The hot variety…
(Some of which contributes to global warming, mostly because it prevents finding a cure.)
Many people think that the United Nations is a forum to solve problems in the world. That might be a side benefit—occasionally— but the actual purpose is to provide a stage for national leaders to posture. Case in point: the British prime minister boasting about (possibly) joining the fun in the Middle East. Most tend to forget that he was unable to obtain parliament’s approval to join in the carnage last time he tried, but that is irrelevant for any politician that has reached the UN pulpit.
Few of these posturings are noticed beyond the politician’s local media, with a paltry few being granted a few seconds on cable television. But, that’s all they want: a chance to impress the local electorate with their imagined greatness.
Another case in point: the president of the United States promising to do something about climate change and carbon emissions. No chance. Congress will never agree (see the numbers in the below link). This is a body peopled with ignorant—some naturally, some wilfully, some paid to be—men and women, guided by something other than the good of their country and the good of humanity. But, they are some of the best politicians money can buy!
Interestingly, two related items—which are completely unrelated—appeared in the media.
The first one I noticed was an advertisement for a cruise. The route would take the ship along the fabled Northwest Passage, which has now become ice-free, thanks to Republican politicians and their financial backers. I cannot imagine why anyone would want to pay money to travel such a boring route. I read a New Yorker piece by someone that had traveled on a container ship from Murmansk to Vladivostok, because the ice melts in the summer and the route is shorter than sailing around Africa. I recall only how boring the trip was for anyone looking out the window.
The second item was a report about Canadian scientists discovering the wreckage of two English sailing ships, which went missing two centuries ago while searching for the Northwest Passage. They became stuck in ice, and all perished.
Thanks to climate change deniers and fossil fuel wasters, there is little risk of tourists suffering the same fate as earlier explorers. Still, the news of such a calamity should provide a cautionary tale for climate change deniers, fossil fuel waters, Republican politicians…and cruise purchasers. Then again, these all fall into the category of “stupid people”, ie. those that cannot accept reality and change his or her mind.
This is about fish (as the title might suggest)...
I have heard that people travel to Mauritius to snorkel and scuba dive because to the abundant sea life. I spotted one decent size fish (it looks better in profile, but the bloody thing turned!) and one school of minnows during my 9 day stay. In the Maldives, fish were abundant every time I peered into the water and more-abundant each time I stuck my face in the water wearing a diving mask.
That said, I enjoyed the best tuna of my life caught in the water off Mauritius. That says a lot, because I have eaten very expensive tuna in Japan and in top Japanese restaurants. Those folks are supposed to know a thing or two about tuna. I hope that they do not discover Mauritius.
Anyway, I spoke with a local man fishing off the beach of the hotel (all beaches are open to the public in Mauritius). I commented on my lack of sightings and asked about his luck. He had had none that day. He explained that fishing had declined and the reefs been shrinking for years. This man has first-hand knowledge of the effects of climate change that US politicians deny. Guess who’s smarter: the one trying to feed his family or the ones bought off by lobbyist?
I travel often to Amsterdam, one of my favorite “urban” destinations. This is a city untrammeled by “progress” of modern architecture and commercialism, almost a living museum. Bicycles outnumber cars. Streets are narrow, not straight, and cobbled with stones. Small shops do not suffer from big-box rapaciousness. A lacework of canals add charm and a means of transportation. No fences prevent drunks from falling into the water, as would be erected in Land of the Free and the Home of the NRA.
This closeness to water makes me fear that the charm of this city and its surrounding countryside will disappear. Some point to the danger of rising sea level for Florida and Manhattan, but the Netherlands will be long gone before residents of those places need to wear rubber boots. Parts of the country are already below sea level, and flood tides push waves over dikes.
Folks in Switzerland are surely more relaxed about climate change...
This will not convince the blockheads that deny and ignore climate change, but I have scientific evidence gathered in my garden.
A Japanese cherry tree blossomed for decades around May 1st each year. We used to joke that, being reddish in colour, it was honouring the communists. In recent years (like the past two) it came to life mid-April, which suggest some change in its growing environment.
This year, the bloody tree (I did mention the red hue of its blossoms) flashed its colours in the first week of April, almost four weeks earlier than before the world started coming to an end.
Today is FEBRUARY 24!
I discovered the first crocuses in the garden. In FEBRUARY!
Anyone denying climate change, please take note. Flowers are blooming in FEBRUARY!
I don’t know what climate change deniers smoke, but I suggest they put the following data in their pipes:
Having just lived through January (and most of February), I can attest to the fact the weather was mild. I do not recall any winter being so warm. But what do I know? I am not being paid to deny climate change...
If you asked me to guess the date, based upon the photo, I would pick some day early in April.
The photo was taken on February 16. How’s that for evidence of a screwed-up (unusual) climate in central Germany? I can’t say that I missed shoveling snow, not that I have done much during my years in this country.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.