Category Archives: Uncategorized

Zimbabwe, PEI

Top Internet searches across Atlantic Canada today will probably be for terms like “Dorian” and “what is an emergency kit again?” as we scramble to remove potential outdoor projectiles and gather supplies as a hurricane speeds northward.

The trend bots might note a strange blip in the area around Tyne Valley this morning as those who knew Dr. Joyce Madigane awaken to the news that former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has died. You didn’t need to know Dr. Madigane well or for long to find out her feelings about her former countryman. She wasn’t a fan, to put it mildly.

I remember one of the last conversations I had with her in 2013. Mugabe must have been in the news for some outrageous thing or another (there were too many to recall), and I had asked for her thoughts. She told me what a hero he had been as a freedom fighter against white rule in Rhodesia, and lamented that his intelligence and boundless energy had later been used to oppress those he had fought to free, all while enriching himself and his family. She said wryly that he would outlive us all.

He did outlive Dr. Madigane, who died in 2014, so she didn’t get to see him unrepentantly resign in 2017 (or the sweet deals he and his family received for him stepping aside). She was too kind and professional to ever wish anyone ill, but I can’t help wondering how she would have been feeling today.

Show Your Stripes

The header image on my homepage comes from showyourstripes.info and represents the annual average temperatures for Canada from 1901-2018 using data from Berkeley Earth. Similar images can be generated for other regions or the whole planet. From their FAQ page:

These ‘warming stripe’ graphics are visual representations of the change in temperature as measured in each country over the past 100+ years. Each stripe represents the temperature in that country averaged over a year. For most countries, the stripes start in the year 1901 and finish in 2018. For the UK, USA, Switzerland & Germany, the data starts in the late 19th century.

Canada warming stripes 1901-2018 from showyourstripes.info

The one for the entire globe using data from 1850-2018 is even more striking. Will I be around long enough to see the cooler shades return?

Globe 1850-2018
Annual average temperatures for GLOBE from 1850-2018 using data from UK Met Office.