Brave Man standing up to a Tank in Tiananmen Square. By Published by The Associated Press, originally photographed by Jeff Widener, Fair use, Link

Guardian: Summer Beach Photos are “Tiananmen Square” for Climate Change

Essay by Eric Worrall

h/t fretslider; According to The University of Exeter, having fun in Summer masks concern about “climate breakdown”, and impedes climate action.

‘Fun in the sun’ photos are a dangerous distraction from the reality of climate breakdown

Saffron O’Neill
Sat 14 May 2022 17.00 AEST

Think of the images that defined our understanding of war or protest. Similar ones can tell the truth about this disaster

Open a British newspaper as a heatwave looms and you’ll likely see headlines about the unprecedented nature of the upcoming heat, the cost to lives and livelihoods, and even deaths caused by the extreme heat. But accompanying the same story you are also likely to see images of people having fun in the sun – kids splashing in city fountains, crowded beaches, blue seas, azure skies and holiday happiness. 

How the media communicates about climate breakdown reflects and shapes how societies engage with the issue. Behind every picture that makes it into the news is a person mirroring and perpetuating how society thinks about climate breakdown. Images are a key part of any media communication: they are often vivid and colourful, drawing readers in and helping them to remember a story.

They also shape news production: compelling visuals help stories rise up the media agenda. Think about the image of the man blocking a line of tanks in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, a young girl fleeing her village after being burned by napalm in the Vietnam war, smoke billowing from the twin towers. These images become part of our collective psyche – through them we remember the power of protest, the horror of war, and the moments everything changed. Images of the climate crisis can hold the same power, something the Guardian recognised in its sector-leading 2019 editorial decision to rethink the images accompanying climate stories.

Our new research, led by the University of Exeter, highlights a distinct problem with how the European media visually represents news of extreme heat. We examined media coverage from the UK, the Netherlands, France and Germany during the summer of 2019. Importantly, we only included news stories that mentioned both the keywords “heatwave” and “climate change”, reasoning that if we were to see responsible and accurate reporting of heatwave risks, it would be in coverage that at least alluded to the increasing risk of heatwaves becoming longer, more frequent and more intense under climate breakdown.

Read more:

My first thought was someone should check for fungus growing in the University of Exeter water supply.

But seriously, imagine what a locked down medieval dystopia we would all endure if these killjoys were fully in charge. It would be like living in the Middle Ages, sackcloth and ashes, restrictions on dancing and partying, because having fun leads to more travel and elevated respiration, an unnecessary increase in CO2 emissions, a total mockery of our burden of climate sin.

Of course the climate elite would still enjoy all the perks of an industrial civilisation, like their private jets. Their holy climate mission would justify any imaginable carbon extravagance.

I lived in Britain for over a decade. Britain is a lovely place, but every year they get maybe a week, maybe two weeks if they are lucky, when the temperature touches the high 80s (30C+) and they can really enjoy their lakes and beaches. Yet they have one of the most fearful climate worrier populations on the planet.

Imagine the climate breakdown calamity if Brits who worry about climate change had to endure THREE weeks of Summer.

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Tom Halla
May 16, 2022 6:20 pm

I subscribe to several British news sites, For them, 25C is a heat wave.

Reply to  Tom Halla
May 16, 2022 10:47 pm

Bah ! Good winter temperature here 🙂

Reply to  Tom Halla
May 16, 2022 10:49 pm

Oh, for goodness sakes, there is this thing called air conditioning. In widespread use in many parts of the world.

Richard Page
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
May 17, 2022 5:45 pm

In the UK we open a window…..

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Tom Halla
May 17, 2022 12:07 am

I have the same when watching UK based youtubers. Can never work out if they are complaining about the heat or taking the piss.

40C is hot. Then you get a bit nervous. Anything in the 30s you just pace yourself a bit in. Don’t run around in the sun. Drink more water. No worries.

If it is still a problem a recommended solution is to put a teaspoon worth of cement in your morning cup of tea or coffee and HARDEN UP!

Reply to  Craig from Oz
May 17, 2022 5:35 am

You seem to forget, we’re acclimatised to a fairly cool, damp, relatively stable maritime climate. The average summer temperature here is under 20°C, while the average winter is around 3°. To us 27° is hot, especially with the humidity that tends to come with it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Archer
Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Archer
May 17, 2022 8:01 pm

Look at it as your weather will be ever slightly less shitty.
Why is that an issue?

Reply to  Craig from Oz
May 17, 2022 6:42 pm

lmao… I love that solution.. have to remember that for the future

Reply to  Tom Halla
May 17, 2022 4:43 am

The Met Office sets different thresholds for what constitutes a heatwave in different counties(!). They range between 25C to 28C.

The Met Office thresholds are not set (AFAIK) with respect to any observed harms. However the NHS is eager to give advice on how to cope with a heatwave. But the NHS doesn’t venture any assessment of probable harm either.

All we get is an ill-defined sense of threat. It is basically scary turtles all the way down.

That is not to say heatwaves don’t happen, but in the 25 years since I moved back to the UK there has been only one spell of properly uncomfortable heat I would judge worthy of the term “heatwave”. It was hot enough that I could believe a seriously ill person succumbing. But we don’t get anxious warnings about the chronic coolness that definitely kills many dozens every year.

Gerry, England
Reply to  Quelgeek
May 17, 2022 6:03 am

To the MetO a couple of nice summer days is now a heatwave to justify their global warming propaganda. They have descended a long way from their time as a respected weather forecaster and a branch of the Ministry of Defence. Now they are part of the department for screwing up energy and industry headed by a liar called Kwasi Modo.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Tom Halla
May 17, 2022 11:11 am

While visiting the UK a couple of decades ago temperatures rose into the 80s and rail travel was impeded because the railroad ties expanded, warping the lines. It appears nothing has changed, it even has the same Queen.

Jeff L
May 16, 2022 6:38 pm

Case in point, In North America, how many people move north for the winter? How many move south to warm places, such as Florida ? We are a warm weather species after all. Makes for a hard sell that getting warmer is a bad thing. Just sayin ….

Reply to  Jeff L
May 16, 2022 6:56 pm

They’re calling for snow in Boulder this Friday. Not that unusual for May but the hard freeze is. A lot of plants are going to die.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Scissor
May 17, 2022 8:02 pm

Same one that will get us here in calgary

But we don’t plant out tender plants until June 1

Because it’s a goddam ice age and we only get 6-8 weeks of summer, the true climate emergency

May 16, 2022 6:38 pm

I have noticed with amusement over quite a long time that heat-wave stories are almost invariably accompanied by images of people enjoying themselves. If that damages the scare campaign, then maybe they could instead use images of lush plant growth, people not dying of cold, or people saving on winter heating. Too difficult? Better stick to people enjoying themselves.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 17, 2022 9:25 am

Mike, a big sub-text of the “climate change” mantra is to stop people enjoying themselves.

Reply to  Neil Lock
May 17, 2022 9:45 am

It’s the new variation on the old definition of a puritan: The fear that someone, somewhere is enjoying himself. Now it applies to the warmunists.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Neil Lock
May 17, 2022 11:15 am

That is a feature of socialism, not a bug.

michael hart
Reply to  Mike Jonas
May 17, 2022 10:04 am

In the UK such weather events are traditionally associated with people going out and burning themselves to a crisp in the UV.

The French have an insult for such tourists: “les homards”. Cooked lobsters.
I plead guilty.

Dave Fair
Reply to  michael hart
May 17, 2022 11:18 am

Since I live in Las Vegas, NV I take my tan with me when I go on vacation. Likewise, I try to dress the same as the locals. I am often mistaken for Hispanic in Mexico.

