The headlines today (20 July 2022) are quite shocking, though I can’t remember when they weren’t. Who remembers a slow news day huh?

The London Fire Service dealt with the highest number of fires since the second World War. And locally, Greater Manchester fire service and Greater Manchester Police have confirmed that they suspect four (4!) recent fires on local moorland were arson. The area has seen fires every summer for years and it’s been addressed by a public space protection order and many, many messages from community groups, landowners, and public and private bodies telling people to report anyone they see with a disposable bbq and/or starting a fire. And I believe shops local to the beauty spot have stopped selling disposal BBQs. The consequences of the heat are obvious and in plain sight…and yet.

The last couple of days have been tough going. I’ve lived in both Southern Spain and Sydney Australia and yet I find it unbearable here in the UK in this oppressive heat. I think most people will have struggled to sleep, which in itself makes most people fractious. BUT, what really got my goat is the lighthearted and/or competitive nature of some of the reporting of the record temps. Highs of 40 being reported like the results of The X Factor are just so off.

One of my favourite tweeters, and a constant reminder that Twitter can be wholesome – the delightful Reverend Richard Coles – tweeted “Beginning to tire of record temperatures being reported like Lincolnshire’s won the Eurovision Song Contest. Exactly this. It’s not a competition anyone should ever want to win.

There was, as be expected, lots of brand frippery and silliness in response to the heat. I do get what they are/were trying to do but it’s a bit tiresome and often hypocritical when you look at the damage some brands have done.

And I get that the giving out of water is a good thing when dehydration kills, but filled reusable bottles would be A*.

I tell you who did get the tone spot on – The Manchester Mill – which said “But the extreme temperatures should compel us to ask another question: is Greater Manchester playing its part in tackling climate change?“. Yes. This. https://manchestermill.co.uk/p/manchesters-hottest-ever-day-until

Some more good comms/PR/tone/actual positive action I spotted.

“The Aristologist @104highst
Full marks @northernassist on the timely introduction of a water fountain at #manchestervictoria Is this going to be standard provision at every station??

Northern @northernassist
Replying to @104highst
Hello, we currently have plans to install them at 32 stations and hope to be able to expand on this in the future.”

Yes to water fountains!

And a brilliant idea from Showcase cinemas. Practical, and fun and honestly should have gone viral – Redheads go free #GingersGoFree (# authors own) 

The tone around climate change has to change. Less X Factor and Eurovision next time please. And there will be a next time.

Some good resources

Jon Richardson and the Futurenauts – How To Survive The Future Podcast – entertaining and enlightening

United Nations Climate Change Race to Zero Campaign

The People Vs Climate Change BBC documentary

Clean Air Day – some great resources for tackling air pollution

The Conversation on Net Zero and greenwashing

The Guardian on carbon offsets

And, more of my blogs on climate change https://deadgoodwithwords.co.uk/?s=climate