The nature of my job got me purring over contemporary climate challenges lately.
Once, I drifted to think about the annual fear of “the coldest winter in hundred years” in UK, and then the gradual warming up of the Kibera, one of the largest slums in Africa. By implication, while there were no incidences of malaria before, the warmer climate now makes breeding conducive for mosquitoes! While some countries are battling floods, some are battling desertification! Some people drink bad water, some develop standards to guide the quality of water animals drink.
So I thought, “Why don’t we just level it all out??” Unified temperature, equal amount of rainfall, same degree of sunlight all over the world, etc. Would it not just be nice??
While that is certainly a futile thought since this is beyond the control of man, I began to wonder what the side effects could be: Massive melting of glaciers or maybe ice slides (like landslides), solidification of water bodies in some parts of the world, extinction of desert and temperate species of plants and animals, skeletal issues and cold temperature diseases for tropical animals and man… Just as my brain was about to run out of RAM I remembered something!
I noticed that Europeans on the streets of Africa love to spend time in the sun. Conversely, Africans love to spend time away from the sun. A Nigerian married to a European once summarised it beautifully: “In every White man, there is a Black man trying to come out; and in every Black man, there is a White man trying to come out.” Funny, but reasonable! Europeans want to get darker, the Africans want to get lighter!
I’ve been hearing mentions of sunscreens for a long time but honestly, I thought they were some sort of hats or sunglasses until recently. I saw a Gentleman European with sunburns: wounds on the skin made by sunlight! My mouth dropped open! I was made to understand that every Caucasian I see in the sun has to wear a special cream (sunscreen) to prevent the sun from burning into their skin! You could imagine me checking my skin again to be sure skin is skin! Wow! No wonder some people are Africans, some people are Europeans, some Aboriginals, some Arabs, and some Eskimos! Conversely, when a European says he’s sweating in summer, the African is usually wearing layers of clothes.
It seems nature has established everything in its niche: the sheep of the tropics are less hairy than the sheep of the temperates! African cattle are basically hairless, some species of cattle in the temperates have hair! When African cattle were imported to Australia, the land was quickly overridden with cow dung; until the African dung beetle were imported to tackle the mounds the Australian dung beetle was not used to!
It looks like the creativity of the BigBang was really phenomenal…just that I think there is a Hand behind this careful crafting!
Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Who shut up the sea behind doors…when I said, “This far you may come and no farther?
Have you given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place?
Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail?
Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens?
Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom and spread his wings towards the south?
Does the eagle soar at your command and build his nest on high?
– Ponderings of Job.
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