The world’s weather patterns seem to have gone bananas. Hurricane Florence has unleashed her anger off the Eastern Coast of the United States but it is still too early to assess the extent of the damage. But early images show the eastern part of the US is under water which will likely be the case for the next few days.
In the Far East, the skies are also cooking up some mischief with super typhoon Mangkhut expected to make landfall in southern China any time soon with wind speeds in excess of 200Kmh.
Rwanda, which prides itself on having heavenly weather year-round, is also experiencing some level of disruptions; unexpected rains alternating with heat waves have seen flush floods in the western parts of Kigali and strong winds uprooting trees in the city. Mercifully, no lives were lost.
The three incidents have one common denominator; global warming caused mostly by the accumulation of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the atmosphere. Both China and the US are major polluters because of the major industries, most of which contribute to the greenhouse gases, rising temperatures and unpredictable weather patterns.
As of July this year, 195 countries had already signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, also known as the Paris Agreement. The aim was to keep the increase of global warming to well below 2 degrees annually. Incidentally, Donald Trump’s first major decision when he was elected president was his intention to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement.
Today many other people are still living in denial but global warming is a reality. As some parts of the world have not taken global warming seriously, France has announced that it intends to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040. Rwanda’s modest contribution was banning plastic bags and instituting strict vehicles exhaust emissions control.
In 2016, 197 countries signed the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on climate change in order to gradually reduce global production and consumption of HFCs, beginning with developed countries. But that will be a difficult road to travel if major polluters continue to treat pollution and global warming with disdain.