Global Warming

6 11 2010

Early season storms in Zimbabwe can be ferocious; lots of lightening, wind and often hail without a lot of rain. This season’s storms have been unusually savage. Last night I was sitting on the verandah and I could hear the gust front approaching. It was not long before the power went off, came back on and then went off until around midday today.

The various global warming models have predicted that weather will become more extreme. Whether the ferocity of the recently experienced storms is anything to do with this would be very difficult to say but I cannot help but think that the appalling bush fires of the dry season are not helping the situation. Burnt veld of course is darker than grassed veld and therefore heats up a lot more.

In Zimbabwe dollar days we actually paid a carbon tax based on the size of the car engine of the vehicle we used. It had nothing to do with CO2 emissions or any sort of remedial action on the pollution – it was just another tax. It may even still exist for foreigners bringing their cars into the country but we found that the disc that had to be displayed on the windscreen as proof of payment was easily forged with a scanner and a bit of image processing so it did not last long. Maybe the Greeks could learn a thing or two about tax evasion from us!

Last weekend I took the Landcruiser up to Nyanga to get away from the heat and work. I did not give a lot of thought to the CO2 footprint I was generating. Paragliding was off the cards due to the storms around but I still managed to get a few good photos of flowers, this being the flower season. On the way back I went through the tail end of a storm near Juliasdale that had dumped a sizeable amount of hail on shade cloth covering a Hypericum crop and another near Ruwa that slowed traffic considerably.