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Pastoral

Reflection and Short Poem on Global Warming

Global Warming Is Real

If you are in West Africa, you will notice that the harmattan winds didn’t blow this past year. Growing up, it was the norm to witness dry and intense storms that blow morning, noon and evening. Then exposed body parts will turn white unless you used a particular type of oil pomade. Lips will crack up under the heavy gusts that blow, and if you try to lick them up, you cause more harm. Hands shiver and the flu is common. If one happened to get bruised, it would take the whole harmattan season to heal. There was no rainfall, but the eyes are always wet. Grasses and trees turn brown. The earth becomes red mud. This was the harmattan season I grew up knowing. This was the harmattan season I looked up to see, but last year none of those events happened.

On my way back to my hometown during the yuletide, I couldn’t help but notice that many things remained the same. Early January there was a huge shower, and I wonder what is going on. Global warming is real, and we are living in it. The human race needs to figure a way to do things right. I hope that the harmattan wind blows again.

Times

Twist and turns
Solitary anthill
Drying wetland

Over the hills sunset
Clouds foam, fold away
Summer and winter
Times reverse and reset

7 replies on “Reflection and Short Poem on Global Warming”

Whether it’s unprecedented wildfires in California/Cascadia, off-the-chart poor-air advisories, the mass deforestation and incineration of the Amazonian rainforest (home to a third of all known terrestrial plant, animal and insect species), record-breaking flooding in Europe, single-use plastics clogging life-bearing waters, unprecedented stalling hurricanes, a B.C. (2019) midsummer’s snowfall, the gradually dying endangered whale species or geologically invasive/destructive fracking or a myriad of other categories of large-scale toxic pollutant emissions and dumps—there’s discouragingly insufficient political gonad planet-wide to sufficiently address it.
And, yes, I very much want to be proven wrong, ASAP!
To me, our existence has for too long been analogous to a cafeteria lineup consisting of diversely societally represented people, all adamantly arguing over which identifiable traditionally marginalized person should be at the front and, conversely, at the back of the line. Many of them further fight over to whom amongst them should go the last piece of quality pie and how much should they have to pay for it—all the while the interstellar spaceship on which they’re all permanently confined, owned and operated by (besides the most wealthy) the fossil fuel industry, is on fire and toxifying at locations not normally investigated.
The latter is allowed to occur, because blue-shirted liberals and red-hatted conservatives are preoccupied loudly blasting each other for their politics and beliefs thus distracting attention from big business’s moral and ethical corruption, where it should be focused.
Meanwhile, mindless arguments are made, like the stupid-sounding catchphrase, “It’s the economy, stupid!”
In short, we’re distracting ourselves from our own burning and heavily polluting of our sole spaceship, Earth.
There’s discouragingly insufficient political gonad to sufficiently address the cause-and-effect of manmade global warming and climate change.
What is sufficiently universal, however, is that the laborers are simply too exhausted and preoccupied with just barely feeding and housing their families on a substandard, if not below the poverty line, income to criticize the former for the great damage it’s doing to our planet’s natural environment and therefore our health, particularly when that damage may not be immediately observable.
(Frank Sterle Jr.)

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