The Lion, The Bitch and The Ecophobe

Amazingly, it seems that environment-hating columnist Ivo Vegter has found another way to make himself even more unpopular with the local bunnyhugging population. Not content with regularly using rational argument and solid proven facts in his support of fracking, he’s now only gone and said that we should all be killing lions like Melissa Bachman. Or something.

In truth of course, Ivo’s piece is actually about the lack of considered thought by the general public and some of our local journalists, who – amazingly (I know, I was shocked as well) – also spouted incorrect facts in pursuit of getting their desperate agenda across.

Emotive outrage and smug judgmentalism are no substitute for rational thought and pragmatic policy.

Absolutely, but then as I once said, internet environMENTAList warriors and slacktivists rarely seem to do any sort of research before making up their minds about what we should think on emotive issues:

Dolphin, panda, puppy – must protect.
It’s a trendy, ill-thought through, kneejerk, bandwagon-jumping response.

And following the whole Bachman “controversy”, it seems that we can add lions to that list as well (but not fruit flies, obviously). Because, as Ivo points out and as anyone else could also know if they’d bothered to do any research whatsoever, what Bachman did was perfectly legal and is quietly done by loads of other people visiting South Africa every single year, swelling our economy to the tune of R6.2 billion.

Sure, you might find it distasteful. Sure, it might not be for you (it’s not for me either, incidentally), but actually, that doesn’t make it unacceptable, illegal or mean that it must be banned. Neither does it mean that Bachman should be barred from entering South Africa again. Do you have any idea how utterly ridiculous this sort of petition sounds when you actually look at the facts?

You entered a country completely legally, supported a well-established, thriving and important local industry and did absolutely nothing illegal and yet we want you to be banned from ever going back.

Idiots, one and all.

And then it should be noted that the vast majority of the signatories aren’t even from South Africa. Since when should any foreigner have any say in who we let across our borders?
Because you all moaned and online-petitioned when China allegedly flexed its political muscle over the Dalai Lama, now didn’t you? And yet you’re more than happy for some easily-led Aussie schoolkid or a bored housefrau from Bremen to decide on a rather selective future immigration policy for the Republic of South Africa?

Have these people even read what they’re signing?

Yes, I’m sure all of them read this bit:

Her latest Facebook post features her with a lion she has just executed and murdered in our country.

Yes, not content with executing the lion, she also murdered it as well. And yes, I’m prepared to agree that this is a bit over the top. Still, at least she didn’t kill it as well.

But I’m more interested in this line:

As tax payers [sic] we demand she no longer be granted access to this country and its natural resources.

Hang on, over 100,000 of you aren’t tax payers [sic] of “this country”. And yet you think that you have a right to influence our country’s laws? Get real.

But back to the hunting thing. The fact is that hunting is completely legal in South Africa and that’s a good thing for the local wildlife, because case studies have shown that countries where hunting has been banned often suffer huge problems with poaching:

The notion that hunting harms the survival of species, or the environment more generally, happens to be false, and demonstrably so.

Commenting on Botswana’s recent decision to ban professional hunting in the hope that it would stop poaching, Professor Melville Saayman of the North-West University observed: “…the problem is that it is going to have a reversed effect.
Kenya followed the same path. They also banned hunting and currently have a huge game poaching problem, so much so that some of their species face total extinction.”

Maybe we should ban hunting and then re-run the old tearful Bokkie “LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE” posters for the greenies as the local ecosystems and game park industries collapse.

Happy Days.

Bastille – Pompeii (Acoustic)

Yes, we’ve all heard the fantastic acoustic version of Bastille’s Pompeii already – a version augmented by the… er… acoustic qualities of the venue, the Petit Palais dans le Musée des Beaux-Arts de le Ville de Paris, no less. Mais oui.

But there’s no problem with hearing it again and marveling at Dan Smith’s soaring voice echoing around les belles salles, now is there?

Beautiful, although as Scroobius Pip would say of Kyle “J” Simmons (far left) “I’d rarely seen someone look quite so uncomfortable in their own skin”. Hopefully there will be a bit more energy from him when they come over here in January, and it won’t turn into another lifeless Alt-J set. Colour me worried.

