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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:07 AM
Original message
Heatwave Drying Up Europe's Water Resources
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 08:44 AM by RestoreGore
I have previously written at least twenty two entries regarding water and the coming shortages, which if not effectively managed will lead to war over this resource which is now becoming evermore precious due to the heatwave currently hitting many parts of our world. As the report below corroborates, drought and heat which is being caused by climate change is truly making a "planetary emergency", however, people don't seem to be too worked up over this.

Is it because they only see this as freshwater and are ignorant to the fact that it is a FINITE resource, and once it is gone it is gone? Desalinisation won't solve the problem, as it is costly, and would be hard to get water to interior areas of countries landlocked. CONSERVATION of the freshwater resources we have NOW as well as action to mitigate the conditions causing these droughts is what we must see GLOBALLY.

As this article also points out for example, 70% of Spain's water is being wasted in irrigation. The EU MUST take URGENT steps to preserve the freshwater left to apportion it and manage it equitably, because should the rains not come in October or not be sufficient there will be an environmental catastrophe taking hold of untold proportions, and that isn't an exaggeration.

In writing about Kenya, I showed a picture of a dead calve who had been emaciated to the bone due to drought and heat. I didn't show the children emaciated to the bone, but they are there too. The people of Kenya risk their LIVES looking for water that is potable enough to drink, and they are losing their lives because of it. If you then think it can't happen in Europe, or in time even here, think again. And make no mistake about it, people WILL KILL FOR WATER. Lack of potable water causes food shortages, disease, and death, and it will cause war. Is this truly the way we wish to see this world go?

As my last entry also spoke of, I also believe controlling water resources is one of the reasons for the current Israeli-Hezbollah war, and if you have been following it mention was made yesterday that it may cease once the Israelis reach the Littani River... That is because they are looking to control ALL the sources of water in that region because they know that water is a very precious commodity in the Middle East, and it is then the one way they can control the Palestinians and Lebanese. If they control the water, they can make those who they deem worthy to share it pay dearly for it.

I truly believe if that is one of the reasons why the Israeli government is doing this, that it is absolutely despicable and a human rights abuse. If they truly are withholding water from farmers, denying water to the people supplied by these rivers because of price gouging, and or diverting water to their own source from the Littani, Wazzani, or Jordan Rivers, it is a human rights abuse. Look what they did to the Mediterranean Sea by their bombing that caused 15 million tons of oil to spill into it. You can't even desalinate water that has been poisoned to that extent. PEOPLE WILL DIE WITHOUT WATER.

However, we will see more of this as the years go by if the issues regarding water scarcity, management, and declaring it a HUMAN RIGHT internationally are not addressed NOW.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,2116999,00.htm...

The record temperatures in July have had a dramatic effect on Europe's water resources. Many lakes and rivers are at record lows, aggravating problems already caused by bad water management.

The heat wave that has gripped Europe this summer has been breaking records across the continent. In Germany, dramatically high temperatures made this July the second hottest since 1901. A 1911 record for the highest July temperature in Britain was broken when a village in Surrey hit 36.5 degrees Celsius (97.7 degrees Fahrenheit). And the Dutch meteorological institute said this July was the hottest month in the Netherlands since temperatures were first measured in 1706.

Even though it has cooled down somewhat in the past few days, last month was still three-and-a-half degrees warmer than average, said Gerhard Mller-Westermaier, an expert in climate monitoring at Germany's National Meteorology Service. He said that the heat wave is part of global warming.

"It fits the picture and it will continue to get warmer," Mller-Westermaier said. "We have had a warming of about 0.8 degrees since the beginning of the 20th century and the forecast says that in the next 100 years, we may have temperatures 1.5 to 5.5 degrees warmer. A summer like this one will become a normal summer."

Drought hit agricultural sector hard

Despite the many summer storms that swept across Germany, the country had less than 70 percent of the average July rainfall. This had a severe impact on the agricultural industry. In the eastern German state of Brandenburg, for example, farmers said their wheat yield was down some 40 to 50 percent.

snip

Climate change has exacerbated the problems caused by bad water management. Martin Geiger, the head of the Freshwater Program at environmental group WWF, said that in countries like Spain, more than 70 percent of water resources are used in agriculture -- and much of this is wasted. He said the European Union needed to wake up to how precious a resource water is.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We ALL need to wake up to how precious a resource water is. People in America take it for granted. Fountains, pools, washing SUVs, overwatering lawns, and blatantly and selfishly wasting huge amounts of water daily will only bring us to a tipping point as water levels in rivers continue to go down as heat goes up and the precipitation to replace it is not here due to the climate crisis we face now. WHY is it that so many people don't seem to be able to grasp this concept and continue to go about their lives as if it doesn't effect them? We are reaping the whirlwind globally, and where it concerns our global water supplies, we are playing with fire.
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halobeam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. Sometimes there are opportunities, for people to join together.
As I see it, it's the last opportunity for all countries to realize their SIMILARITIES, and band together to fight global warming. Instead, we fight about our differences and all the while, run out of the resources we ALL need to SURVIVE.

