No Winters

It’s the middle of November and I am sitting here in my T-shirt and shorts. The ceiling fan is whirring overhead though not very fast. Where is the cold? This is about as real an example of global warming, if there was any doubt to begin with. And its raining. Has been for almost the whole week now – without break. The news reports say that this is the first time when rains in November have managed to increase the level of water in the lakes of Bhopal. It hasn’t happened before.

This year the monsoon was slightly below normal but this rain seems to have decided to make up for the loss. And its not just rain, its thunder storms with heavy rains. I don’t even want to think about what this is going to end up doing to our winter crops. But so far the alarm bells have not warned about any major damage to the crop.

Late November and early December is a time of beautiful weather in Bhopal so most of the carnivals and food-festivals are planned around this time. This is especially true of weddings and festivities. But with flooded grounds and soaking infrastructures, things will have to be shifted ahead till the weather permits. I don’t think I’d allow my kids on metal merry-go-rounds and Ferris-wheels with the possibility of rains shorting out the works. Dangerous. Same with the food fests… rain spoilers I mean.

Its almost as if the whole system of weather has shifted forward by a month or more. The rains came pretty late and now, when its time for winter, rains are the dominant weather. At this rate, winter will eventually be squeezed out because summer time is fixed and unchanging. The period of heat is getting longer and longer. Where it used to be about four months when I was a kid, now its almost six months. And its hotter these days than it was before. I remember people being able to walk around in the sun during the summer. They did avoid it if they could be it was not a requirement. Now its nearly impossible to step outside during the summer afternoons without some protection from the heat. At this rate the only alternative left for our future generations would be to develop technology sufficiently advanced to push the earth farther away from the sun. That would increase the number of days in a year but at least it will reduce the intensity of solar energy reaching us. Of course, it will be much cheaper to just enforce proper emission norms for all people around the world but knowing mankind, I think it will be easier to push the earth farther out in space. We will just keep blaming everyone else and hope that someone else will sort out the problems. Economics is the core of any industrialized society and the economics of reversing global warming make it unfeasible for countries and corporations driven largely by profit.

Just saying no, for example, to fossil fuels will not change anything. No one will listen. But if better and efficient public transport systems were put in place making personal transport redundant, then managing this problem becomes a real possibility. Same with everything else, we need viable alternatives. Till such time as these alternatives are found, I guess winters will keep getting smaller and smaller till one day our future generations will regard them only as a myth.

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