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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

23 August, 2004

Musings on the rain!

It is raining as I write this... pearly drops are falling with the rhythm of sibilant whispers...

My friend and colleague tells me it has been raining continuously for the past one and a half month. The road I travel to work is full of holes of varying sizes and shapes. Some are deep some are shallow and all are full of water. The bus lurches through it as we hold on for dear life.

There is no respite. The umbrella is a flimsy toy for the gusts of strong wind. They blow water through the think jacket I wear to keep away the wetness.

The weather bureau, where my sister used to work and now has retired, had predicted deficient monsoon but now I think we are having more than enough. Who needs all this water here in Bombay while elsewhere farmers are committing the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives because of the lack of it.

Well, it is feeling chilly with the air-conditioner on and I have downed my 'n'th cup of tea.

Has anyone heard of El Nino and El Nina. Well, one should. When my dad died there was such a deluge and the water almost cut us off from civilization in good old green paradise of Kerala. We had to keep his body in a mortury for almost a week to be able to give him a decent funeral.

El Nino my online dictionary tell me is:

A warming of the ocean surface off the western coast of South America that occurs every 4 to 12 years when upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water does not occur. It causes die-offs of plankton and fish and affects Pacific jet stream winds, altering storm tracks and creating unusual weather patterns in various parts of the world.

Al Nina is something similar. Weather like the unpredictable lover is becoming too much moody these days. The world is growing warmer by a fraction of a degree centigrade every year. What is fraction of a degree? It all adds up into several degrees over the years. So be prepared to sweat it in summer.

That means you and I would be sweating like a pig in summer and warding off a deluge in monsoon and near freezing in winter. Yes. That's most likely to happen.

Who is at fault. All of us. The world has less and less tree cover these days. Acres are cut down every year to make way for farming and habitation. We are losing 86,000 hectares per day: an area equivalent to New York City.

Forests are needed to condense clouds and bring down rain uniformly. In the absence of this it will rain cats and dogs and rats in some parts and nothing in other parts. Witness what is happening in India today. Bombay and the north-east are having abundant rain and floods while places like Vidharba are still dry and rainless.

We have filled our airconditioners, refrigerators and aerosol cans with a chemical known as chlorofluoro carbons. These chemicals rise in the atmosphere and destroy the ozone layer, the precious protective shield against cosmic radiation. So the earth is partially naked now... I was typing fully naked... but that will happen not long in the future if the trend continues.

But all of us are not bothered... we are happy with our jobs making more and more money forgetting that the process we have set off is irreversible! Our grand children may be better than us living in fully airconditioned bubbles and working in fully climate controlled offices.

But what of their children and their children? And what of the poor?

I am sorry to seem so negative and pessimistic but that's the way things are... I feel we have crossed the limits somewhere and need to correct it and set it right.... But who will bell this cat? Who will undo the knot we have tied around our own ankles?

Wonder what will happen when we are gone and our grand children go through many more El Ninos and hard summers! Would they applaud us or curse us?

Remains to be seen...


Blogger Phoenix said...

It was a pleasure reading your blog. :-)

25 August, 2004 10:09  

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