Damned! That is cultural appropriation; lock me in the woke reeducation camp.

Last edited 1 year ago by Charlie Skeptic
Mayor of Venus
Reply to  michael hart
May 17, 2022 9:43 pm

So it’s true? Mad dogs & Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun?

Mike Smith
May 16, 2022 6:47 pm

The Brits hate hot sunny days. That’s why they so many head down to the Mediterranean for their summer holidays. Oh wait…

As a British expat now living in sunny California, I find the British obsession with climate change both amusing and alarming.

Bryan A
Reply to  Mike Smith
May 16, 2022 8:10 pm

About the only Alarming thing about it

Last edited 1 year ago by Bryan A
Reply to  Mike Smith
May 16, 2022 10:48 pm

They’ll have to bath more often … scary thought for them 😉

Phillip Bratby
Reply to  Mike Smith
May 16, 2022 10:48 pm

The Brits don’t have an obsession with climate change; it is the media like the BBC, Channel 4 etc, the politicians and a load of environmental activists who have the obsession. Most Brits couldn’t care less about climate change and most don’t believe it is a problem.

Richard Page
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
May 17, 2022 5:50 pm

It does seem to be highly concentrated within the M25 – the further you go from there, the less of a problem it is (with the obvious exception of the denizens of Holyrood).

Dave Fair
Reply to  Mike Smith
May 17, 2022 11:22 am

No alarm here: The U.S. needs climate crash test dummies like the UK and Germany.

Chris Hanley
May 16, 2022 6:49 pm

The second theme we found was “the idea of heat”, depicted through red and orange colours, which are (in western cultures) commonly associated with heat or danger …

That is what The Guardian’ magic red filter is doing to the beach scene at the top of the article that claims to be ‘Sunbathers in Margate, Kent, in May 2021’.
It certainly looks scorching!
Figuring it is probably a weekend given the number of people enjoying the sunshine, I looked up the maximum temperatures recorded on Sundays in Margate UK in May 2021:
Sun May 2 – 9C, Sun May 9 – 13C, Sun May 16 – 12C, Sun May 23 – 11C, Sun May 30 – 13C. 🤣

May 16, 2022 6:51 pm

IIRC, Exeter Uni used to have the most IPCC troughers of any university in the world.

Don’t know their current situation.

But their existence relies on maintaining the AGW scam.

Reply to  b.nice
May 16, 2022 6:59 pm

I like the Barbara Hepworth sculpture there.

Reply to  b.nice
May 16, 2022 10:51 pm

Isn’t the Met Office headquartered in Exeter?

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
May 17, 2022 1:47 am

Indeed it is

Dave Andrews
Reply to  b.nice
May 17, 2022 9:21 am

James Dyke is an Associate Professor in Earth System Science at Exeter Uni. He writes a fairly regular column in the UK i newspaper and recently published a book entitled ‘Fire, Storm and Flood: The Violence of Climate Change’ which his articles fully reflect.

The IPCC force is strong with them!

ray g
May 16, 2022 7:02 pm

Down here in Australia we have a lot of poms who have escaped to enjoy the warmth.Not much happening the other way.

Tom Foley
Reply to  ray g
May 16, 2022 11:56 pm

I knew a pom who migrated to Australia about 40 years ago. He spent the first summer walking over desert dunes in the inland heat, wearing shorts, a singlet, sandals, no hat and no sunscreen. He got so badly sunburnt he ended up in hospital. And, yes, he was warned.

Reply to  ray g
May 17, 2022 12:27 pm

Well, it is interesting that Brits and other northern Europeans did most of their colonizing in places much warmer than northern Europe, particularly in the cooler months of the year. Be it Africa, India, Australia, Burma, West Indies, the middle east, New Guinea, South Pacific islands, etc. About the only place where Brits escaped to that had temperatures somewhat like their native climate was North America, but of course the colder weather there only applied to Canada … even the New England colonies, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey got a lot hotter in summer than does the UK, not to mention the mid-Atlantic colonies all the way down south to Florida and the West Indies.

