A respite from the summer heat
As I wrote this, the sunlight was peeking out of the clouds that darkened the sky for a good part of yesterday morning in Cebu City, confirming the forecast of the state weather bureau Pagasa of cooler days this week.
But whether or not there would be rains today, the point is summer is already here with or without Pagasa’s official declaration. Humidity or the heat index — the actual temperature felt by the human body or so I remember — doesn’t rely on any weather forecaster’s announcement to make its presence felt on everyone.
The heat had been quite relentless lately, to the point that it sticks and cakes on the skin like a warm sweater or blanket, and it reminds you of that unwelcome prickly feeling you get moments before you experience sunburn.
While warmer-than-average summer heat had become a reality no thanks to climate change, it would have been a lot more tolerable if the water supply wasn’t so freaking bad.
Unfortunately for those in Metro Cebu, warm weather usually means low water supply; and that means long nights of stocking up on water in drums and, in my case, waiting until past midnight to fill the drums and making sure the toilet bowls always remain clean and flushed.
Aside from dried-up faucets, what would make summer a lot more intolerable would be the brownouts especially in the morning when the heat is quite as unrelenting and unbearable as President Rodrigo Duterte’s rants and sermons on the illegal drug menace in his public speaking engagements.
Last I heard over the radio, residents of Mactan and Cordova town would mark the start of their Lenten observance next month with a series of brownouts thanks to the installation of an additional power generator that would ensure a steady power supply for their growing population and rising number of tourist arrivals.
Why they didn’t do it last December when the weather was a lot cooler — okay it rained a lot but it’s cooler and more tolerable — only those in charge can answer, but it’s unavoidable and it’s better to do it now than wait again.
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Speaking of climate change, a notification posted on my YouTube account yesterday announced the trailer for a movie called “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power” and my first thoughts were that it would be a parody of the 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” featuring former US vice president Al Gore’s campaign to raise awareness on the worsening global pollution and its far-reaching impact on the environment.
But it was nothing of the sort, and it was actually an update of the 2006 documentary that included then US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s promise to reverse the environmental policies against climate change set by the outgoing Obama administration if he’s elected into office.
I don’t know when the production of the documentary finished, but the YouTube notification came hours after now US President Donald Trump signed an executive order removing the federal government’s environmental regulations on US businesses, specifically on fossil fuel production, last Wednesday.
Trump made a show of signing his executive order as he was flanked by coal miners and owners of coal companies who cheered after he showed the official document to US media.
Like President Duterte, who hurled invectives at both the Philippine Daily Inquirer and ABS-CBN in yet another public speaking engagement, Trump is ignoring the backlash and outrage vented by environmental groups and the European Union against his rollback of the Clean Energy Plan instituted by his predecessor, Barack Obama.
No doubt Mr. Duterte will cite Trump as yet another justification for his insistence on the country’s continued reliance on coal plants as a major power source even if his choice of Environment Secretary Gina Lopez may oppose it.
In signing the executive order, Trump said it will ensure that Americans get to keep their jobs while still maintaining the US government’s commitment to clean air and clean water.
How they would manage to do that while their factories still produce massive amounts of carbon pollutants from coal plants that would further destroy the ozone layer is something they would explain away using their now infamous “alternative facts.”
In another part of the world, specifically the Philippines, more Pinoys will have to brace for warmer weather that can render our faucets and fields bone dry followed by wildly unpredictable storms and typhoons that can devastate our cities, our provinces and homes.
In the meantime, let’s try to enjoy today’s brief rainy respite — if any — from the summer sun.
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