Seeking solutions to nature’s upsets

This week, we have commemorated World Forestry, Water and Meteorological days. While all mark significant occasions, the last-mentioned has attracted the most media attention; not just because our attention is glued to the weather report each weekend but because it is a science that has added to our knowledge of environmental pollution while also warning us about extreme weather conditions. Indeed, without meteorology we would feel more at the mercy of unpredictable, sometimes frightening forces of nature. This is particularly true now that climate changes are seemingly more volatile and the spring equinox, which came this week, does not necessarily herald the end of winter. Meanwhile, water is arguably our most crucial natural resource. Indeed, if sobering media reports about the planet’s dwindling water reserves are to be taken at face value, we should all be scared stiff about the future. We are told that 2 billion people still lack access to clean drinking water; we hear about natural water sources drying up, flash floods, landslides and other natural disasters, as well as marine pollution. Finally, forestry also deserves our attention, particularly in this country where so much greenery has been lost, mostly to summer fires, and where even the little remaining forestland remains at risk. But, again, we seem to be awaiting a miracle.