259 views | Gbenga Oloniniran | December 17, 2020
Krishna Priya Pallavi, an Indian editor maintained that, albeit strange, the rain had been a respite from the heat. No doubt, dwellers of the tropical regions like Asia and Africa are forced to quickly align with it as a respite. Of course, the weather has been too hot, and as a Nigerian who has usually taken the sun as a second skin, the weird rainfall has surely been a cool off too.
Some social media users took it up sarcastically with funny memes. For some, the raining December is yet another weird phenomenon about the year 2020. For some other, “it is 2020 anyway, a lot had happened, and the weird is no longer weird.”
Meanwhile, reversing to reality and logic, it is like a fire on the mountain top and no one seems to be running. Can we have people fathom around such a scenario of having a year where the winter or summer could run throughout? Sounds strange, indeed, but the happenings of 2020 can only be stranger. Well, I am only thinking out loud, and do not want to be lonely on this path of weird thoughts. This year, in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria, some of us nearly bought canoes to move in and out of the waters in our neighborhoods, yes, if you do not prefer to swim. In actual fact, the water logged areas actually became a recreational center for some people, water pads were already spotted on the waters in some streets. The express roads were not spared as vehicles got stuck after the road was run over by waters.
As deserted as the Northern Nigeria is, the flooding did not spare them. Struggling farmers got their farmlands eroded and lost produce to floods. As a serving corp member in the year 2020, I witnessed the havoc wrecked on families, their houses and farmlands in Jigawa state by ravaging floods.
Connecting the dots, the flooding of this year had occurred yet before the raining season extended beyond the usual. Here in December, what is unusual is that one wonders what more havoc could occur if the December rain, and maybe beyond December, aggravates the forthcoming raining season of the year 2021 which is already knocking at the door. No one likes to be the prophet of doom, therefore, if it would not be illusionary, I also want to hide behind a finger by aligning with some of us who prefer to only imagine consequences of events lesser than how we actually expect their realities until we see them. Perhaps, since the rainfalls have not been such heavy ones, one should not conclude on any uncertainty the future holds. Illusions can be sweet. Meanwhile, the year 2020 itself disguised so well in its early months, before several uncertainties began rolling in, especially the corona virus pandemic, where, apparently, the health sectors had never been prepared for such challenge even though we could have. The challenge of climate change has not been excluded from similar nonchalant gestures till today, even from world rulers.
As funny as the December rain is, in India too and like other parts of the world, the story of Krishna on India today media did not joke too much without including the perspectives of the India meteorological department. The body clearly stated there that the unexpected rainfall has been due to formation of a low pressure area in the Arabian sea. It was not a new perspective, the prediction of weather behavior had been made earlier by the same body. It is no strange thing that formation of low pressure occurs, it is the result of warming up of sea surface. What is strange is that the warming up had not earlier been so pronounced to inform a raining December. To put it right, climatologists have sinced warned about global warming for which such increasing low pressure formation is a part. We can expect heavier rainfalls in future Decembers because solar radiation is getting more intense on the earth surface resulting to more floodings, tsunamis and the likes. Such disasters are albeit, without the usuals that come with the actual raining season.
I have not heard from the Nigeria meteorological department on this happening. That is another one of the many odd things about our system. We have much resources to often invest into entertainments and other businesses of distractions more than we do into sustainabilities. The disasters resulting from climate change around the world could have been avoided and the effects mitigated if climate change was tackled proactively by policy makers. It is why people, been uninformed, may see the December as merely a respite from the heat because fundamentally the heat stress has been a major challenge too, and the struggling people think less that both the increasing heat and the strange December rain are results of the disturbed climate. A major cause from global emissions.
The cheapest superstition is to conclude that the December rain is a necessity to wash away the several social challenges (Coronavirus, deaths, uprisings, insecurities, etc) that have rocked the year 2020. The 2020 is not taking a shower with the rain, we are only faced with greater challenges as inhabitants of the planet earth. The question that should be on our lips now is, how long can the world still sustain our habitability and that of the future generations without adequate eco-friendly policies in place? The world is hot indeed, eco-friendly policies are the showers we need.