A bizarre article from Inverse online magazine asserts that “in early 2021, temperatures slumped to an unprecedented minus 76 degrees Fahrenheit” in Tajikistan, which was somehow caused by climate change.
The article, titled “In Tajikistan, a deadly new type of climate crisis has already arrived,” is the first in a three-part series called “The climate crisis at the Roof of the World.”
Much of the essay by Klas Lundstrom narrates the travails of local herders who have to fight off wolf packs to defend their livestock, but the piece — funded by the Pulitzer Center — also wanders into incoherent speculation on the role of climate change in the lives of locals.
“The cold forced many herders to keep their animals inside their homes to prevent them from freezing to death — but that didn’t necessarily save them from starving to death,” Lundstrom writes concerning last year’s bitter winter. “The wolves, which grew ravenous and desperate, came even more often to Bulunkul in search of either livestock or the shepherds tending them.”
An inset asserts that “temperature is rising faster in Tajikistan’s Pamir Mountains (elevation 25,095 feet) than the global average,” adding that the series proposes to recount “the stories of the people living through our coming climate crisis, today.”
An curious reader would be tempted to wonder whether global warming of a degree or two might not be welcomed by those living in a land where temperatures dip into the negative 60s but somehow this seems to escape the author.
Lundstrom coyly writes that “melting glaciers and increasingly extreme weather patterns are rewriting the rules of play for all the residents here on ‘the roof of the world,’” presumably by making the wolves more erratic in their predation.
People in the Pamirs “face an uncertain future,” he insists, “as increasingly unpredictable climate patterns have both turned winters cruelly cold and summers punishingly dry.”
“The seasons used to follow set cycles. Now, winters arrive earlier every year,” one local tells Lundstrom. “Then, it’s just to wait, wait, and wait.”
“Up here, we live like marmots; we go into hibernate mode. And just like the animals, we breakthrough on the other side, come spring, bare to the bones,” he adds.
While one can sympathize with the plight of local herders, it is difficult to understand why climate change must always be the bogeyman.