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viernes, agosto 03, 2012

The Importance Of Being Ernesto (II)

This seems now like an annual ritual. I see a map like the one above. I write this essay or one like it. The hurricane projections seem to be pointed directly at my front door in Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico. I didn't invite Ernesto, but here he is, threatening a visit. Doesn't he realize that he, Ernesto/Algernon, is supposed to decline this and all other invitations to visit his invalid friend, Bunbury, in the country? No? This storm has no lit cred. None at all.

So, once again, it's time to make offerings to Chac and Kukulkan, asking them to spare us, to turn the storm away from us. And it's time to note that indigenous architecture-- palapa roofs, windows without glass-- is the best way to deal with the tropics, and that huge, towering McMansions with glass sliding doors, windows, air conditioning, and tile roofs are just a bad idea. At least if you want to have a house after a big storm. With traditional buildings, after the storm, you just shovel out the sand. And maybe you replace a few palm leaves in the roof.

I've talked about exactly this at length in my novella, Tulum.

And of course, the turtle nests on our beaches will now have to be moved indoors, so that storm does not destroy them. The turtles are endangered. We do what we can despite the storm to keep them going.

But this isn't about commerce. Or the joys of Mayan architecture. Or what we have to do to protect endangered sea turtles. No. This is about something really big: the fact that this is a small planet, and that humans have raised its temperature, including, of course, the temperature of the Caribbean. And so tropical storms like Ernesto are far more likely. And those of us living on the coasts or near them know that despite whatever the deniers say, hurricane seasons like this one, with more intense storms, are our current reality. They are what we now expect. They are what we have to deal with.

More in the next few days, when it's clear whether Ernesto is coming ashore here.

Meanwhile, may all be safe, may they find shelter, and may all be well.

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