Veteran Italian director Ettore Scola begins his latest film, Gente di Roma (People of Rome), by following an older couple going through their morning routine—she preparing food, he dressing for work. Their apartment is small, so one camera covers their movements between rooms. The wife puts coffee on a counter, the husband sips it while she packs his lunch in brown paper.
It is still dark when the husband begins his long bus ride into the city. The camera lovingly examines the streets and neighborhoods which are slowly awakening in the dawn light, the people of Rome moving into a new day.
When the man arrives at his destination, he walks through a park and sits down on a bench. Soon he is joined by a companion who asks, “Have you told her yet?” He answers, “No, have you?” Both men have lost their jobs and do not know yet how they will live without the routine they relied on for so long.
There is an 80 percent chance that later in this century a megadrought will plague the American Southwest for decades, according to a study released by researchers at NASA and at Columbia and Cornell universities. The drought will be caused by reduced precipitation and changes in evaporation rates. The researchers say other factors, such as the El Niño weather pattern, could interrupt long periods of severe drought. The researchers say there is time to reduce the factors contributing to climate change (Washington Post, February 12).