June 28, 2009 – Before proceeding to more serious matters, I really must mention the new, online version of The Ecologist magazine. What a gift! It’s ALL covered here: the global warming effects on housing, transporta-tion, energy use, family, education, farming, social effects, political effects, psychological effects and more, More, MORE: every
facet of life and how it is or will be affected by the changing climate. The authors are not only passionate, but knowledgeable. The articles are, bless us, well written, and they convey an enormous amount of timely, useful information. I don’t understand why my blog link doesn’t go to their website, unless it’s because they’re overseas. However, you can definitely find this marvelous publication at www.theecologist.org.
By Julie Cart
April 9, 2009
“Reporting from The Murray-Darling Basin, Australia -- Frank Eddy pulled off his dusty boots and slid into a chair, taking his place at the dining room table where most of the critical family issues are hashed out. Spreading hands as dry and cracked as the orchards he tends, the stout man his mates call Tank explained what damage a decade of drought has done .
"Suicide is high. Depression is huge. Families are breaking up. It's devastation," he said, shaking his head. "I've got a neighbor in terrible trouble. Found him in the paddock, sitting in his [truck], crying his eyes out. Grown men -- big, strong grown men. We're holding on by the skin of our teeth. It's desperate times."
A result of climate change?
"You'd have to have your head in the bloody sand to think otherwise," Eddy said. “ (www.latimes.com, para. 1-4)
This article, which can be found at http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-climate-change-australia9-2009apr09,0,65585.story , goes on to say that climate scientists widely regard Australia’s ongoing drought, now in its eighth year, as a harbinger of things to come for the rest of the world. The bushfires that ravaged southeastern Australia earlier this year killed 25% of the region’s wildlife, a terrible toll. While the farmers in Australia sometimes resort to the unthinkable as a way out, dairy farmers in the United States are seeking the same solution as a way to end their problems.
Do scientists mean that minimal rainfall is what awaits the entire world? No. Drought is the form climate change has taken in Australia. It will assume many, many different forms, depending where on this globe you
live. I know that in my hometown, Chicago, precipitation has been falling at alarming rates for awhile now: 2008 was their wettest year on record, and 2009 has been very wet so far. The Midwest generally experienced 100-year floods during 2007. Here in Cincinnati, where I live now, rain storms have become increasingly violent, with wind and hail having become faster and more frequent, respectively.
Meantime, in Africa, the Sahara Desert keeps advancing, as does the Gobi Desert in China. European weather has become increasingly volatile; floods, avalanches, and deadly summer heat waves come to mind. Volatile weather, in the sense of being both unpredictable and atypical, was what the Worldwatch Institute predicted the fallout of climate change would be back in the 1980’s. We are seeing the truth of that forecast in our daily lives, now. “We” means all of us. We’re all in this together.