Mad tyrants, ter­ror hur­ri­canes, rogue plan­ets ... this is a world gone crazy

Daily Dispatch - - Opinion - ROBIN ROSS– THOMP­SON

ONE way or an­other we live in dan­ger­ous and stress­ful times. Close to home it’s po­lit­i­cal shenani­gans; fur­ther afield it’s the rant­ings of a dan­ger­ous and un­pre­dictable tyrant who wants to blow up parts of the world; then there are topsy-turvy weather events; and fi­nally a “rogue” planet on its way to slam into Earth.

We know what’s hap­pen­ing in South Africa. There’s very lit­tle in the way of good news at present and we live from day to day won­der­ing what the next in­stal­ment of vi­o­lence, cor­rup­tion and pol­i­tics will be. It isn’t pretty. So let’s start with the small (!) busi­ness of North Korea’s un­pre­dictable Kim Jong-un and the nu­clear bombs he likes set­ting off to show the world he means busi­ness. He’s no light­weight when it comes to fright­en­ing us all.

Imag­ine liv­ing in the coun­try next door to this per­verse freak, or across the wa­ter where the Ja­panese cower as an­other of his bal­lis­tic mis­siles flies over­head and crashes into the Pa­cific Ocean. It is all to­tally bizarre. Even the United States main­land and its is­land ter­ri­tory of Guam are parts of Kim’s plan to shake up his per­ceived en­e­mies.

What does one do when threats of nu­clear bombs be­ing aimed your way are bandied about as if they are lol­lipops be­ing handed out with blithe aban­don?

How is it that a third-class coun­try is able to hold the world to ran­som?

Eas­ily, it seems, and no­body knows quite how to deal with this prickly sit­u­a­tion – least of all the most pow­er­ful coun­try in the world.

So maybe it’s not such a bad thing liv­ing where we do at the bot­tom end of Africa, well away from what’s hap­pen­ing else­where.

Sure we also have our prob­lems, a short­age of wa­ter be­ing the main worry right now, and there’s lit­tle prospect of de­cent rain to fill dams which would give us a bit of breath­ing space.

Veld and farm­land are in dire straits in many ar­eas and the poor con­di­tion of farm an­i­mals can be seen when driv­ing through the East­ern Cape.

We need rain des­per­ately this end of the coun­try.

So does the Western Cape, even more than we do. Stor­age dams are head­ing for rock bot­tom.

For them in­dus­try and hu­man needs for wa­ter are be­com­ing crit­i­cal.

How­ever, there is one plus, and that is the pre­dic­tions that the next wine crop will be of ex­cep­tional qual­ity – but ta­ble grapes will suf­fer.

I sup­pose it’s like the sugar con­tent be­ing high, and the liq­uid be­ing more con­cen­trated than usual.

Bring on the good wine, I say, but you can bet the wine in­dus­try will take ad­van­tage and prices will soar.

Talk­ing about strange weather pat­terns, one couldn’t help be­ing con­cerned for those who were nes­tled in the way of hur­ri­canes in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mex­ico.

The first, Hur­ri­cane Har­vey, which struck the heart of Texas and dropped zil­lions of litres of rain, flood­ing Hous­ton and its sur­rounds, was then chal­lenged by Hur­ri­cane Irma to be­come the big­gest ever event of its kind.

This time it was the low-ly­ing is­lands in­clud­ing Cuba, the An­tilles, Ba­hamas and the state of Florida that were in its path. You wouldn’t have wanted to be there.

On Wed­nes­day, as I write this, dam­age looked se­vere with a high per­cent­age of framed (wooden) homes be­ing de­stroyed, with to­tal roof fail­ure and wall col­lapse. Fallen trees and power lines have iso­lated res­i­den­tial ar­eas due to power out­ages, ex­pected to last for weeks and months.

How­ever Irma, which was be­ing given the ti­tle of most pow­er­ful At­lantic Ocean hur­ri­cane in recorded his­tory, for­tu­nately spared fore­casts and didn’t quite meet pre­dicted wind speeds hit­ting 252km/h – and the re­sul­tant cat­a­strophic dam­age.

Now there’s all the clear­ing up, restor­ing wa­ter and power to mil­lions of homes and get­ting back to life as it is meant to be.

I must say I ad­mire all those who were af­fected for their courage and sto­icism.

And that’s not the end of this story. Pre­dic­tions of a new planet in or­bit around the sun about to de­stroy the earth have cropped up re­cently.

Yes, I know, one way or an­other we’ve heard it all be­fore, but one day it might just hap­pen.

The death planet, Niburu, it is said, is go­ing to kill us all when it strikes be­tween Septem­ber 20 and 23.

Dammit! That’s the week­end the Chiels head off on a camp­ing trip.

Clues to this cat­a­clysmic event are said to be hid­den in the Bi­ble and are writ­ten on the pyra­mids.

Oh well, why worry? It sounds like hooey to me. —

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