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'Stupidity': TV host stuns audience with bizarre weather interview

A clip from a British news channel has gone viral for all the wrong reasons, with people drawing comparisons between the exchange and a movie that serves as a metaphor for climate change.

Ahead of the heatwave in the UK that sparked wildfires and damaged infrastructure, one news anchor wanted to keep things light for her audience.

Speaking on GB News on July 14, meteorologist John Hammond remarked how lovely the sunshine was, before touching on how dire the heatwave could be.

"By early next week, you can scratch 20 degrees – it could well be 40 degrees," he said.

"I think, there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of excess deaths early next week."

Pictured is meteorologist John Hammond on GB News, with the anchors to the left
When meteorologist John Hammond tried to warn of the potential dangers of a heatwave in the UK, a news anchor said she just wanted people to be "happy" about the weather. Source: GB News

He goes on to say the charts he has are "frightening" and said while everyone likes "nice weather", what was to come in the UK wouldn't be "nice weather".

"This will be potentially lethal weather for a couple of days — it will be brief, but it will be brutal," he added.

That's when news anchor Bev Turner cuts in.

"I want us to be happy about the weather," she says, then suggesting meteorologists are being "fatalistic" and "harbingers of doom", because they have discussed the potential for fatalities during the heatwave.

"Haven't we always had hot weather, John? The summer of '76, that was as hot as this, wasn't it?" she continued, attempting to play down his grim warning.

Mr Hammond responds by simply saying, "no".

John Hammond explained heatwaves in the UK could be devastating, given the country is not equipped to deal with one. Source: GB News
John Hammond explained heatwaves in the UK could be devastating, given the country is not equipped to deal with one. Source: GB News

"We are seeing more and more records, more and more frequently and more and more severely," he says.

"Some people always hark back to the summer of '76, which was a freak event over 40 years ago, but heat waves are becoming more extreme.

"This is yet another one which is coming down the tracks towards us and you know, I don't think we should be too light-hearted about the fact many are going to die over the next week because of the heat."

Mr Hammond added the UK is just not equipped to deal with heat exceeding 40 degrees. He urged employers to think about their employees and their commute to work next week, adding employees might struggle to get to work.

He also pointed out the Met Office had issued a heat warning for Monday 18 July and Tuesday 19 July and that even top-level government officials will meet to discuss how the country will cope in the heat.

Interview a case of art mirroring real life

On Twitter, Mr Hammond's appearance on GB News was compared to a scene in the 2021 Netflix film Don't Look Up.

"How art mirrors real life. One-to-one," one person said in response to the video.

In the movie, Jennifer Lawrence's character, Kate Dibiasky, is trying to warn the world of an approaching comet which could destroy the world.

In the particular scene, Dibiasky is cut off by the news anchor who says the news channel wants to "keep the bad news light" when trying to speak about the comet.

"This is our reality, utter stupidity in the name of balance," Nyadol Nyuon OAM remarked in reference to the video.

Don't Look Up serves as a metaphor for climate change denialism and it does not have a happy ending due to sheer ignorance and the masses ignoring the experts.

Several parts of England beat the previous record

Britain registered a record temperature of 40.3 in central England on Tuesday, while 34 sites surpassed the previous high of 38.7 in 2019.

London Fire Brigade endured its busiest day since World War II on Tuesday when temperatures topped 40 for the first time, igniting fires that destroyed dozens of properties in the capital and torched tinderbox-dry grassland at the sides of railway tracks and roads.

At least 41 properties in England were destroyed and more than a dozen were decimated elsewhere.

On Wednesday, several trains from London to northern England were either delayed or cancelled due to the heat from fires buckling the train tracks.

At one point on Monday, two airport runways were forced to close due to damage to the surface.

Power companies faced outages as the heat scorched their equipment, many schools closed early and zoos struggled to keep pets cool.

"The sad reality is this is what the future for London and the UK is likely to look like if we don't take strong action now on the climate crisis," said London Mayor Sadiq Khan said.

The Met Office's Chief of Science and Technology Stephen Belcher said that unless greenhouse gas emissions were reduced, Britain could see similar heatwaves every three years.

In Britain, at least 13 people died while swimming during the spell of sweltering weather.

It does not appear hundreds or thousands of people died due to the heat in the UK, however, over 1000 deaths have been attributed to the heatwave in Spain and Portugal.

And experts have warned for years now that weather events, such as heatwaves could devastate the world in the future, thanks to climate change.

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