Accuracy in Media

The Wall Street Journal’s online Best of the Web e-mail yesterday contained the following commentary;

We’re Having a Heat Wave, a Tropical Heat Wave

The Times of London reports on the latest weather across the pond:

A heat wave has spread across Europe with near-tropical temperatures so far claiming seven lives as people struggle through their daily lives in temperatures reaching 40 degrees. . . .

In France, it is those in the southeast who are suffering the most, but even temperatures in Paris will soar to 36 degrees by midweek as the heat wave spreads to the north, forecasters said. . . . An elderly man and woman have already died in the Bordeaux region in the when the heat exacerbated their medical conditions. Temperatures had reached 38 degrees when the 85-year-old man died in hospital, and the woman, 81 at her home.

A 53-year-old labourer in the eastern French town of Macon died overnight of “malign hyperthermia” after working outside in temperatures of 33 degrees, authorities said.

Wow. When it’s 40 degrees or below, we are apt to don a sweater, and we always thought we were pretty insensitive to cold. These Europeans must have a really low tolerance for heat. No wonder they’re always worrying about “global warming.”

Admittedly the BOTW writers can be a little snarky, but I think in this case they have gone a little too far. As Times of London article reports the temperature are in Celsius. If the Journal staff had bothered to convert the numbers to Fahrenheit they would have found the temperatures to run from 91.4 to 104 degrees. I think that qualifies as a heat wave.

Maybe next time they will read the entire article.

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