Thursday, June 21, 2007

Climate change and dry June

Evidences of global warming and climate change continue to pile up around the world. The more "alarmist" the claims of global warming, the more harsh the measures to be imposed on people and societies. In fact, I will not be surprised if some alarmist guys will just propose doubling the petroleum taxes that motorists and the public have to pay to governments, and governments and the UN and other multilateral bodies will use the additional revenues to "clean" the world.

Here in the Philippines, Metro Manila in particular, we often have cloudy days, especially in the afternoon. But rains hardly come; even at this time of late June. Some showers or brief rains, and that's it. No monsoon rains or heavy downpour yet. When I visited our farm a week ago, the running water in the creek seemed fewer and smaller compared to those in the middle of last month. Sometimes I wish the downpour would come now, so that the clogged waterways in Metro Manila will be flushed. But I also don't want the downpour to come yet, until we have put more terraces in the hilly parts of our farm, to control or minimize the erosion of rich top soil made by earthworms and newly-decayed dried leaves and branches.

What I find discomforting though, is the humidty these days. It's cloudy, but it's hot. The past 2 weeks, I took bath about 4-5x a day. This week, I take 4 baths a day. Our electricity bill this month and the past 2 months have been increasing, as we have to use 2 electric fans in the sala during daytime.

Looking down and afar from the 25th floor of my sister's office here in Manila, I can see the width and expansion of Metro Manila. The mega-city is simply expanding and expanding. What used to be forest land a hundred years ago became rice land and other agri land 50 years later. Now those agri lands are gone. Houses, buildings, roads and parking spaces have taken over. So, what people used to complain as "deforestation" (meaning conversion of land from forest to non-forest uses, especially agricultural use), we can now call "deagriculturalization". What could be next, "dehousingzation" where lands are converted from housing to theme parks or memorial parks?

This afternoon, a thick and dark rain clouds are high up there in the sky. They've been there for the past 3 hours I think, but they don't fall. Yesterday and the other day, I think it was the same sight and phenomenon. In less than 2 weeks, it will be July, and the downpour are not yet in. Of course I hate to see flash floods in Metro Manila's roads; much less when I myself will be caught in high street flood waters. I've experienced it once, about 4 years ago, it was really scary and I swore I don't ever want to experience it again!

I hope there will be strong rains early next week, at least in our farm. I want the thick deposit of green algae and decayed leaves and branches in the stream near my treehouse be wiped and cleaned by a quick flash flood. Once they're gone, the stream and stones in river bed becomes clean. Then I can bring again my 9 months old daughter to the creek, and we'll frolick in the clean running water once again. I've brought her there more than a month ago, she liked it. :-)

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