The weather can be beautiful, but it’s also quite worrying
I am here. Sitting in the shade of the blazing sun on the Côte d’Azur. I have a cold beer next to me and every time I write a sentence I allow myself a sip. Just a little. It’s too early to tell which one will be finished first, this little article or the drink I have chosen to go with it.
except that I am not at all on the Mediterranean but that I relax on the Costa del Gorey. Less exotic, perhaps, but on a day like this it would be hard to tell the difference. We have just returned from a lunchtime swim and the rest of the day stretches out with little to fill in other than the good stuff that we deem appropriate.
Second swim later perhaps. A barbie for sure. Another beer of course.
It’s the kind of day that even a cranky person should recognize is worth it. The type of stunner that stores enough good memories to keep you warm on a miserable night in the darkest November.
But then something bothers you and stays with you. Harass that feeling of lazy contentment. Coming back from the beach, I heard a wag tell their mate if it was about global warming, bring it on.
It’s a threadbare old gag and while it was weak just over a decade ago, now there seems to be something positively perverse about it. Because we all know it’s not fun at all. Beyond not funny. That even something as destructive as Covid-19 pales in comparison to what science believes Mother Nature has in store for us.
There is, after all, a vaccine against the pandemic. In a few years, it will be a bad memory with valuable lessons learned. There is no magic bullet for climate change. It’s a much bigger beast, with an endless repertoire of nasty surprises at its disposal. A beast that has so far only slapped us playfully with its tail.
So scary, in fact, that I deliberately avoided reading about this flooding in western Germany. The images of an industrial dumpster hurtling down a village street like a piece of Lego in a thunderous sea of mud were a visual overload. So are the images of that scorching heat wave a few weeks ago in northwestern America, which left the entire scorched region virtually uninhabitable for the duration.
I have an insatiable appetite for news and have never been disgusted. But this thing makes me look away, turn the page, change the channel.
The wettest, hottest and driest records are regularly broken every year now and we hardly care to notice it.
It seems to be getting closer too. It is no longer something confined to the Third World, settled by slipping the money of consciousness into a Trócaire box.
If Germany couldn’t cope, what do we hope? Don’t answer that.
But I don’t want to let worry worms crawl around my head on a beautiful day like this. I can even tell myself with confidence that the beautiful weather in Wexford in the height of summer has nothing to do with our planet’s desperate cry for help. Even pretty sure too, the boy with the gag meant nothing more than to pass the time of the day. So I opened a second beer and decided that I preferred to live in the moment. Tomorrow will just have to wait.