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Writing is on the wall: climate change

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Climate change is upon us: men repair a roof after Hurricane Fabian in 2003

Hurricane Fabian 2003

Hurricane Katrina 2005

Hurricane Sandy 2012

Hurricane Fay 2014

Hurricane Gonzalo 2014

Hurricane Nicole 2016

Hurricane Harvey 2017

Hurricane Irma 2017

Hurricane Maria 2017

Hurricane Dorian 2019

Hurricane Humberto 2019

More than ten major hurricanes over the past 16 years. More than ten clear indications that climate change is real.

We all know the drill: once the regular websites such as The Weather Channel, CNN and our own weather.bm show the all-too-familiar symbols of an imminent hit, direct or otherwise, it is time to swoop into action.

Groceries stores get swamped with customers buying foods to go into fridges that will not have power later on.

Hardware stores have an unlimited supply of batteries and flashlights at undiscounted prices.

Social media becomes the go-to place, surpassing the official Emergency Measures Organisation for hurricane do’s and don’ts.

During the hurricane, we lose power and some lose their social-media reach.

However, at the same time we regain our senses of mortality, humanity and family.

We sit down together and ensure our loved ones are OK and tell survival stories of hurricanes past.

Post-hurricane, we venture outside of our safe spaces and go to check on neighbours.

We then bring out machetes and chainsaws to help clear roads in our immediate areas.

Oh yes, of course, we take pictures of downed trees, damaged grooves and overturned items, and send them out over social media.

This is what we do every hurricane.

The unfortunate reality is that we have had to do it at least five to seven times over the past two decades.

Let no one fool us, climate change is real.

The temperatures of the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico have become warmer and warmer each year.

Industrialised countries, with their multitudes of vehicles, factories and other emissions, are superheating the atmosphere on a daily basis.

The Amazon and other major rainforests have been on fire, heating up the air while starving the world of precious oxygen.

The net result is this rapid increase in hurricanes in our region of Category 3 strength and above.

As you read this, there is a high probability that Hurricane Jerry is now heading towards the Lesser Antilles islands of Antigua & Barbuda, Montserrat and St Kitts & Nevis.

According to all weather models, Jerry will then turn north and head towards Bermuda.

It’s a good thing we still have plenty of supplies left over from Fay, Gonzalo, Nicole and Humberto.

Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him at WhatsApp on 599-0901 or e-mail at cfamous@plp.bm

On duty: Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers clearing up the roads on South Shore Road, Southampton, in 2015
Tragedy in New Orleans: a young man walks through chest-deep floodwater in New Orleans in 2005 (Photograph by Dave Martin/AP)