Boiling or locking: What did Antonio Guterres say about climate change?


Original article (in Bosnian) was published on 01/08/2023; Author: Marija Ćosić

Some media claim in their headlines that “they want to lock the world because of climate change”. In the articles under such titles, however, they talk about boiling, not locking.

On July 27, 2023, the web portal Nulta tacka published an article about climate change. The headline claims that “they really want to lock down the world because of ‘climate change’”:

They really want to lock the world because of “climate change”! The UN and the World Meteorological Organization announce radical measures

The article talks about how, according to scientists, July 2023 is on its way to becoming the hottest month on Earth since records have been kept. Among other things, the statement of the Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres on climate change is shared as well. The article states the following:

The era of global warming is over and “the era of global boiling has arrived”, said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres after so-called scientists allegedly confirmed that July is on track to be the hottest month in the world.

“Climate change is here. It’s terrifying. And that’s just the beginning”, said Guterres. “It is still possible to limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5C [above pre-industrial levels] and avoid the worst climate change. But only with dramatic, immediate climate action”.

What are the facts?

According to a preliminary analysis conducted by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, the World Meteorological Organization and the University of Leipzig, July 2023 is the hottest month ever recorded on Earth.

Although the headline mentions the alleged intention to introduce “radical measures” and to “lock down” the world due to climate change, the article published on Nulta tacka does not state this. This is a manipulative way to present a translation of the aforementioned statement by Antonio Guterres. Namely, at a press conference held on July 27, where climate change was discussed and leaders were called for decisive action, Guterres stated, among other things:

“The era of global warming is over, the era of global boiling has begun”.

His statement in English can be heard at 1:46 of the video (archived here) published on the YouTube channel of the United Nations on July 27, 2023.

He, referring to very high temperatures, used the word “boiling”. If Guterres wanted to refer to the lockdown, he probably would have used terms like “lockdown” or “locking up”.

The article published on Nulta tacka is an almost literal translation of parts of the Guardian article published on July 27, 2023. However, the Guardian article is equipped with a completely different headline that does not mention any “lockdown”. The Guardian article also does not include the term climate change between quotation marks, as is the case with the article on Nulta tacka, nor does it state that “so-called scientists have allegedly confirmed” the mentioned record temperatures. It only states that scientists have confirmed such a thing.

In the Guardian article, just like in the article published on Nulta tacka, there is no mention of “lockdown” anywhere. The articles talk about taking “action” on climate change, but the lockdown is not mentioned as one of them. Gutteres, according to the aforementioned video, also did not say such a thing at the conference.

The web portal Nulta tacka stated in the title that “they want to lock the world because of climate change”, although it is clear from the text that Guterres, whose statement is quoted in the article, was talking about “boiling” and not about “locking down”.

Climate locking and climate change

Claims about alleged climatic lockdowns were spread earlier, and Raskrinkavanje wrote about it on several occasions (1, 2). As explained in detail in Raskrinkavanje’s analysis, which you can read here, “climate lockdown” refers to the idea that lockdowns, such as those during the Covid-19 pandemic, could have a positive impact in the fight against climate change.

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) wrote about this idea in an article published on March 13, 2023. 

“The term ‘climate lockdown’ refers to a conspiratorial narrative that claims global elites are using climate change as an excuse to limit individual freedom and civil liberties. The discussion of climate shutdowns first became popular on social media in September 2020, when reports emerged about the effects of Covid-19 quarantines on global pollution, and some actors began to claim that these restrictions were actually a precursor to future climate-induced shutdowns”, states the ISD article.

However, the concept of climate lockdown is not implemented anywhere, nor are there clear plans for when and where it will be implemented.

Climate change, on the other hand, really exists, which Raskrinkavanje wrote about on several occasions (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Despite their intense denial, a series of scientific evidence unequivocally confirms that climate change is real, that it is largely caused by human activity, and that it represents a serious problem.

Therefore, we assess the title of the article published on the web portal Nulta tacka as clickbait, given that the claims about “locking down” are not mentioned in the article itself.

In addition, we assess the claim from the title that “they”, referring to the UN and the World Meteorological Organization, which are also mentioned in the title, “want to lock the world due to climate change”, as disinformation and manipulation of facts.

Follow us on social media: