If It Had Not Been for Our Climate…


It is said that a group of people used to visit a wise man, and each time they complained of the same issues. One day, the wise man told them a joke and everyone laughed, then he repeated it, and a few of them smiled. When he repeated it for the third time, none of them laughed. The wise man smiled and said: "You cannot laugh at the same joke over and over, so why do you keep crying over the same issue?"

In fact, many people complain frequently, and I may understand this if it is of the challenges in life; yet, I am surprised by those who complain about our climate and surrounding nature. I always hear: "What a climate! Why does it not rain as it does in other countries? We do not have a lovely ambiance or spectacular scenes!" As if we have the choice to be in this nature or that! How do we give ourselves the right to interfere in this perfect creation and complain? If nature could speak, it would say what the wise man said: "Why do you keep complaining about the same issue!" Nature would be surprised for we are its guests, so we should be grateful for it, not complain!

Our hot desert climate—including rain scarcity and high temperatures—is as important as a tropical, cold, cold desert, semi-desert, or any other climate; the Earth would be unstable without this diversity. Likewise, Earth's inhabitants are distributed among these lands and climates, and are created in harmony with them. Looking at the climate from a narrow personal perspective hinders understanding the holistic view of the planet, where one-fifth of its land is desert; so, what is its importance?

Through a more comprehensive view, we find that hot and cold deserts adjust the complex Earth's temperature. Being arid, deserts are like reflective mirrors of sunlight, compared to forests or seas. They are also great carbon sinks, as the bacteria in the sand help store carbon dioxide and prevent it from rising into the atmosphere. Deserts are an important source of raw materials needed to make products such as bricks, glass, and cement. On our planet, there are 15 types of mineral deposits; 13 types of them are found in deserts. This makes the desert a place rich in mineral wealth for the prosperity of the local and global economy.

The above are just a few examples of what desert lands are rich in. This is not a call to increase the area of deserts, but rather an invitation to re-appreciate it, and always look at the overall picture of nature and its components. Do not complain about its nature; although it seems harsh, it is safer than what we witness elsewhere in the world from earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, and other countless disasters. Let us stop saying: “If it had not been for our climate!” and be thankful for our gifts.


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SCIplanet is a bilingual edutainment science magazine published by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Planetarium Science Center and developed by the Cultural Outreach Publications Unit ...
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