Yet somehow all those northern Europeans not only survived, but thrived and a lot of them got rich in the process.

Last edited 1 year ago by Duane
May 16, 2022 7:04 pm

Now we know why…

Noel Coward wrote about this in a song:

“In tropical climes there are certain times of day

When all the citizens retire

To take their clothes off and perspire

It’s one of those rules the greatest fools obey

Because the sun is far too sultry

And one must avoid its ultry-violet ray

The natives grieve when the white men leave their huts

Because they’re obviously, definitely nuts!

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun

The Japanese don’t care to

The Chinese wouldn’t dare to

Hindus and Argentines sleep firmly from twelve ’til one

But Englishmen detest a siesta

In the Philippines they have lovely screens

To protect you from the glare

In the Malay States there are hats like plates

Which the Britishers won’t wear

At twelve noon the natives swoon

And no further work is done

But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun

It’s such a surprise

For the Eastern eyes to see

That though the English are effete

They’re quite impervious to heat

When the white man rides

Every native hides in glee

Because the simple creatures hope he will impale his sola topee

On a tree

It seems such a shame

When the English claim the Earth

That they give rise to such hilarity and mirth





If you need it sung:

Last edited 1 year ago by ATheoK
Reply to  ATheoK
May 16, 2022 10:52 pm

Don’t the English also have a hot cup of tea to cool off?

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
May 16, 2022 11:44 pm

And the kids have a hot chocolate.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  ATheoK
May 17, 2022 1:11 am

I always wondered where the phrase “Mad dogs and Englishmen” came from- now I know. Thanks!

John in Oz
May 16, 2022 7:28 pm

Will the US Disinformation Department announce that red filters on beach photos are not allowed?

Bryan A
Reply to  John in Oz
May 16, 2022 8:18 pm

No, they’re the “Disinformation Department” so Red Filters will be required for ALL outdoor photos that and a special filter that will superimpose tiny CO2 micrograms all over the sky

May 16, 2022 7:36 pm

I worked for several years with representatives of a number of countries on some guidelines and regulations.

My part in this assignment was to Information Technology support for another department.

Each participating country hosted the meetings in turn.

That other department’s boss intensely disliked some of the participants. He took great glee selecting hosting facilities and locations. Facilities were Ramada Inns in some dreadful places. e.g.; one winter the Ramada Inn was located in the center of Chicago’s trainyards.

Anyway, the group I was supporting were involved in a major meeting-presentation of their own and sloughed off the location responsibility to me.

European members on that commission begged for meeting in Florida. Yes, it was to be another winter meeting in the states.

We met in San Antonio in a hotel next to the Riverwalk early December. Short sleeves were the dress code, day or night.

The entire group, including the Canadians were thrilled. Quite a few brought their wives or girlfriends and stayed for days/weeks afterwards.

Unlike most of the other meeting places, we did not meet up at night, as everyone was already busy. A surprising number were quite sober in the mornings.

Whenever another country had trouble hosting a conference after that, everyone hoped that I would volunteer… Not without my boss’ approval.

Reply to  ATheoK
May 16, 2022 8:55 pm

How does one make the choice between wives or girlfriends?

Reply to  Scissor
May 16, 2022 10:05 pm

Which-ever is available for that timeslot.

Reply to  Scissor
May 16, 2022 10:47 pm

Be modern – take both.

Reply to  Scissor
May 16, 2022 11:39 pm

Ask Wayne Rooney!

Dave Fair
Reply to  Scissor
May 17, 2022 11:31 am

Be a bon vivant, take both.

Reply to  Scissor
May 17, 2022 1:25 pm

Not my decision.

Several of the wives, I remembered having seen their pictures from guys talking about their families. The others, I just accepted they were who they stated.

The couple of guys who had stated they were single brought young ladies, that were never introduced…
Something about starting the meeting at 7AM. I didn’t meet any of the wives then either.
Unlike the married guys, most of whom I ran into around the Riverwalk at night, I didn’t meet either single guys or their girlfriends.

Pete Bonk
May 16, 2022 7:49 pm

Talk about having an approved narrative to uphold, facts and reality be damned.

May 16, 2022 7:54 pm

More evidence to heap on the pile that Leftists are fundamentally unhappy people. They’re not happy unless they’re miserable. Making others equally miserable seems to be their self-appointed life purpose.

Dave Fair
Reply to  stinkerp
May 17, 2022 11:33 am

Capitalism is unequal sharing of wealth. Socialism is equal sharing of shortages by the non-elites.

Walter Sobchak
May 16, 2022 8:43 pm

We went to England in May a couple of years ago B.P. The weather was really nice. Warm and clear. I think it hit 27° (81°F) a couple of times. the locals were dying and moaning about how hot it was. I kept telling them that where I come from (Ohio) this is a beautiful spring day a joy and a treasure, and that I would tell them when it was really hot.

I think their real problem is that they have no adaptation to warmth. There isn’t an ice cube in the whole bloddy country and a cold lager is no where to be found. Their beer being pond scum served at room temperature. And air conditioning? Ha.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
May 16, 2022 10:57 pm

This is not unique to the English. I worked a couple years in Bavaria, and our German colleagues would leave work if the temperature exceeded 80F. We’d roll up our cuffs, open the windows, and keep right on working. But our German colleagues loved taking holidays in desert lands. Go figure.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
May 17, 2022 1:29 am

I don’t get it. We love Americans, why do you hate us back?

Reply to  Andrewuwe
May 17, 2022 1:50 am

They’ve run out of tea

Dave Yaussy
Reply to  Andrewuwe
May 17, 2022 6:23 am

I can understand your question, based on some of these comments, but I assure you many (most) of us Yanks treasure our special relationship with Great Britain.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Andrewuwe
May 17, 2022 6:06 pm

We don’t hate you. We love you. We just think your attitudes towards beautiful weather are childish and weird.

BTW, at least you can get good lager in Germany.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
May 17, 2022 2:52 am

Richard Page
Reply to  Gavin
May 17, 2022 5:57 pm

Ah Hobgoblin. ‘Nuff said!

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Gavin
May 17, 2022 6:09 pm

Really. Go to Prague. The Czechs make wonderful beer. IMHO, the best in the world. It just that it tastes like barley malt and hops, not pond scum.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
May 17, 2022 11:36 pm

Czech Budweiser is readily available in the UK despite the best efforts of the US brand of the same name. Both are usually served in half pints to ladies, who like that sort of thing 😅

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
May 18, 2022 12:07 am

To be fair, I’ve been an occasional visitor to the USA since the late 70s, most recently to San Diego just before the COVID-19 panic. On my last visit there were encouraging signs that the USA was beginning to wean itself off that fizzy yellow stuff and brew some real ales. Some of the citrus hop IPAs are even making it back over to the UK 🙂

Wayne Moore
May 16, 2022 9:40 pm

an Australian summer would be torture for these people

May 16, 2022 10:00 pm

I visited the UK in late June. Being summer, I only wore a wool shirt and wool hat besides my typical long pants and long sleeve shirt. I really wished I’d taken a jacket too.

This is coming from someone who eschews thermals & jackets in Alaska in the -20F winter.

Gary Pate
May 16, 2022 11:21 pm

Climate Scientology panic porn useful idiots do not like reality based images that contradict the Marxist narrative…

Ed Zuiderwijk
May 17, 2022 2:03 am

Diasaster. Unprecedented. Extreme. Breakdown.

Oh and heatwaves in The Netherlands. My dad who lives there hasn’t seen them.

About the only thing they got right is the juxtaposition of ‘climate stories’.