We are blowing it...BIG TIME.
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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. AMEN! n/t
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dwnforthecount Donating Member (29 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
3. funny enough...
My dad told me last night that although Global Warming might be right "but only at parts", America should not change it's output of pollution until China agrees to reduce it's output. Because, "since Global Warming is such a slow and low-impacting, America should worry more about the economic impact of cleaning up it's industry."

Your article shows the true urgency of this crisis. Global warming should not be handled as a political game but should be handled as seriously a nuclear war.

Who know how many millions have already been killed from extreme weather, seismic events, and excessive heat? Like it or not, global warming is occurring and it is already killing.
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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. Exactly. This is a moral issue. n/t
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:32 AM
Response to Original message
4. My prediction: Nobody is going to do anything about this. n/t
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halobeam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Are you resigned to this? Please don't be.
We are "somebody" and one person plus another person, plus another person and so on, WILL make a difference. IMO, that eliminates the "nobody" in your statement. It actually turns your statement into.. "somebody/somebodies are going to do something about this.".....

Just print out the article, hand out... get one other person to do one thing about it, then ask if they would do that... like a freakin' chain action.... THAT'S something to do about it.

I'm game, are you?
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. We all do what we can.
Still I feel rather like the people must have felt in Herculaneum must have felt looking at Vesuvius.

The situation is not quite the same, because the people of Herculaneum did not cause the volcano to go off.

I'm sorry that I'm so bleak, but more and more, that's how I see it.

It's not like someone, through any kind of action, is going to be able to restore the Swiss glaciers after they're gone.
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lebkuchen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #8
19. Americans aren't likely to do anything about it--status quo is intact
The biggest culture shock any non-American, or expat, will experience when visiting the US is the behemoths Americans drive. The Bush administration has preached to American consumers that it's their god-given right to make their own decisions about conservation, because they are "wise" enough to do so. Right.

I don't see that American mindset changing anytime soon, certainly not in time to save the icecaps. I don't have children, I didn't own a car until I was 35, I recycle everything, I don't own an AC, I take public transit/ride a bike whenever possible...what is the typical American with a family doing to preserve the planet? Not much. If parents don't care, why should someone like you or me?

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/briefings/20010507.html

Q Is one of the problems with this, and the entire energy field, American lifestyles? Does the President believe that, given the amount of energy Americans consume per capita, how much it exceeds any other citizen in any other country in the world, does the President believe we need to correct our lifestyles to address the energy problem?

MR. FLEISCHER: That's a big no. The President believes that it's an American way of life, and that it should be the goal of policy makers to protect the American way of life. The American way of life is a blessed one. And we have a bounty of resources in this country. What we need to do is make certain that we're able to get those resources in an efficient way, in a way that also emphasizes protecting the environment and conservation, into the hands of consumers so they can make the choices that they want to make as they live their lives day to day.

Q So Americans should go on consuming as much more energy than any other citizens in any other countries of the world, as long as they want?

MR. FLEISCHER: Terry, the President believes that the American people are very wise and that, given the right incentives, they will know how and they will make their own right determinations about how much they can conserve, just as the President announced last week that the federal government, as part of its consumership in California will reduce energy needs -- for example, the Department of Defense facilities in California, by 10 percent. He believes the American people, too, will make the right decisions about conservation and the program he will announce shortly will also include a series of conservation items.

But the President also believes that the American people's use of energy is a reflection of the strength of our economy, of the way of life that the American people have come to enjoy. And he wants to make certain that a national energy policy is comprehensive, that includes conservation, includes a way of allowing the American people to continue to enjoy the way of life that has made the United States such a leading nation in the world.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. There is always action that can be taken, however...
it seems clear that we missed our chance for the biggest victory, which would have been to prevent what's coming. Prevention is no longer an option. If we stopped all GHG emissions tomorrow, forever, the climate changes currently in motion will continue for at least 50 years. And, as we all know, GHG emissions continue to increase each year.

We sit here talking about the urgent need to make the first derivative on GHGs negative, meanwhile the reality on the ground is that the second derivative of the GHG forcing is positive.

But we still get to choose between very bad and unimaginably bad. That's where my hope lies. I'm hoping for very bad.
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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. I already am...
Edited on Thu Aug-03-06 10:12 AM by RestoreGore
We all can. It may seem hopeless, but that is why we must act now. I do all I can to conserve water myself, and to live my life as carbon free as possible. The point to all of this as Al Gore also stated , is that in every time of danger there is also opportunity ... This is our opportunity, and I for one will not allow this to defeat me. Talk to people. Believe me, you can make an impact. This world is too precious to do anything less. I do understand your frustration however, because I feel that way many times too. But then I look at my child, and I know there is no other choice.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. By posting here, you are getting the word out.
We all tell everybody we know what we think.

