KELLY'S WORLD - A Jamaica dis?
Now if we needed another sign of the apocalypse, we got it last week.
Jamaica, known for its sun (and I stress sun), sand and all that other lovely stuff, was a different place. It felt like you just woke up and opened the refrigerator. Mi did col'!
Waking up early is difficult as is, without the seemingly '40 below-nought' temperatures. Didn't want to leave the car when I got to work as it was so cosy inside. Felt like I was trekking across the Antarctic as I walked to the building. Around 9 a.m., when I was just about thawed out, I thought it was safe to go back outside. 'The sun would heat me up', I thought, figuring that things would be less nippy than they were earlier that morning. Alas, I judge the weather as well as Elmer Fudd says the letter 'r', so the moment I set foot outside, di col' breeze lick mi again! Halfway to my destination, I nearly turned back.
To be fair, we have had cold fronts before. And folks in some parts of the island (big up Mandeville), do witness chilly weather on a regular basis. But the scale to which we saw folks walking around in winter coats and windbreakers, caught many by surprise. While it may not be a sign of impending doom, it does make you wonder about the effects of global warming.
It's a fact that usually warmer zones have been getting cooler and vice versa. Storms and other weather conditions are even more violent. And the heavier the rain, the more likely the risk of flooding, landslides and potential loss of life. I think we've messed with Mother Earth long enough and she's beginning to get upset.
Apart from the obvious signs of climate change, this little incident should also remind us just how great Jamaica really is. One foreigner said the weather for him was good compared to where he lives. So visualise, if you can, what a cold day for him would be like for us. Pneumonia, asthma and bronchitis cases would be through the roof! Imagine needing to hammer icicles off your eaves! Brr! Thankfully, what we have for the majority of the year, is warm, welcoming sunshine, but we rarely express gratitude for it. We're much too busy quarrelling about how hot it is, and how 'wi a bun up'. The AC units in cars, offices and homes work overtime and then we lament the energy bill at month's end.
Aah, but after last week, I think a few more folks will be saying, 'nuh whe nuh betta dan yaad!'
Stay warm with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sheldon Sinclair, all dressed up to beat the cold. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer