Climate preaching is no way to win over converts
Record-breaking temperatures may be giving way to thunderstorms but pictures of burning buildings, roadside fires, melting tarmac and buckled railway lines bear witness to exactly how high the thermometer climbed. Rewind a decade and very different images were chosen to illustrate hot weather: packed beaches, impromptu paddling in city fountains and cute kids with dripping ice creams.
It’s not just that temperatures have ratcheted up a few degrees. The tone with which hot sunny days are discussed has fundamentally changed. We have moved from “Phew! What a scorcher!” joviality to something altogether more judgmental.
Government-appointed experts and media pundits assumed we wouldn’t make it through the week without the benefit of their advice: Drink more water! Apply sunscreen! As well as the more niche: sleep on your side to maximise skin-to-air contact! As climate scientists warn of more regular heatwaves, such words of wisdom may become even more wearisome. Until then, it is worth questioning what lies behind all this infantilising guidance.
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