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Offbeat – 15 March 2013

http://pierremare.blogspot.com

 

 

Next time Uncle Offbeat predicts something, you listen nicely, you hear. Uncle Offbeat listens to those heretics in white lab coats, and when scientists get nervous Uncle Offbeat gets nervous as well, no matter what anybody, and especially not anybody called George W., has to say.

You see! I was right! Oh ye of little faith! Here at the end of summer, if Europe will just send some of the cold this way so that we can have a damn winter, we can all believe in climate change. We were all lekker gekook, nê! A whole bunch of years ago I said this would happen, and it did. Good thing George W. Bush and his advisors aren’t around to say otherwise, or half of everybody would be out trying to regrade their garden thermometers.
Climate change is real. Variable weather means variable weather, and what that actually means is the weather gets weird. We had such good rain a couple of years back that Namibians actually complained that it was too much. We had snow in the Namib, two years running. This year it was so hot I am told that when you shot a gemsbok you didn’t have to hang the meat out to dry before the biltong was ready. The only other thing that could be more variable would be a tornado.
Maybe now is a good time for you to check if your roof will stay on, and if you may need some more roof nails, or maybe a basement like the Americans have in ‘Tornado Alley’. You never know. Just in case.
Next time Uncle Offbeat predicts something, you listen nicely, you hear. Uncle Offbeat listens to those heretics in white lab coats, and when scientists get nervous Uncle Offbeat gets nervous as well, no matter what anybody, and especially not anybody called George W., has to say.
Now you know what it’s like when it really gets hot, and you understand that this summer will remind you of nice, cold winter days, in decades to come, maybe I can interest you in a new fear that scientists are fearing: dead goggas and the collapse of civilisation.
Here’s how it works…
The goggas will die, the plants will die and then civilisation will collapse. That seems fairly elegant and succinct. What do you mean you want more? Just look around you. It’s already happening all over the place.
Here’s the detailed explanation then.
Climate change mucks with the weather. Either it’s to hot for insects, or it’s too cold for insects, or the insects get blown away in the theoretical tornado. Insects that live underground are not immune to the problem as well, so it’s not just pollination, but also things like dispersal of seeds and aeration of the soil. All plant life is affected.
Of course, it’s quite possible to add the fact that heat, cold, tornadoes and drought mess it up badly for plants as well, but the goggas are much more fun for the purposes of this explication. The net effect is that plants don’t grow so well or, possibly, not at all. Scope how the scenario ripples out. No yummy veggies for a supper. No four-legged things to slice up and put on plates, or multiple or no-legged things, if you come from Asia or other interesting culinary parts of the world.
Now let’s get down to the whole business of civilisation. Imagine not enough food to go round, and people starving or going hungry. Sooner or later the rumblings start, and people take to the streets with half-understood slogans and more tangible items to enhance the debate, like rocks and Molotovs.
Does that sound unimaginable? What did you think the Arab Spring was all about? Surely not freedom and liberation and political rights? Those folks were really, really hungry and most of them still are.
Civilisation is breaking down with the spread of hunger, and a recent piece in a very reputable journal, posited that as food becomes scarcer, the breakdown of those things we call civilisation will gain impetus.
Food is a right in the civilised world, but not a given. There is no right, for instance, to have a supply of food that you can buy and there is nothing that says that you have the right to buy it at prices you can afford.
I’ve been following the home gardening movements recently. They have a political dimension now. Home gardening looks like one of the only options for the long time, if heat, cold and notional tornadoes allow it.

 

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