May 17, 2022 2:24 am

…something the Guardian recognised in its sector-leading 2019 editorial decision to rethink the images…

Wondering if there will be an editorial staff and/or leadership change at Guardian when their CCP masters discover that they’ve referred to the Tiananmen Square protest and associated it with war and terrorism. Looking for information on whether that piece or the offending paragraph appears in Hong Kong in print or digitally.


Last edited 1 year ago by dk_
Mumbles McGuirck
May 17, 2022 5:27 am

The Alarmists are losing the scientific argument, so they’re concentrating on messaging. It doesn’t matter if the warmth is good or bad, normal or extreme. It ALWAYS must be portrayed by photographs of cracked, dried lake beds and the skeletons of animals that died from exposure. No bathing suits allowed. Then throw in a photo of a smokestack or two so people get the connection.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
May 17, 2022 5:29 am

BTW, Saffron O’Neill is very expensive and only sold by the fraction of an ounce.

Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
May 17, 2022 6:57 am

If “climate breakdown” is really happening, there would be no shortage of photos of people running in terror from sunny beaches.

May 17, 2022 8:11 am

You mean like the beaches of Ukraine?

May 17, 2022 8:22 am

Okay, so which came first the overly opinionated and cynical Brit or the overly opinionated and cynical British media? Whichever the case, it’s proving to be generally unhealthy for the lot.

May 17, 2022 9:02 am

Is ‘climate breakdown’ when the seasons happen in random order, or just when Mother Nature has a panic attack?

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Ted
May 17, 2022 9:41 am

No, it’s when every season gets a solo.

michael hart
May 17, 2022 9:53 am

“Open a British newspaper as a heatwave looms…”

They don’t loom very often. I can assure you of that.

Geoffrey Williams
May 17, 2022 12:13 pm

So now it’s ‘climate breakdown ‘ . .

Bruce Cobb
May 17, 2022 12:22 pm

So I guess this means The Beach Boys are out. Got it.

Martin Pinder
May 17, 2022 1:16 pm

For ‘responsible & accurate reporting’ read ‘alarmist’.

Alexander Vissers
May 17, 2022 1:51 pm

They cooperate with Greenpeace. So much for scientific integrity and independance. Universities are increasingly politicized and activistic at the exepnse of scientific content.

May 17, 2022 3:42 pm

Headlines about the unprecedented heat, livelihoods lost, and deaths from extreme heat are Fake News. The images of people having fun in the sun, kids splashing in fountains, crowded beaches, blue seas, clear skies and holiday happiness are People’s Real News. 

Pat from kerbob
May 17, 2022 7:59 pm

I think the problem is the beach frivolity shows most people don’t really think there is a problem

Andy Pattullo
May 18, 2022 2:00 pm

“How the media communicates about climate breakdown” is totally irrelevant.

Why the media communicates about climate breakdown is the real issue.

What in hell is climate breakdown? Did the climate blow a tire? Has it gone off its medication? (The authors certainly seem to have done so.) As far as any sane, rational persons can perceive the climate is continuing to do its thing just as it always has. It changes from time to time in ways we still can’t predict and seems totally uninterested and unresponsive to anything humans do with our life-giving CO2 emissions.

Let’s head to the beach and have some fun.

Charlie Flindt
May 22, 2022 2:23 am

The Britsh weather forecasters are very careful to say that lower than average temperatures are just ‘lower then average’, but higher than average temperatures are always flagged as ‘higher than where they should be this time of year’.

James Bull
May 22, 2022 5:49 am

When all you’ve got is a computer programmed to find heat and lots of it the met office are fairly hamstrung for anything like logic and thinking.
I explained British weather to a visiting Finnish girl when she said she felt colder in the UK than she did at home though the temperature was higher.
In Great Britain the weather is either warm and damp or cold and damp making it feel much warmer or colder than it is and if it’s not warm and damp or cold and damp it’s just DAMP.

James Bull

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