After a British meteorologist warned on TV last week that the upcoming extreme heat would be deadly, the show's news anchor told him to be "happy about the weather" — a scene eerily like the denial in the 2021 movie Don't Look Up.
The interaction took place during a July 14 broadcast of GB News, a channel that has been described by some as the British Fox News. A clip was then uploaded to Twitter on Saturday comparing it to a scene from Don't Look Up on Saturday, and various tweets showing the video have gone viral.
The GB News segment started off uplifting enough with meteorologist John Hammond and the news anchor Bev Turner talking about the nice 20-degree Celsius weather, around 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
"But on a serious note, folks," Hammond then said, "by early next week, you can scratch 20 degrees, it could well be 40 degrees [104 degrees Fahrenheit]. I think there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of excess deaths. ... This will not be nice weather. This will be potentially lethal weather."
Turner responded: "I want us to be happy about the weather. I don't know whether something's happened to meteorologists to make you all a little fatalistic."
As the Twitter clip shows, the exchange is almost identical to a scene in Don't Look Up, the Netflix satire that uses a comet coming to destroy the Earth as a metaphor for climate change. In the scene, Jennifer Lawrence's character goes on the news to warn people that "the entire planet is about to be destroyed."
"We just keep the bad news light," the news anchor responds in the movie.
Neither Turner nor GB News immediately responded to a request for comment.
As Hammond forecast, the UK did reach 40 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, which was the hottest day in UK history. The Met Office, or Meteorological Office — the UK's national weather service — issued a “red extreme” heat warning for the first time ever. It's too early to know exactly how many deaths to attribute to the high temperatures in the UK, but heat is the deadliest of all weather events. And in addition to heat-related deaths, wildfires fueled by the high temperatures have killed people in other parts of Europe.
Brenda Ekwurzel, a director of climate science with the Union of Concerned Scientists, told BuzzFeed News earlier this week that the heat waves are a result of the climate crisis.
“The climate crisis is a systemic crisis,” she said. “The heat wave is dangerous and terrifying and should be yet another crucial wake-up call for our leaders to finally take charge on climate.”
During the July 14 GB News segment, Turner, the anchor, also questioned whether the current hot weather was actually worse than past heat waves, referencing the summer of 1976, when temperatures reached 35 degrees Celsius in the UK.
That heat wave was, of course, cooler than what's happening now. Hammond, the meteorologist, also explained that in the past, high temperatures were a "freak event." Today, heat waves are becoming more extreme, and they're happening more regularly.
Though Turner didn't respond to questions from BuzzFeed News, she tweeted Wednesday that she still considers the record-breaking, life-threatening temperatures to be "hyperbole."