Climate change is not off in the future – some day years from now. We no longer have time to create some wonderful technology to ward off all the problems we’ve created. The time is now. A couple of weeks ago, I heard a story on NPR that 2 of Glacier National Park’s glaciers had been de-listed: they had gotten too small to be called glaciers any more.
And with the glaciers in the Himalayas disappearing, within 15 or 20 years, most of Asia will have not have enough water. China’s and India’s major rivers come from those melting glaciers on those high Tibetan plateaus.
Now there’s a report that the River Jordan could have large stretches dry by 2011 – which is only 7 months away. Much of what remains right now ‘is nothing but a canal of sewage’, says a report from Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian environmental scientists, issued by the Friends of the Earth Middle East. ‘Over the past five decades, Israel, Jordan and Syria have diverted about 98% of the River Jordan and its tributaries for drinking water and agricultural use. One plan calls for pumping water from the Sea of Galilee – which is already at a dangerously low level – into the Jordan. Most of the plans presented will, in similar fashion, cause another cascade of problems.
This is what comes of our short-term thinking. If we/they had been taking the seventh generation into consideration, probably that first dam back in the 30’s would never have been built. The otters and other creatures are long gone from the banks, and only a tiny fraction of the 45 billion cubic feet of water that surged through the Jordan remains today.
We clearly need to be paying attention – and to be doing big picture / long term thinking – if we want the Dead Sea, which has lost one-third of its volume since the 60’s, to remain real, and not just become a memory. Of course, as David Letterman pointed out the other day – we now have our own Dead Sea – it’s called the Gulf of Mexico.