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'Reality is terrifying': climate culture war heats up for UK meteorologists | extreme weather

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Arguing about the weather has long been a harmless British pastime, with weather forecasters resorting to ruining bank holidays with predictions of drizzle or delivering good news of mild summer sunshine. I got

But now, TV meteorologists find themselves at the forefront of the climate culture wars after extreme temperatures hit Britain last month.

Laura Tobin is best known as the weather forecaster for Good Morning Britain. She is popular with her audience and has her Twitter followers of 200,000. But as her work has shifted from providing updates on mild UK weather to charting the terrifying progress of the climate crisis, she’s spending her time fighting climate deniers. I noticed.

she said: I actually burst into tears. I said, ‘I predicted it, it’s going to happen, it’s actually real and it’s going to happen’. I was very emotional about it. ”

But not all of her viewers took the heat seriously.When Tobin linked heat waves to climate change, she complained on social media, accusing her of being “scaring.” rice field.

Some tweets accused her of sharing “weather propaganda” and said they switched off when they saw her on TV. If there were, some called her “Doctor Doom”.

“People say we should only talk about the weather, not climate change,” she said, adding: People don’t like being told what to do. ”

'Exceptional and unprecedented.'@Lauratobin1 explains how extreme the current weather is.#Heatwave2022 pic.twitter.com/zWFgi7k7rd

— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) July 18, 2022

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Unlike many who face abuse and complaints on Twitter, Tobin makes a point of responding to climate change deniers, replying live to their tweets and answering their questions. increase.

“Meteorologists are one of the main ways to communicate climate change to the public,” she said.

“We have a duty to tell the science and show why it matters. What we know, what we have seen. [in such a short timescale], what we are saying is not alarming – what we are seeing is alarming. The truth scares people, but the reality is terrifying. ”

She sees part of her job as convincing people that the climate crisis is real. “I learned a long time ago that even if those people are one in a million or one in a thousand, you need to talk to them and convince them they are wrong and show them the evidence. And I’ve been able to do it before. I’ve talked to outright climate deniers and skeptics and convinced them of science without showing off.”

And since she believes it’s her mission to warn people about the climate emergency, angry comments don’t sway her.

“Someone may challenge me or say something negative. My feelings about climate change are blowing out of the water. I just want you to take care of me,” Tobin explained.

“What’s more emotional for me is that these temperatures were predicted and came true, that the wildfires started, and that hundreds, if not thousands, of people died. Because of our massive warning, places like nursing homes and schools were prepared and more people were saved.

“There was a comment that the Bureau of Meteorology should stick to forecasts instead of telling people what to do. But no one takes an umbrella.Why is it not advisable to prepare for extreme weather?”

Meteorologist Scott Duncan illustrates the rapid changes in climate by creating and sharing gritty graphics on social media. Many of these were shared thousands of times during the heat wave, but they were also abused.

“these are [extreme weather] The event you get, you get the masses coming out with pitchforks and torches. Sometimes that doesn’t apply,” he said.

Celebrities and the media have also started a pile of useless for forecasters trying to warn about extreme heat.

“Jeremy Clarkson Tweet It was wrong to foment the mob about France not declaring a heat wave, but it doesn’t help. It keeps people from taking it as seriously as it should be,” Duncan said. Added.

After Duncan’s tweets gained attention, he began to post less due to the emotional toll of reading the comments.

“I’ve seen some horrible discussions going on in the comments. I had to limit my comments because things are going down such a dark path. You start to feel numb to it.” Well, you were surprised to see these things, but not now.

“I don’t really post much. I wanted to take a step back after the reaction.”

But Duncan and Tobin plan to keep telling the world about the climate emergency.

“The air we were breathing was hotter than our lungs on Monday and Tuesday. [18-19 July] This has never been the case – we’ve seen 40 degrees in places like Doncaster that have never crossed the mid-30s – the scale of these record-breaking arguably warrants the highest level heat warnings. When would you use it if you don’t have a red warning for it?” said Duncan.

Tobin added: We will continue to do so. ”