Travelling in my carbon-producing motor car, the British Broadcasting Corporation news grabbed my attention. Italy records its highest temperature, 48 degrees Celsius. Algeria mourns the death of 65 persons due to summer wildfires. An island off the coast of Greece is a burning furnace. Thousands evacuated. California battling major forest fires. Severe flooding on the Black Sea coast of Turkey, destroying houses and cars. And the list goes on. Listening to the evening news in Trinidad, the most articulate and beautiful weather reporter on CNC 6 reported that Trinidad recorded one of its highest temperatures today, 34 degrees Celsius.
There’s a Jamaican saying, “Hard ears pickney goin’ feel,” meaning if a child does not listen to the instructions of adults, then they will experience the consequences.
The citizens of planet earth are like likkle (small) pickney. For decades the scientists have been warning us about the disastrous consequences of a fossil fuel dependent world. They tell us. Severe summer temperature. More category 5 hurricanes. Heavier rainfall pattern as occurred in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium recently. Greater flooding. Higher temperatures. Fast melting of the glaciers. Intense forest fires.
Do we need any more warning? The Caribbean is most vulnerable to rising seas and stronger hurricanes. What are we doing about our security? “Hard ears pickney goin’ feel,” And then, “wen di big storm dem lick wi, wi complain sey God figet wi”. (When the large storms hit us, we complain that God has forgotten us.)
We need to act now. In homes, in schools, in parishes, in neighbourhoods. Let us do our part in caring for the earth. Let us listen to the prophets who constantly remind us to care for the earth – Pope Francis, Rapso singer Brother Resistance and Greta Thunberg.
I leave with you the cartoon below for contemplation.