How much of a threat is the heatwave?

Canicola, eyyamıbahur, καύσωνας — Mediterranean countries each have their own special name for the hottest phase of the summer, which usually begins in mid-July. This year, however, the temperatures are soaring to record levels. Many Italian cities are on red heat alert, the most serious level, and in Greece and Spain forests are burning. A look at Europe’s press shows that the fear of the consequences is not limited to southern Europe.

De Morgen (BE) /

Soon people will be fleeing Spain, Italy and Portugal

It won’t be long before northern Europe is sealing itself off against climate refugees from southern Europe, conjectures writer Ivo Victoria in his column in De Morgen:

“We shake hands with fascists to ward off African refugees while the real problem has long since reached our own territory. I’m really curious to see when the free movement of people within the EU will come up for discussion. ... Soon — it’s a matter of years, decades at most — many a Portuguese, Spaniard or Italian will be flirting with the idea of moving northwards. I’m curious to see who we will then dump in the southern European desert, and where we will then set up the fence. Somewhere around the latitude of the Pyrenees and the Alps, perhaps?”

Ivo Victoria
Les Echos (FR) /

Publish studies as during the pandemic

Access to current data must be made easier, Les Echos demands:

“In comparison to weather and economic data, data on global warming and particularly its causes is less comprehensive, less accessible and not always easy to understand. ... The EU institutions have not set up a counterpart to the pandemic portal (with daily updated figures of the number of sick and vaccinated). Admittedly, Eurostat and Citepa in France publish the emissions of individual sectors on a quarterly basis, but is that enough to inform the general public about current developments and arouse their interest? One wonders.”

Dominique Seux
TSF (PT) /

Protect the disadvantaged

The socially disadvantaged are particularly hard-hit by the heat, TSF points out:

“The jobs that are most exposed to the extreme conditions are for the most part precisely the lowest-paid ones. There are no detailed studies on the number of people at risk, but analyses of various reports in Europe agree on one point: the number of cases of dehydration and heat stroke is rising in particular among those who work outdoors and in occupations with a higher level of physical exertion. ... Since we know that heat waves will only become more frequent, this is another inequality that needs to be addressed.”

Inês Cardoso
The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Shameless climate alarmism

The Daily Telegraph cannot understand all the fuss over the heat:

“Suppose that Sicily has a few more days over 45C every summer in the future than it did in the past. In a society that already experiences unpleasant, even dangerous heat on a regular basis, this is not ‘the world on fire’. ... It’s a reason to sell more air conditioners and make sure people have enough water on hot days. Such adaptation has always been needed anyway. The economist Paul Krugman says that it’s time to ‘politicise the weather’. Where has he been the past ten years? It’s already happened. Every weather event is now recruited to the cause of net zero in a shameless way.”

Matt Ridley
To Vima (GR) /

Retreat into an air-conditioned pseudo reality

To Vima comments on the deceptive importance of air conditioning:

“Nowadays we live as if Kim Jong Un or Vladimir Putin had pushed the button. We hide away in our houses with technical assistance from the air conditioner. And all this makes our tragedy seem manageable. We have found a simple, almost individual way to deal with climate change, and we don’t care what we do to the planet. We are not interested in building bioclimatic houses: who needs that when you have air conditioning? So we lock ourselves in, regulate the temperature and pretend to be living a more comfortable life when in reality we are dying a quieter death.”

Giannakidis Kostas