40°C expected in London, 36°C in Manchester, 37°C in Birmingham. “Hotter than the Sahara”title The Sun. Temperatures are also exploding in Wales and even on the borders of Scotland. Never seen. While the record is 38.7°C (we want to say 38.7°C “only”), it was in Cambridge in July 2019.
⚠️⚠️ Red Extreme heat warning issued ⚠️⚠️
Parts of England on Monday and Tuesday
Latest info https://t.co/QwDLMg9c70
— Met Office (@metoffice) July 15, 2022
The country is not prepared: usually it is rather from the cold and the rain that the British seek to protect themselves. Most buildings are designed to retain heat. Almost nothing is air-conditioned, neither the houses, nor the public buildings, nor even the hospitals which do not have a fan either. It endangers vulnerable people but also those who are in good health. And even if the temperatures should go down as with us from Wednesday, the health services – which are already under pressure with the Covid – are preparing for excess mortality within the population.
And it is the whole of daily life that is turned upside down. Some schools are closed for two days. Hospitals have rescheduled non-emergency operations, many canceled trains, in London residents have been asked to take public transport only when absolutely necessary; in Hampshire, south of the capital, sand has been spread on the roads because the tar is starting to melt. Not to mention the increasing forest fires. There are already more in six months than in the whole of 2021.
The heat has been declared a national emergency. On Saturday July 16, the government held a COBRA meeting (a committee activated only in critical situations). With a big quack: Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is resigning, did not attend. He preferred to stay at his country house in Checkers to prepare… for the going away party he was throwing there for his supporters.
— Marc-Erwan (@vittart75) July 17, 2022
The heat wave has therefore also become a political affair: the deputy leader of the Labor Party, Angela Rayner, accuses the Prime Minister of having “missing in action”she denounces a “zombie government unable to face up to the challenge.
It must be said that Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab did no better: “Of course you have to hydrate, he said, but “we should also enjoy the sun“… Furious response from the paramedic boss: “It’s not just about a beautiful sunny day where you can put on some sunscreen before going swimming or eating out.“.
On Sunday, in the televised debate of the five Conservative candidates still in the running for the succession of Boris Johnson, who literally tore themselves to pieces on economic issues, only one, Rishi Sunak, spoke about global warming by committing to maintain green taxes for finance the end of carbon emissions by 2050. The others did not devote a single second of their speaking time to it.