate truth
    It seems that mere “climate change” was not going to be bad enough, and so now it must be “catastrophic” to be worthy of attention. The increasing use of this pejorative term – and its bedfellow qualifiers “chaotic”, “irreversible”, “rapid” – has altered the public discourse around climate change.

    This discourse is now characterised by phrases such as “climate change is worse than we thought”, that we are approaching “irreversible tipping in the Earth’s climate”, and that we are “at the point of no return”.

    Some recent examples of the catastrophists include Tony Blair, who a few weeks back warned in an open letter to EU head of states: “We have a window of only 10-15 years to take the steps we need to avoid crossing a catastrophic tipping point.”

    Oops, that was in November 2006, by Professor Mike Hulme, Founding Director Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

    In July 2007, Hulme was replaced at Tyndall by Professor Robert Watson, one of the authors of the current “Extinction Crisis” report from the UN.

    Within a year of taking over from Mike Hulme, he had the catastrophe bandwagon back on track:

    The UK should take active steps to prepare for dangerous climate change of perhaps 4C according to one of the government’s chief scientific advisers.

    In policy areas such as flood protection, agriculture and coastal erosion Professor Bob Watson said the country should plan for the effects of a 4C global average rise on pre-industrial levels. Watson’s plea to prepare for the worst was backed up by the government’s former chief scientific adviser, Sir David King.

    UK climate expert warns of 3-5 degree warmer world by 2100 – 50% species loss and dissolving reefs ‘not unlikely’, Sir Robert Watson, former head of the IPCC and former Chief Scientific Adviser for the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

    The world has missed the chance to keep greenhouse gas emissions below the level needed to prevent the temperature climbing above 2° Celsius, according to the British scientist who used to chair the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    Roughly 200 years after humans sparked global warming, Sir Robert Watson and his colleagues at the Universal Ecological Fund addressed the public about climate change with a clarity that is rare for major institutions. “Climate change is happening now,” the international group of climate scientists wrote in a report titled “The Truth About Climate Change.” And it’s happening “much faster than anticipated.”

    “The overwhelming evidence of the IPBES Global Assessment, from a wide range of different fields of knowledge, presents an ominous picture,” said IPBES Chair, Sir Robert Watson. “The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.”


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