The narrative around the recent hot spell shows Irish people are too used to “framing life through the prism of risk,” according to Ciara Kelly.
The Newstalk Breakfast presenter said she is surprised at the way the media and the State have reacted to the change in the weather.
“I spent yesterday in the garden, and it was glorious,” she said. “I was pottering around, and I was doing a little bit of DIY - a bit of painting - and I was listening to the radio – a perfect day.
“What has kind of interested me is how we're framing it – how the media is framing it, but also the State.
“It is all about risks and warnings. It is a Yellow Warning, there are risks and you know, your cat is going to asphyxiate and your old folks and babies are going to dehydrate and everything.
“It is beautiful weather. It is 28C or 29C and I would think vanishingly few people in this country have never been in countries where it is warmer than this and had a lovely time and enjoyed it.”
Ciara noted that the situation in the UK, where they are facing temperature s above 40C, is totally different.
She also clarified that she was not downplaying the seriousness of global warming.
"Prism of risk"
"I know the wildfires are burning in Europe and I'm not discussing the fact that global warming is an issue because of course it is, but I just think we're framing everything we deal with in life now through the prism of risk,” she said.
“The weather is risky, the pandemic is risky – we're afraid of our lives of everything that used to not take a fig out of us.”
Asked whether she was taking a Libertarian attitude to the weather she said: “I just think there is something changing in our social narrative that the State feels like it has to step in and protect us from everything.
“We kind of expect that as well and we frame an awful lot of living through the prism of risk now in a way that we didn’t always. I don’t know, is it Libertarian to not like it? Because I don’t really like it.”
Vincent Wall agreed that the various colour-coded alerts, both winter and summer, are ‘kind of annoying’ but asked: “Is it not better that we put the alerts out there so that small minority who are not aware of the risk should at least get the message?”
“I think we're being treated a little bit as if we’re kind of stupid,” said Ciara.
“I agree with you about the winter warnings as well, that sometimes it is a bit windy out and there's a warning about that.
“It just strikes me that we are being warned about things we used to be thought capable of dealing with and we are, as I say, framing life through the prism of risk.
“Maybe I’m just an old curmudgeon about it and I don’t know if it is Libertarian, but I find it odd.”