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
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: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/may/14/sun-photos-climate-breakdown
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.