Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Heat wave and global warming

I have read in the news that at least 38 people have already died in southern Europe this year because of the heat wave, maybe similar to, if not worse than, the 2003 heatwave. Among the countries severely affected are Greece, Italy, Romania, Albania and Serbia, especially the southern parts and provinces of these countries.

Last May, I have also read how the French people celebrated a seemingly “early summer” as they had cloudless skies for several days, when it should be springtime then and still a bit cold. At about the same dates, it was raining almost daily here in the Philippines, especially in Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces. I have thought that if there are lots of sun in Europe and perhaps the Atlantic side of the globe, there should be lots of rain elsewhere as the evaporated water have to fall as rain somewhere. So I have thought that it was the start of the regular rainy season for the country and other countries in tropical Asia. I was wrong.

June is about to end in 3 days, and the regular rainy season is not yet here. Yes there are lots of rainclouds everyday, especially in the afternoon, but there are only scattered showers, no heavy downpour yet. Climate change is showing to be worse than I have expected, at least for the first half of the year in this country.

Back to Europe. When I arrived in south Sweden, in the city of Lund in September 2003 to attend an international training on “sustainable agriculture”, our Swedish host there, Marie, told us that it was one of the finest summer they ever experienced in Sweden. Although she recognized that it was terrible in south and central Europe. Well, north Europe like the Scandinavian countries are lucky in seasons of severe heat and droughts. Nonetheless, a lot of indicators of global warming, like fast pace of melting ice in the north pole, are observed in these Scandinavian countries, especially in Greenland (part of Denmark).

I doubt that governments around the world can really arrest or slow down the bad effects of global warming. Many governments are characterized by wastes and profligacy, a characteristic that is least effective in the fight against global warming. People in their individual capacities, once aware of the bad environment ahead of them, will be more effective in slowing down the negative effects of global warming.

No comments: