Thoughts and Visions of Hell: Our Nightmare Planet

A compilation of photo galleries, facts, and ruminations documenting the most extreme weather events of the past several years. Assembling this information in one place where connections can easily be made offers a powerful statement about the world in which we live. It also raises a number of serious questions. Res ipsa loquitur, as the old judges used to say.

Even though we haven’t had a sensational weather event in a while to make the climate question a topic of chatter, I thought it would be important to survey recent disasters using photographs from around the web. I think assembling this information in one place where connections can easily be made offers a powerful statement about the world in which we live. It also raises a number of serious questions. Res ipsa loquitur, as the old judges used to say.

Anyone who’s over 40 can tell you that something feels different about the equilibrium of the climate today compared to when they were much younger. Something doesn’t feel right. Too many super storms; too many records broken in too short a time period. Rain, when it comes, is often erratic.

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Kenyans Desperate to Survive Resort to Poaching

This is an ongoing post chronicling some of the stories that have been summoned into existence by the droughts now ravaging Africa.

Wild Animals in Kenya Threatened by Extinction as Severe Drought Causes Food Shortages

In an article titled, “Kenyans eating wild animals as drought worsens,” The Nairobi Chronicle reported on its blog last September that the drought in Kenya was so bad that people were resorting to hunting bush meat in the national parks. This includes monkeys and baboons, which, until a short time ago, were considered taboo. The situation has gotten so bad that in some parts of the country, frightened monkeys that used to roam freely have taken refuge in the bush, far away from humans. In other parts of the country, gangs of half-crazed baboons have banded together thrashing everything in sight, pounding dogs into “mince meat”. Continue reading “Kenyans Desperate to Survive Resort to Poaching”

Africa: Droughts

Over the course of the last one hundred years the frequency and geographic dispersion of droughts has increased significantly on the African continent.

The Droughts in Africa from 1900 to 2009

Africa has been struggling with droughts for many years. Some countries there are facing enormous challenges. In a piece entitled, Kenyans eating wild animals as drought worsens, The Nairobi Chronicle, for example, reports that wild animals “face extinction by ending up on dinner tables as the worst drought in a generation takes its toll on a people impoverished by years of poor governance, corruption and political sterility.” Since 1950, Ethiopia, another drought-plagued country, has suffered more years with drought than without. How bad is the drought situation in Africa and will it get worse? This post will take a look at the drought-stricken African countries and regions  going back to 1900 and attempt to determine whether this data suggests any trends.

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The People’s Water

The Clean and Dirty Reality of Water

If any resource can be used as the quintessential symbol for the quality of life on this planet, it would probably have to be water. In this sense, water is a measure of purity. Clean water brings salubrious thoughts to mind: Images of healthy living and mountain streams appear. Cascading waterfalls or tanned couples immersed in the crystal clear infinitude of faraway ResortLand. The idea of water in and of itself is refreshing; it invigorates the mind. Like sunlight, it is elemental and strikes a primeval chord within us. In the 19th Century, Thoreau wrote a piece about the mysterious light that seems to be forever present in bodies of water—even small ones. Continue reading “The People’s Water”