Posts Tagged ‘drought’
Nine year old Irina Ilyukhina earned the title of “tastiest girl” last month at the Russian Mosquito Festival, an annual event held in Berezniki, a town in the Ural Mountains. She and other contestants stood in shorts and vests for 20 minutes in a bug-infested wood; Irina’s winning total was 43 bites.
In 2013, the winner collected more than 100 mosquito bites; but unusually hot and dry weather in Berezniki diminished the insect population this year. Most years, attendees can participate in a mosquito hunt that rewards whomever can collect the most bugs in a glass jar; this year’s festival had to forgo the event.
More at “9-year-old wins ‘tastiest girl’ competition at annual Russian Mosquito Festival.” C.f. also, The Great Texas Mosquito Festival, held annually in Clute, Texas. (One notes that, Russia has confirmed just five cases of travel-related Zika in recent months, Texas has reported 125, and the United States as a whole, over 2,500.)
* Benito Mussolini
As we slather on the DEET, we might spare a thought for Fredrick Kenneth Hare, CC OOnt FRSC; he died on this date in 2002. One of Canada’s leading climatologists and environmentalists, he led both academic and political efforts to measure and stem the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide, to mitigate climate change, and to prevent drought.
Blizzards across the U.S. (record snowfalls)… droughts in Russia (worst in a century) and China (likely the worst in 200 years)… a one-two punch in the Antipodes: a century-worst decade of drought in Australia followed immediately by devastating floods…
There’s no question that climate disruption (or “global warming” or whatever one wants to call it) is having real impact: disrupted transit and hammered retail sales in the U.S. (and the U.K.) seem mere inconveniences in the face of drought-driven pressure on global food prices– pressure that’s aggravated the already painful problem of poverty around the world, and that’s surely contributed to the tensions roiling repressive/regressive regimes in the Middle East and elsewhere… all, scientists suggest, just a taste of the broader and deeper impacts to come if humankind doesn’t heal its relationship with Nature.
And, of course, it is up to us humans. Nature doesn’t care. Nature is perfectly prepared to get on with a future sans people. Memento Mori, Memento Natura…
Thankfully, there are artists to remind us– artists who were, as is so often the case, attuned to the threat even before the scientific establishment. Consider, for example, Jinzo Ningen Kikaida (a 70s Japanese TV series in the tradition of the great Ishiro Honda), which fielded this crystalline allegory:
Mother Nature’s go-go boots are made for walking– walking all over you.
As we ask not what Copenhagen can do for us, but what we can do for Copenhagen, we might recall that it was on this date in 1611 that Johannes Fabricius discovered sunspots (now reputed to have some impact on global climate); he published his observation on June 13 of that year in Narratio de Maculis in Sole Observatis et Apparente Earum cum Sole Conversione (“Narration on Spots Observed on the Sun and their Apparent Rotation with the Sun“).