Paint Your Homes White, Jobsworths Warn
By Paul Homewood
At the start of every summer, we get nonsense like this.
From the Telegraph:
Homeowners should paint their property white to protect themselves from heatwaves, the Government has advised as it warned that people start dying from the heat at just 24.5C.
Metal blinds and dark curtains should be replaced in a bid to cool down homes and property owners should consider putting up external shading outside windows, officials said as they warned of increasingly extreme summers.
Individuals can stay safe by putting a damp cloth on the back of their necks during hot weather, eating cold foods such as salads and fruit, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine, they added.
The advice is part of a 46-page plan put together by authorities to prevent seasonal deaths and prepare officials in the event of a heatwave.
The document, which is a joint NHS England and Public Health England (PHE) publication, also reveals that temperatures have to rise to just 24.5C before people start to die.
Other “trigger temperatures”, which signal when authorities need to act, include 33C, when roads begin to melt, and 36C, when National Rail would have to take extreme precautions.
Meanwhile, underground workers are advised to start issuing hot weather notices and hand out bottle water if London experiences three days of weather above 24C.
Because we are not used to these very hot temperatures in England, it is important that local plans are in place to reduce the impact of harm from very hot weather.Dr Angie Bone, head of extreme events at Public Health England
The document’s release comes following the “devastating” pan-European heatwave in 2003, which saw more than 20,000 people die, including 2,000 in the UK, after the warmest summer in 500 years.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer, urged authorities to get ready as she warned that the 2003 heatwave, which saw temperatures rocket to more than 38C, would be “normal” by 2040.
“As a result of climate change we are increasingly likely to experience extreme summer temperatures that may be harmful to health,” she said.
She added: “We want to make sure that everyone takes simple precautions to stay healthy during periods of hot weather and when in the sun."
She said: “While hot weather is enjoyable for most people and uncomfortable for some, sadly experience tells us that exposure to excessive heat can kill, with most cases of illness and death caused by heart and lung disease.
“The Heatwave Plan for England, which is a joint PHE, NHS England, Met Office and Local Government Association publication, exists to provide advice and guidance to healthcare professionals and the public on the effects heat can have on health.”
She added that additional materials had been published online, which stress the importance of looking out for young children, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions during hot weather.
Temperatures are expected to hit 21C on Sunday – well above the 17C average for May – with parts of London and Wales experiencing the warmest weather.
The Met Office’s heat-health watch system issues warnings when threshold temperatures during the day and night are breached.
The temperatures vary depending on region. During the day, 32C is the threshold temperature for London while it dips to 28C in the North East.
The Heatwave Plan for England notes a significant number of deaths occur before these temperatures are reached.
First, let’s check whether summers are in fact getting hotter:
There has been a marked absence recently of the sort of miserable, cold summers often experienced, for instance, in the 1950s and 60s. But no summer in recent years has got anywhere that of 1976, or for that matter 1911.
According to the NHS Heatwave Plan, a heatwave alert is triggered when temperatures hit the following:
The idea is that people in, say, London, are more used to higher temperatures, than in the North East. This itself shows up how nonsensical the whole concept is; if summers start to get hotter, people will naturally adapt and get used to them anyway.
But let’s look at the Midlands, where a max temperature of 30C is set. The Midlands is the area represented essentially by the Central England Temperature series.
Below is the distribution of 30C+ days there.
The summers of 1975 and 76 stand out in particular, and to a lesser extent 1990, 1995, 2003 and 2006.
There has only been one day since 2006, when temperatures have reached 30C. This was in July 2015.
Why is the NHS wasting money on a cumbersome, bureaucratic plan to cope with the sort of weather that has only occurred on one solitary day in the last ten years?
But the nonsense does not stop there. As the ONS make clear, the death rate is actually at its lowest for the year in summer, the very months when temperatures are at their highest.
Even mild months, such as May, have a higher death rate. Perhaps then, the NHS might like to tell us what the optimum temperature is for public health, and then issue alerts when temperatures are a bit lower.