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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gringo Weather

Everybody tells me that the weather here used to be reasonably predictable, but that it is no longer. And everybody - the gringos, the Panamanians, the Native Americans - offer the same reason: worldwide industrial pollution. I arrived here in the dry season, and it has been, for days at a time, extremely rainy. I've been told that last year's rainy season was the worst anyone can remember (hence the neighborhood meeting

about directing the rainwater runoff), and that the way this dry season has been suggests the coming rainy season will be even worse this year. Most days this dry season are lovely, however, yet somehow people have a sense - and I see the workers striving hard to bring in the harvest.

Predictability has long disappeared from the Northern Hemisphere. The ice cap is melting. Horrible snowstorms. Intense heat waves. Long weeks without rain or long weeks of nothing but. The locals here in Panama tell me that they, at least, enjoyed good weather and knew with confidence how the weather would be in a day, a week, a month, even a year. No longer, they say. The gringo civilization has destroyed that confidence. I have arrived here in time to witness the invasion of evil consequences from the pollution of the industrialized countries.

Of course, to some degree the Panamanians have contributed - trucks and automobiles here are badly tuned and emit a lot of poison, factory emissions are virtually unregulated, and many farmers use DDT and other equally horrible chemicals. But, then again, Panama, like so many third-world countries, has little choice in these matters because its economics are not strong enough to provide any choice - and that, once again, is the fault of industrialized countries. Moreover, the fact that the economy has changed, now necessitating trucks and cars, even if poorly maintained, is the effect of industrialization coming from abroad.

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  1. Interesting musings. I thought you might be interested to know that the house in the last photo is not a "gringo" house.

  2. Thank you, Vicki! Correction made. I'm grateful to readers like you who help me make this text better! --James David Audlin