If the Christmas season does little else, it tends to get people to focus on the needs of others. Often, that focus is nothing more than a fleeting reference, but many also stretch out their hands or open their doors or put out a plate for those seen to be less fortunate. But, over the past few days, I’m not sure if we’ve really seen the need right on our doorsteps.
The latest reports I’ve seen state that 18 people have been confirmed dead in floods that have hit the Eastern Caribbean a few days ago. Several people are also missing in the three islands, St Vincent & the Grenadines, St Lucia and Dominica. It’s early days yet, and the needs for assistance are not clear, according to political leaders in those countries. However, keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to help.
I’m not going to say much that is shocking to pose the question about what climate change may be doing. But, the seemingly bizarre extreme weather conditions that have hit much of Europe, especially the UK, should make us all think a little more.
The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to climate change in many forms, e.g., rising sea levels and impact on fresh water. The region’s livelihood is under threat. We’ve been blessed with so many natural things that it’s quite normal for many in the region and outside to equate the conditions in ‘Paradise’ to last forever. That’s naive. But, acting in ways that can deal effectively to the climate threats is as big a problem as dealing with pressing economic and social issues.
The region does not have a history of acting quickly to address issues, so I’m less than optimistic about what will happen in this area. We’re also good at wailing and putting up our hands and crying “Lord, what happened?” So, maybe, the flooding will make that attitude change. Maybe…