India’s Ominous Future: Too Little Water, or Far Too Much
This visually expressive article by the New York Times (NYT) brings the impact of climate change to life. The graphic pictorial of floods ravaging through cities in India tells of what lays ahead if the world does not pay close attention to the impact of a growing population an
d its effects. The NYT reports that climate change is making seasonal rains more intense and less predictable in India and around the world. Worse, decades of short-sighted government policies are leaving millions of Indians defenseless in the age of climate disruptions – especially the poor.
Water is so precious that the women said they drank half a cup if they wanted a whole one. They went without a daily shower so their children could go to school clean and fresh. When their nerves were frayed, they smacked a child who spilled a cup by accident. Every day, four government trucks came down the muddy lane to fill the village water tank, which met a fraction of what the village needs. Most people bought drinking water from far away.
“Global warming has destroyed the concept of the monsoon,” said Raghu Murtugudde, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Maryland and an author of the paper. “We have to throw away the prose and poetry written over millennia and start writing new ones!”
India’s insurance policy against droughts, the Himalayas, is at risk, too. The majestic mountains are projected to lose a third of their ice by the end of the century if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at their current pace. But, as scientists are quick to point out, climate change isn’t the only culprit to blame for India’s water woes. Decades of greed and mismanagement are far more culpable. The lush forests that help to hold the rains continue to be cleared. Developers are given the green light to pave over creeks and lakes. Government subsidies encourage the over-extraction of groundwater.
The future is ominous for India’s 1.3 billion people. By 2050, the World Bank estimates, erratic rainfall, combined with rising temperatures, stand to “depress the living standards of nearly half the country’s population.”
Read more here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/25/climate/india-monsoon-drought.html