More Freakish Weather

July 30, 2018

More Freakish Weather

In a place like the US, it is possible, and extremely convenient in certain political circles, to consistently and adamantly deny the existence of global warming, or 'climate change' as the slightly less politically-charged phrasing has it. For a variety of technical reasons--North America is a diverse land mass divided into relatively few discrete nations, and perhaps given to relativel less direct affrontery from environmental catastrophe due to its lcoation--it remains somewhat popular there to say none of this is happening. It's a bit more difficult in Japan.

Two days ago it rained for the first time in two weeks.

This rain was the moist boundary of Typhoon 12, which is currently spinning around somewhere else on the archipelago, refusing to move, after migrating from the east some days prior. Some accounts insist that this is the first time in history that a typhoon has moved from east to west. Although the veracity of this assertion may be a matter of some debate in academic circles, the weather remains freakish.

The last rain we had before that was a viciously torrential downpour that threatened to wash us all away in the current. In the space of two days, there was more rainfall volume than in the entire month of July 2017. Here in Tottori City we watched the creek in the backyard get higher and higher, and barely slept while we waited for the order to evacuate.

Eventually, the rain stopped, and we escaped without even any major losses to the vegetable patch. A friend of a friend who had the misfortune of living on lower land was forced to evacuate as the water engulged the first floor of their house. They returned after the storm to find all three of their cars had vanished. Nationwide, hundreds are dead and thousands homeless.

The aftermath of the storm was soaring temperatures with scarcely a cloud in the sky, every day with the exception of that wee respite the typhoon brought in. Every day this past week and as far as the forecast will predict has a high of 34 or 35, with the exception of tomorrow, which is expected to reach 37.

The only reason I'm recording these events here now is for comparison, as I fear that in a few years we may look back on these things as mild in the face of all the disasters that start to besiege us when climate change spirals beyond all semblance of reason.