The deluge in Cheni and parts of coastal Tamil du has once again brought home the fact that the effects of climate change is right among us. Global warming is not something alarmist, abstract and faraway, which government negotiators are now discussing in Paris, backed up by reams of scientific evidence. Extreme weather phenome are very much real, and it is now the lot of Cheni residents to make this painful discovery. At this time of the retreating monsoons, there is normally some light rains over Tamil du during the winter months. The parched state gets as much as 50-60 percent of its precipitation from such rains, but this year has been an exception. Rains unprecedented in ferocity in the last 100 years have pounded Cheni, turning the capital city and vast swathes of its suburbs into a virtual island. People have been left marooned on rooftops with reports of floodwaters surging up to the second floor of colonies on the banks of the Adyar river. Nearly 200 lives have been lost; all modes of transport have been badly hit, power and communication lines are down. Meteorologists have attributed the ‘extreme’ rains to an elongated trough of low pressure over the Bay of Bengal and Sri Lankan coast, with the ‘right’ upper air circulation and other ambient conditions. The result has been a massing of enormous cloudbanks which have already sent down 47 cm of rains in 24 hours from Tuesday evening, and threaten to let loose more downpours in the coming days. Prime Minister rendra Modi, fresh from his initiatives at the Paris climate summit, has dubbed the Cheni cloudburst as an effect of climate change. The tiol crisis magement committee is now on hotline with the Jayalalitha government, coorditing relief operations on war footing. But such catastrophic vagaries of weather are with us to stay in the coming years, as we collectively pay for tions racing to pollute their way to growth.