Sun and Mail refuse to mention climate change in heatwave reporting

The elephant in the room?

As you may have noticed, it’s hot. And if it’s not hot where you are, it’s probably because there’s a thunderstorm of such ferocity that it may lead to flooding.

This is what the boffins call ‘extreme weather’. It’s sometimes enjoyable but ultimately dangerous and it’s so hard to miss that even the MailOnline have noticed.

In a typically sensationalist article today, the Mail reports in the headline that we’re in line for “100F heat”. The US measure of Fahrenheit is presumably chosen because it sounds more impressive than 38 degrees celsius.

They also report that we’ve had 50,000 lightning strikes, flood warnings and hail stones the size of golf balls setting off car alarms in North Wales.

One phrase which doesn’t appear in their report though is ‘climate change’. This is despite the Met Office saying yesterday that “research shows that climate change is making these events more likely” – a statement even the Telegraph picked up on.

This feels like a deliberate editorial decision by the Mail. Their reporter cites the Telegraph’s article but leaves out the Met Office’s climate warning.

Instead, he writes: “Historically these sweltering evenings were so rare that only eight were recorded between 1961 to 1995, but the country has now seen 16 tropical nights this summer, with more to come, the Telegraph reports.”

The obvious next question is ‘why’? But the reporter leaves that one unanswered. The answer of course is climate change. In 2018, the Met Office said that climate change has made record-breakingly hot summers like 2018’s 30 times more likely.

If anything though, The Sun’s reporting is even worse than the Mail’s. They don’t even mention that these heatwaves are getting more common – choosing instead to pad the stories out with photos of women in bikinis and drunk people leaving pubs.

Joe Lo is a co-editor of Left Foot Forward

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