Instant Opinion

‘An effective extreme-heat warning system could save lives’

Your digest of analysis from the British and international press


The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board

Climate change fuels deadly heatwaves. Ranking them like hurricanes could save lives

on warning systems

“Extreme heat is the deadliest climate-fueled hazard, killing more Americans than hurricanes, wildfires or floods,” says The LA Times’s editorial board. One reason for the death toll being so high is “a lack of effective messaging”, which means many people “fail to recognise how life-threatening heat waves are before it’s too late”. The lack of a warning system like those used to alert people to hurricanes, fire risk and air quality, is “increasingly hazardous as climate change makes these extreme heat events more frequent, severe and long-lasting”. The newspaper calls for lawmakers to “do better”. They should consider measures like “funding a statewide system to monitor heat-related emergency room visits in real time”, and setting “temperature standards for homes that […] are required to have heating but not air conditioning”. California has the opportunity to “become a leader on extreme heat”, and this should start “with a clear and effective system to broadcast its dangers”.


Maya Forstater at Unherd

The case that changed the gender debate

on a question of discrimination

In 2019, Maya Forstater lost her job after tweeting about the difference between sex and gender identity. Since then, she writes at Unherd, she’s heard from hundreds of people “who have been discriminated against and harassed at work for expressing the ‘gender critical’ view that human beings cannot change sex, and that sex matters”. The debate has become “mainstream” in the UK, and “more people are speaking up about the need for clarity about sex, for safeguarding and women’s rights”. Forstater says “Stonewall’s strategy of ‘no debate’ on its push for gender self-ID has backfired”, with people looking “again at the policies being promoted in the name of ‘trans inclusion’”. Employers, she says “should stop doing the bidding of organisations like Stonewall” and the writer says it’s “vital” she wins her fight to clear her name. In doing so, it will demonstrate to employers “that you cannot disregard the usual frameworks of non-discrimination and respect for everyone’s human rights, just because someone points a finger and whispers ‘transphobe’”.


Iain Dale at The Telegraph

Starmer can’t be forgiven for backing Corbyn for PM

on Corbyn's allies

When Iain Dale begins to think positively about Keir Starmer, he says he usually receives “a jolt back into reality when I remember that he was only too happy to serve for three years as a leading light in Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet”. And “not only that, but he campaigned to make him prime minister”. “Jezza rose from the backest of backbenches” on Monday, asking Defence Secretary Ben Wallace “if Nato would withdraw troops ‘from the border’ (of where?) if Russia did the same – as if Vladimir Putin’s demands were in any way justified”. The former Labour leader “was rightly given short shrift by Wallace”. “Starmer has been robust on Ukraine”, and is “taking Labour back to its roots”. But “too many” of his MPs “are far-Left sympathisers of Corbyn’s ridiculous position”. “He needs to get rid of them,” says Dale.


Molly Roberts at The Washington Post

Making ‘Arthur’ grow up was a betrayal

on an unnecessary ending

Arthur, the eight-year-old aardvark of TV fame, “is all grown up”, says Molly Roberts at The Washington Post. TV channel PBS has given the show its “sendoff”, one that “unexpectedly age-accelerates its characters two decades or so”. The finale is “undoubtedly designed to offer closure to fans from preschooler to professional”, but “maybe closure is exactly what we didn’t need”, she says. “The whole point was for these little creatures to be full of possibility: they could become anything. But with the finale, this open door is closed.” Binky Barnes the bulldog is a journalist, Buster the bunny “is a drably dressed teacher” and Arthur himself is “a fledgling graphic novelist with an even less fledged goatee”. Arthur “could have existed forever” if “the powers that dictate the fates of 2D television stars” had only “let him”. The thing is, says Roberts, Arthur “didn’t have to end”. Like the imaginary worlds of Winnie the Pooh and Sesame Street, Arthur “could also have always been playing”.


Larry Ryan at The Guardian

Listen here: you can’t rely on music streaming. Maybe it’s time to dig out your old CDs

on material music

For some years, Larry Ryan has “lugged” around boxes of “dust-caked piles of CDs”. “I couldn’t truly let the CDs go, even though Spotify had been my main music source for at least ten years,” he writes at The Guardian. But perhaps, like cassettes and vinyl before them, CDs are “due a revival”. Sales of the music format have declined, but that decline “has slowed – well, OK, it’s not much, but it’s a start”, says Ryan. Music publication Pitchfork “has also reported more anecdotal hints to a mild CD revival”, and although none of this amounts “to a full-scale comeback of anything”, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell’s rows with Spotify and Joe Rogan have brought this writer “some solace in the idea of reverting back to physical music formats”. Streaming services remain “unrelentingly dominant”, but maybe “someone could start selling a small, elegant, cheap-ish CD player that connects to a Bluetooth speaker”, if CDs are going to have a chance in the future.


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