Farhan Rehman

3 year drought in Cape Town – forcing social hierarchies to break down

In Climate Change on 11, June 2018 at 12:52 AM

Over the last three years, Cape Town has been suffering an extraordinary, once-in-300-years drought—helped along, most analysts surmise, by climate change. The shift in the city’s physical appearance is astonishing. The Cape is cordoned off from the rest of the country by a 5,000-foot-high wall of mountains. To the northeast, the landscape looks like the Africa of safari brochures: dry, hot and then jungly. But in the little bowl-shaped area couched between the mountain range and the southwestern tip of the African continent, the climate is exceptional. Its technical name is “Mediterranean.” To look out from the peaks toward Cape Town, a city of 4 million distinguished by genteel architecture and craggy slopes, has traditionally been like glimpsing Greece, if Greece were even dreamier: ivory houses, cobalt sea, olive hills, all threaded through by ribbons of gold and twinkles of topaz from wine farms. Fed by five times more rainfall than South Africa’s arid central region, the Cape area is one of the most diverse floral kingdoms on Earth, boasting giant blush-colored blooms. Cloud formations, from billowing white cumulonimbus to fogs that flow like rivers to mists that course like waterfalls off the top of Table Mountain, the crag that looms over the city, make heaven seem almost like a real place here, as playful and richly landscaped as the earth below.Some of that is gone now. Cape Town’s drought palette is a dull lime and beige. Lawns and gardens are dead. The city’s vast townships—spots legally reserved for people of color under apartheid—used to be differentiated from the wealthy neighborhoods that tumble down the Atlantic-facing side of Table Mountain not only by their location, tucked conveniently behind the mountain where they couldn’t easily be seen, but also by their own, less desirable microclimate, marshy and wind-scoured, prone to floods in wet weather and, in the dry and breezy summers, consumed by a cloud of grit. Dust, piled in little drifts in the gutters, was one of those signs that you were heading into a “bad” place. Dust is everywhere now.COVER: Cape Town’s largest and most important dam, Theewaterskloof, holds more than half of the area’s water when it’s at capacity. TOP: Cape Town as seen from the top of Lion’s Head, one of the two mountains that give the city’s downtown a bowl-like shape. BOTTOM: A “road” in the semi-desert area outside of town.

Source: Dry, the beloved country – The Huffington Post

 

Whilst the article is unnecessarily long, talking about the politics of South Africa, Apartheid, and being littered with stories and examples of humans coming together in the face of adversity, I cannot believe that more media coverage hasn’t been forthcoming on the state of drought in Cape Town.

 

There have been official devices attached to homes, to restrict water consumption, and there are even lines of people filling up water from public springs, to cope.  People are collecting rainwater.  They are getting ingenious with how they are conserving water.  Everything from not flushing the water away unnecessarily (i.e. leaving turds and pee in the bowls, until it fills up), to recycling water for showers, from washing machines, and using dirty water to wash dishes, so as to make sure that nothing is wasted.

 

There seems like a genuine shortage of water in Cape Town, that shockingly isn’t being reported in the UK, or even mentioned in mainstream media, news, or outlets here in the UK.  I don’t know if it’s visible in other parts of Europe, or other countries around the world.

Clearly there’s a lot to be said for the impacts of climate change.

Not least, that we are becoming more selective in the traumas, tragedies, and challenges that are being broadcast out from different cities, countries, and around the world.

The ingenuity, and resourcefulness of people during this drought, as well as the way in which it’s helping bring down barriers between wealth status, class, and colour/race, is all a positive sign of how humans can come together, when we’re forced to, in times of crisis, that gives us hope yet, of what may happen in the future, going forward.

 

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Fairy Scapegoats: A History of the Persecution of Changeling Children

In Faeries on 11, June 2018 at 12:15 AM

“Like witches, fairies were powerful, uncanny and unpredictable. And like witches, or vampires, or any of the world’s numerous magical figures, fairies were scapegoats. They could be blamed for almost anything, from human deaths through to mass famine. In one sense, the fairy as scapegoat was potentially a good thing. For fairies, real or not, could not be harmed. Women taken for witches certainly could be, and were — and after official persecution ended there were hundreds of serious vigilante assaults on them throughout Britain, right through to the end of the nineteenth century. In reality, however, fairy scapegoats did produce a great deal of human suffering. The problem, here, was what people did to real human beings who were believed to be fairy changelings.”

Source: Fairy Scapegoats: A History of the Persecution of Changeling Children

 

It seems that Fairies, unlike in our current mainstream/hollywood culture of being playful, and fun, (like Tinkerbell from Peter Pan) were actually considered harmful, and mischievous in centuries gone by.  The article above is an excerpt from a book, written by Richard Sugg ( Fairies: A Dangerous History , published by Reaktion Books in June 2018), in which they cover more details.

 

Some of the points mentioned, include stories of ‘abductions’ by faeries that led to becoming ‘psychic’, and having healing abilities.  Some of the tales, and stories talk about how potentially diseases, illnesses and deformities, and genetic mutations, or disabilities could have been attributed to these malevolent spirits, and how sometimes a parent might even think that their child has been changed for the child of a fairy.

 

It’s certainly an eye opener to the depth of folk lore, and traditions surrounding something that growing up I innocently thought were fun, and playful beings, that were there in nature, and perhaps occasionally made themselves known, or visible to us, as humans.

 

There is definitely much in the unseen world, that we have yet to learn, understand, or even truly comprehend, when it comes to what’s real, what’s not.  What’s genuine, and what’s imagination.  And we certainly shouldn’t disregard, or ignore legends, stories, and tales from years gone by, just because we believe ourselves to be more intellectual, or intelligent.  The arrogance with which we might approach our world, based on what we’ve discovered, understood, and mastered is beyond me at times.  Given how much we know we’ve already learnt, if anything, we should be aware of just how little we truly know, and be humbled, and open and receptive to truly growing our knowledge, our intelligence, and continuing to push the frontiers of what we think we know, and what we actively explore.

 

I firmly believe that all these legends, and stories had some basis in a reality that we have yet to fully understand.  Were they combinations of abductions by aliens, species with greater intelligence than us?  Or spiritual beings from other realms, overlapping into this reality?

In time we may come to learn and know the truth of what transpired.  Suffice it to say, for now, I’ll keep an open mind to the myths around Faeries, and keep an open mind – just in case it makes it easier to see it, if it appears in front of me one day..

What are your thoughts? Do you believe in Faeries? Aliens? Species, and realities that are beyond our ability to see or detect as yet?  Or do you believe we’ve achieved the pinnacle of science, and are at the culmination of the greatest time of our civilisation, and history?

 

I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below…

Hello world!

In Uncategorized on 17, June 2006 at 5:57 PM

Welcome to My Blog! Had to set up an account here, but my blogging actually occurs at Farhan’s Life. Also – if you’re on twitter – you can follow me there too@farhan! Thanks for stopping by 🙂 Now move on kindly 🙂