Incidentally, you may also enjoy Hannah Reid and London Grammar‘s acoustic version of Wasting My Young Years (and indeed, Hannah Reid), done for the same people, but in a different (sadly less echoey) room, here.

Entirely Typical Weather

As my parents prepare to head back from the sun of Cape Town to freezing conditions back in the UK, the Daily Mash reminds us that such weather is actually completely normal for November:

TEMPERATURES in the UK are going to fall sharply over the coming weeks because that is what happens at this time of year, it has been claimed.

Meteorologists believe that winter, a spell of short, cold days commonly defined as a season, will be more or less exactly what you would expect.

Meanwhile, after a weekend of extremely atypical Cape Town weather, today was spent in the sun with the family and the big cats at Vredenheim.
Photos may surely follow.

Storm

We’ve had a rough couple of days in Cape Town, but this isn’t a photo directly related to them.
image

This is a photo by local photographer Henk Kruger and was apparently taken in September.

It seems apt to share it after the last 24 hours or so.

Incoming: Black South Easter

Much talk around about the ‘Black South Easter’ that is expected to hit Cape Town over the next 36 hours or so, bringing with it high winds, dark clouds and much rain. And right from the outset, it should be pointed out that this nomenclature isn’t a racist thing. We don’t have an alternative ‘White South Easter’ which lives very comfortably in Constantia, happily subsisting off its ill-gotten, pre-94 gains and complaining about the ANC. No, this is so named because of the threatening colour of the clouds – a kind of meteorological Swart Gevaar, if you wish to continue the rather tenuous analogy.

The braai-ruining South Easter or ‘Cape Doctor’ which is usually prevalent in Cape Town from October through to (at least) December is due to a pressure area called the South Atlantic High (SAH) which sits just off the Cape coast and fairly regularly joins up with its equally high friend in Durban. These guys hang around together, being high, giggling at nothing in particular, eating Pringles and forming a ridge of high pressure below South Africa, bringing with them the warm Cape Doctor, which, despite its reputation for blowing patio chairs over in Vredehoek, is actually a fair weather wind.

All good so far? Fantastic.
So what goes wrong in this Black South Easter scenario, which is responsible for such nastiness as the great Laingsburg Flood?

At first the rain was gentle as a result of a low pressure system.  But from Saturday afternoon to Sunday a high pressure system brought heavy thunder showers to the catchment area.  Up to 425 mm rainfall was recorded that week-end, whereas the normal rainfall per annum is only 175 mm.

Well, despite their insistence that a high pressure system was solely to blame, it was actually the interaction between that high pressure system and what’s called a Cut-Off Low pressure area. Please don’t think for a moment that we’re talking about the usual mild-mannered inland low pressure trough that sits over the Karoo in summer here. No, this puppy is a deep low pressure area and it would much rather be with its mates down towards Antarctica at this time of year. Sadly, our South Atlantic High is so out of it that he’s joined up with his Bru from Durbs and unwittingly separated the low from his friends. Awkward.

Let’s explain what’s going on by transposing this situation into a bar room scenario. It would be a bit touch and go.
Ideally, the low pressure area would note the obviously wasted state of the South Atlantic High, politely point out the awkward social situation that had occurred – “Sorry dude, I just need to slip past, please” – and things would be quickly resolved.
Sadly though, meteorological pressure areas are unable to communicate with one another – or anyone else for that matter – and the angry young low has been doing Jägerbombs since lunchtime. He lets fly with everything he’s got, dragging the warm air from our high friends, chucking in some filthy black clouds and several inches of precipitation in his annoyance at not being allowed to sit with his mates.

Fortunately, all this bluster doesn’t last for very long. Whereas a normal winter low pressure area would go on for a few days, the cut off low soon runs out of energy and falls down drunk at the bar. The ridge of high pressure looks on, “Dude, he totally fell over,” and gets on with clearing the dark clouds over the Mother City. That’s why Sunday actually looks quite nice and summer returns on Monday, when we’re all back at work.

If the forecast is to be believed, we’re in for a lot of rain from Friday evening through into Saturday. So do stay safe and remember these numbers in case of emergency.