The Hot, Sunny Days Are Here, so what are you and I going to do about them?
While we wait for the Ministers for Water and the Environment to finalise their press releases on the ongoing temperature highs, and our children swelter in this
tropical heat while mindlessly reciting the idea that this is now “winter” time, let’s address simple global warming issues.
In October last year NASA experts announced that planet Earth will suffer an unprecedented heat wave this year (they said in Summer, but what do we know about such things?), and in December they said something else about the Arctic cap melting fast and the earth absorbing more and more heat.
For the average individual, the concept of global warming is complex and doesn’t make easy Sunday reading or mealtime conversation, so the best approach is to break it down into simple bits and pieces that we can manage in our homes or at our office desks.
To begin with, most of us are going to instal (more) fans in our homes to cope with those night-time temperatures, and some of us will even buy humidifiers and air conditioners. It is unhealthy, in this heat, to hold our breaths for too long but we are doing so as we wait for supermarkets and electronics companies to launch promotions on fans and air conditioning units – surely it’s only a matter of time before they do so. They should have ordered for heavy stocks months ago in anticipation of this time, since we knew about this as far back as October.
There is some heated irony in the fact that these purchases will increase our energy consumption and thus have an even worse effect on ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’. That aside, the effects of this heat in our bedrooms could be warded off by planting some large trees right outside to provide shade and create a natural coolness, and in the long-term contribute positively towards the climate and environment.
As the tree seedlings grow, our electricity companies are going to grapple with the increased consumption while looking backwards at the generation companies that might soon declare that water levels at the hydropower dams are dropping and therefore there is less electricity to go round.
The water company has already raised a red flag, just this week, announcing that there is a daily shortage of 50million litres of water for city supply alone. That means that you and I (or our maids) should do less laundry during the next three or so months.
That can be aided by our wearing much lighter clothes so that the laundry consumes less water; therefore thick jeans, suits and heavy cotton shirts and dresses are going to stay in the wardrobe for quite a while and our workmates and clients should expect to see more t-shirts and light cotton short-sleeve shirts in the boardrooms.
And we should not have a shortage of t-shirts at this time, because we must have compiled a good number of them to use in the gym and while jogging, now that the holidays are over and we need to reverse the effects of all that food and lounging about.
This increased healthy activity automatically means an increase in water consumption for re-hydration – which is actually necessary, in this heat, even without the exercise. Hopefully the drinking water companies are stepping up their supply of the stuff to meet our biologically increasing demand.
Annoyingly, their increase in production means more energy consumption, and so on and so forth.
Speaking of energy, solar energy companies should be raking in billions from people who’ve calculated how much benefit they can garner by using solar powered equipment for at least these three months. This is the time to identify technology out there that can charge solar-powered batteries for these three months so that we can use them for the rest of the year even if it’s dark non-stop.
The charcoal makers, for instance, are certainly taking advantage of this heat and dry weather to turn trees into sacks of charcoal that they will sell for the rest of the year.
In fact, these guys are working so hard that we’ve got to think of the government at this point and ask that they look into their activities a little more closely. Supposing in the enhanced heat of the season their activities result in a forest fire? How ready are we to handle that kind of disaster?
Stepping back from the government a little bit, how ready are we to handle any fire in this heat? Are our fire extinguishers serviced and our sand buckets filled up?
And moving back to the government again, how many medical staff do we have available at health centres to deal specifically with cases of heat-related emergencies? Our medical personnel should be undergoing special training in how to handle fire-related injuries, for instance, with burn kits and whatnot.
It would probably be the work of the National Planning Authority (NPA) to create a schedule based on research done by the Meteorological Department to show which parts of Uganda would be most severely affected in which way during this hot spell – some by way of drought, others suffering fires, and others because of dry air. The NPA would also have coordinated with other scientists to work out what germs might be thriving during this hot season so that the most appropriate antidotes are stocked in the National Drug Authority (NDA). warehouses.
But that doesn’t stop you and me from briefing our domestic staff and stocking up our first aid boxes with gels, salves and medicines all at less than the cost of a crate of beer or two bottles of wine…