Saturday, April 27, 2013

Running out the clock on climate change ... by gimleteye

I was in Myanmar last February and wrote about the drastically low water levels, due to drought. In turn, the drought in southeast Asia is attributable to very short monsoon rains in 2012. Pray for more, now.

Over 1.5 billion people depend on annual monsoon rains for food and water. In northern India, where I visited in 2012, over the past fifty years water tables have dropped severely.

In Tamil Nadu in southern India, community surface ponds have nearly all dried up. In a news report today in the India Express, one  villager expressed her thoughts on the death of cattle, "“Pastures have wilted due to decline in rainfall and the subsequent blazing summer. Because of this seven goats have died. We cannot tolerate the death of our cattle. If the situation persists, we will have no option other than ending our lives."

On an overnight February boat trip down the Irrawaddy River -- one of the world's great life lines -- , we ran aground twice. The Irrawaddy is supplied by water flowing out of China, and the Chinese government is holding up scarce water to use for their own hydroelectric plants.

The violence in Myanmar between Muslims and Buddhists has been widely reported in the press. Water shortages inevitably play into the worries among people.

Meanwhile Florida's great polluters, Big Sugar, continue their conquest of rules and regulations to claim whatever water they want, and to dispose of it in whatever quality they want, whenever they want. Of course that is not what they say; and they have the Florida legislature and Gov. Rick Scott to back them up.

1 comment:

Malagodi said...

"As recently as 20 years ago, there were an estimated 50,000 rivers in China, each covering a flow area of at least 60 square miles. But now, according to China's First National Census of Water, more than 28,000 of these rivers are missing. To put this number into context, China's lost rivers are almost equivalent, in terms of basin area, to the United States losing the entire Mississippi River."