I blog about environmental and social justice issues because I am very concerned about the health of the interdependent web of life of which we are a part.

Melting Arctic ice.......beautiful and frightening!

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Friday, August 20, 2010

I Mentioned This

The longterm threat to Pakistan’s wellbeing is that the country is gradually drying out. The Indus river system is the main year-round source of water for both Pakistan and northwestern India, but the glaciers up on the Tibetan plateau that feed the system’s various tributaries are melting.

While they are melting, of course, the amount of water in the system will not fall steeply—but according the Chinese Academy of Sciences, some of the glaciers will be gone in as little as 20 years. Then the river levels will drop permanently, and the real problems will begin.

Fifteen or 20 years from now, the water shortage (and therefore also food scarcities) will be a permanent political obsession in Pakistan. Even now, Pakistani politicians tend to blame India for their country’s water shortage (and vice versa, of course). It will get worse when the shortage grows acute.

On the other hand, no Pakistani government, civilian or military, could just sit by as land that has been irrigated for a century goes back to desert and food rationing is imposed nationwide. Especially not if India’s fields just across the border were still green. That is the nightmare confrontation that lies down the road for these two nuclear powers.

Conflict between nuclear nations over water shortages due to climate change?    Naah - climate change isn't happening.   If it is, it's over there - ssomewhere poorer and browner than us.  Doesn't matter to us..... Sure.    We don't need to act....

One would think that this summer would have disabused people of hte notion that chillier nations such as Canada or Russia  would actually benefit from climate change.  Pretty hard to see a benefit in Moscow - or in Interior BC, Alberta or Saskatchewan at the moment. Cough, cough.  Moutnains - what mountains?

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