July 2015: A zoo keeper feeds chilled watermelons to a hippopotamus at the zoo in Belgrade, Serbia, as temperatures hit 40C. But the hippos would probably prefer to frolic in mud as nature decreed.
Flanders & Swann Song 1956
July was the hottest month ever recorded! Scientists say these temperatures are caused by a combination of man-made climate change and a strong, near-record El Nino which is a warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean that alters weather worldwide for about a year. Not only were the world’s oceans the warmest they have ever been in July but they were 1.35 degrees warmer than the 20th-century average.
And we still haven’t seen the full effect this year, especially here in Indonesia. The combination of high population density and high levels of biodiversity, together with a staggering 80,000 kilometres of coastline and 17,500 islands, makes Indonesia one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change.
We’re talking about the northern coastal plains of Java susceptible to the rise in sea levels; with erratic droughts and rainfall, farmers won’t know when to plant crops; dwindling fish stocks are further impoverishing fishermen. Forests are cleared through burning and the draining of peatlands, all to be replaced with monoculture crops, particularly palm oil plantations.
The extraction and burning of fossils fuels in the name of an assumed demand for more electrical power only generates an increase in the consumption of non-essentials … such as air conditioning units which only add to global warming (i.e. cold air in, hot air out!)
And the list goes on and on …
It’s sheer madness, enough to make one’s blood boil!
Note: Over on my music blog, you’ll find a carefully selected downloadable music compilation to tie in with this post. But no, it’s not chill out music.