In the last ten weeks + two days ending Sept. 5, I had been away traveling for 42 days, spending only 32 days on ground in Singapore. That does come in the way of systematic tracking of events, developments and other interesting stuff and recording them here. The pattern looks set to continue at least until the end of October.
In my last instalment of travel, I spent a day in Mumbai, a day in Chennai, eight days in Boston and another two days in Chennai. The remaining three days were taken up by sitting in an aluminum tube in the skies.
The event in the U.S. when I was there was Hurricane Harvey and a story in LA Times argued that Houston had it coming because of its land use policy that did not account for the fact that it was a flat land in the line of the Gulf Stream. It overbuilt in flood prone areas. Sounds familiar to Indians.
Of course, we are forgetting that Hong Kong and Macau too were hit by severe storms – two storms – back to back almost, if I am not mistaken. Well, actually, South China Morning Post counts three. Looks like the third one petered out.
A professor was fired for saying that Texans deserved their ‘instant karma’ for voting Republicans. Offensive alright but deserved firing? I do not know.
After Hurricane Harvey, it is Hurricane Irma for Florida. It seems to be even bigger than Harvey and Katrina at some level.
Of course, readers in Chennai will not have forgotten the rains that was dumped in December 2015 and Cyclone ‘Vardah’ in December 2016. More recently, last week, much rain was dumped in Mumbai on a single day on Tuesday. It was 298 mm. rainfall, highest for the month of August since 1997. A story here. On July 26, 2005, Mumbai received 944 mm of rainfall! I was there in Mumbai on that day and got caught in the deluge. Lucky to escape. This story in ‘Guardian’ says that it has been the story in South Asian countries – India, Nepal and Bangladesh – this year.
Clearly, the frequency and the severity of these cyclonic storms and hurricanes, record rainfalls all point to climate change as the most important cause. That Republicans do not seem to take climate change seriously is a matter of concern for many. The last one month of hurricanes and storms would not have eased their concerns.