Rob Pfeiffer Blog 2/16/2016 Needing Rain!
The other day, I received a bit of news. That, in and of itself, is unusual as I am definitely “out of the loop.” I found out in January who played in the World Series and who won. It is now February 12 and I don’t know anything about the Super Bowl. And I am so happy to be away from all the campaign bickering. Somehow, the world keeps turning even with no news. But, this fragment jarred me.
The essence was that the U.S. Congress had voted that climate change was not real and thus of no consequence. Wow! Are there two planet earths? At home, I guess we are pretty well insulated from the dire circumstances which other people face. We can turn up the heat. We can air condition ourselves to be cold. We can drown out whatever we want to avoid with our electronic devices. Here, climate change is in our faces daily. The 40-plus year olds around here tell me that it used to start raining in October and the season ended in late March. Rainy season this year started around Christmas and will end by Valentine’s Day. This morning, I ate dust from a passing motorbike as I made my morning loop on the bike. We have had a few 16 drop showers over the past four days, but nothing to soak in. I have been watering our new plantings here daily as the heat, sun, and wind dry everything very quickly. A scientist from the State University of New York at Albany is publishing a book chronicling climate change. He follows the movements of insects in Africa who are now here on the mountain and lived in the Congo several years ago. I used to skate on a pond in Waterville (that’s Maine) by Thanksgiving. I’m hearing about a relatively balmy winter this year in Maine.
From here, this bit of news makes our Congress (and by extension, all of us) look like ostriches with our heads buried deep underground. Villagers here who starve if a crop fails or islanders in the South Pacific whose homeland disappears underwater may not be on our national radar, but, we need to wake up.
My previous experience in the tropics showed me a three or four month rainy season in a heavily forested country. The water was absorbed and fed the rice paddies the rest of the year. Here, the deforestation is such that the water rushes everywhere and causes massive erosion before evaporating. Thus, we have dust in the “Rainy Season.”
Miles to go before I sleep. That’s some of the news from Malawi.