Friday, 8 June 2012

Rain, Rain; Go Away II

The way that it has been explained to me is that between 4.5 and 4.3 billion years ago when the Earth was just a mass of gas like the stars and our beloved sun, a combination of gravity and cooling pulled on the heavier elements to form a molten, volatile surface of proto-Earth. A pressurised mixed atmosphere of heavy elements formed and water molecules that did not escape the Earth's gravity cooled to form vapour clouds that fell as rain. These heavy element rains continued to cool and fall and in due time the water that did not vaporise at the same rate that it fell, formed the oceans, lakes and rivers. And within the primordial oceans and pools of water, about 4.2 billion years ago, there came life.

We have much to be thankful for because of the rain and scientists continue to state that water is the key element for presence of life on this planet ... It is the rain that waters the crops that feed the planet and it is the same rain that sustains the rainforests that help absorb the CO2 that we produce in abundance. We cleanse ourselves with water, cool and warm our modern homes with it and we know clean fresh supplies of water are often a precious and scarce commodity. We need that cycle of rain to renew our supplies and I am grateful, as I have already stated.

... except the 2012 version of me is a little annoyed at having listened to months and months of gloom stories about the imminent drying up of British reservoirs. It is June, and we are having to face yet more wet Yorkshire days.

The rain was always something of a novel occurrence when it happened when I was living in Abu Dhabi, and arguably there was more need for a national Salat-ul-Istisqa (Prayer for Rain). In Yorkshire however, rainfall happens all the time and it is the lack of maintenance to the Victorian-era network of pipes (from which a third of the conserved water seeps before it reaches the domestic tap); not the lack of rain that should be the prime concern. Here, wet days = grey skies and living under a terminal blanket of grey = misery. Yes, I am not shy about saying, that I wished it rained less, and no, I don't think that just because we have a few days of sun that we are in the grips of global climate change. It irritates me to have to listen to that.

Michael Crichton's, 2004 techno-thriller, State of Fear came in for considerable scientific criticism mainly because it challenged post-modern scientific views on global warming. Whatever the truths, it is that 'state of fear' that is drilled into us every day about drought, impending shortages, freak weather systems and so on that seem to keep the British happy to remain at most ease when they are living under a constant blanket of rain.

Sure there are truths about water conservation where it is wise to listen to advice, but when it comes to the English and their sense of water panic, I have learned to not to always listen to popular opinion ...

Note: The title of this post is inspired by this post that I made in 2009. Here's another post where I express more disdain about the rain. Neither post, incidentally had anything to do with that favourite English pass-time for discussing the weather since neither posts were made in England. 

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