When scientists as well as political leaders discuss climate change, they talk mainly about increasing temperatures, receding glaciers, depleting ozone and rising sea levels. Comparatively little is said about any threat to the world because of a major change in the wind patterns. However, if we are to go by media headlines, ‘winds of change’ appear to be blowing all around the world.

‘Winds of change’ are being observed not by meteorologists but by mediapersons over many parts of the world: South Africa, India, Pakistan, China, Texas, Scotland, and so on. In fact, it appeared to be such a global phenomenon, that one news report made an all-pervading statement: “The winds of political change are blowing throughout the world.”

A mercurial growth in the healthcare sector, the resounding defeat of a reigning boxing champion, the precarious business of soccer coaching, were some of the news items reported under the headlines ‘winds of change’.

‘Winds of change’ were also said to be blowing over different places too: houses of legislature, council chambers, town halls, temples, business houses, colleges… And even where there were no ‘observations’, different people like sportsmen, cricketers, stock investors, politicians, students, were found to be just ‘feeling’ the ‘winds of change’. There are many different types of the ‘winds of change’: some bring hope, some are strong, some only rustle the leaves. There are high-tech headlines which even catch the ‘winds of change on radar’ or measure their ‘gustiness’ !

News items regarding a set of new arrangements for tribal students, the appointment of a new director of an institute, a strike by trade union workers, were all thought to usher in ‘winds of change’.

How real are these ‘winds of change’? An answer that would satisfy both the climate change enthusiasts and the climate change skeptics, was provided by a news item itself: “Time will tell whether these winds of change will come to anything, or fade away as they have so often in the past. Whatever happens, it will come too late…”.