It's not like I'm going to stop talking and trying to educate the best of my poor ability, but at the end of the day, I have to admit that I'm not sure that this can go any way but unimaginable tragedy.
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RestoreGore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Well, based on human nature...
I can definitely see your point.
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mom cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #6
16. Living as carbon free as possible as individuals is crucial, and it
can have impact on others. Several other neighbors of mine havenot put in their air conditioners this year because "Nanny Nature" (my nickname here) has not put hers in. All my blather is starting to sink in. It may not cause immediate change, but it is planting seeds.
Thanks for your series of articles on the global water crisis.
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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. It always takes a crisis.
A distant relative by the name of Harry Kuljian wrote a tiny book back in the sixties. I'll have to go dig it out of my storage. But in it, he devotes a chapter to the coming wars over water.


Harry was not a simple man. His company built many of America's first nuclear power plants. He knew what was coming.
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LSK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
12. K & R
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NobleCynic Donating Member (991 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
14. I don't know if climate change will reduce total freshwater supplies
But it most certainly will reallocate supplies geographically. Some regions will see less and some might see more. In any case if we don't plan accordingly you are correct that violence is inevitable.

Kick
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Noting that I despise all wars from all sides, here's an interesting note
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halobeam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:39 PM
Response to Original message
17. Kick for another round of viewers.
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lebkuchen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
18. For those coming to Germany this summer
don't expect the usual over-abundance of flowers. Even the thick, waxy-leaved geraniums are having difficulty coping, though thankfully, it has cooled off now.
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 09:52 AM
Response to Original message
20. Europe will feel it first.
Europe is closer to the GHG-active Arctic, closer to the North Atlantic thermohaline heat-transfer currents, and the Europeans have been actively modifying their environment for several thousand years. It is no wonder that climate change is hitting Europe first and hardest.

But it's worth noting that the drought has also spread to northern Asia, Africa, and North America as well. (I haven't checked on South America.) Things aren't too bad right now, but the warmer the climate becomes, the more water leaves its natural reservoirs and goes into the atmosphere, which also makes the weather wilder. "Wilder" doesn't mean "more water", it means "more floods AND droughts". The mid-continental areas will become progressively more parched and subject, paradoxically, to flooding, which will remove more nutrients from the soil and leave a hardpan surface that resists farming and nature alike. Another Dust Bowl era develops, only now, the world's population isn't 2.5 billion, but 6.5 billion.

But our high-energy agriculture industry will save us -- if it can get enough energy to function.

People have no idea how close to the edge we are on so many fronts; these problems compound each other, and I use the word "cascade" to describe their effects. We've already seen small examples of it in our economy as the first effects of post-peak-oil economics are taking place. A full-on post-peak decline of 5% per year in energy supply will be disastrous; given that 5%/year drop, our energy supply will be reduced to half in under 15 years, even as population and energy demand grows.

But water isn't quite as subject to the Iron Law Of Supply And Demand as oil. Human physiology generates the demand.

No supply? No human physiology.

Europe will feel it first, but without decisive action, we will all be in the same situation quickly. But we seem to be at the point where we have two choices about how to survive -- do we want to do things painfully, or do we want to do things extremely painfully?

--p!
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Pierzin Donating Member (710 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. What can people do??? If so many don't care, how
can we get them to, since this is such a serious issue???
Americans must change their lifestyles, it's as plain as that. We as a nation have got to get out of this mindset that we have to have a house and a yard and drive to the suburbs. I'm sorry to everyone who has a house and a yard, but that's how I feel. I think we should emulate Europe, where millions of people have lived for thousands of years in cities.
We need to quit making sub-divisions and move to making more transit oriented villages. We need to move to driving electric cars and busses. We need to do everything we can to change this glacially slow mindset, because America is responsible for most greenhouse gasses. Inland lakes and seas around the world have dissappeared, and lack of water is going to cause future wars, I am convinced of that.
We need to take drastic measures to change global warming, and frankly, at the pace the geo political leaders are moving, I am really worried about our world. Every aspect of our daily lives must change so drastically, to stem the tide of damage we have caused.
I even think we should quit flying. Yeah, that's right. Quit flying. How crazy is that? Jets and airliners produce carbon dioxide don't they? And we need to charge industies and polluters serious fines for emitting harmful emissions to the environment. This administration is the worst, but I'm not going there. I pray someone with environmental sense will get in there and wake people up, nationally, regionally, in business, in engineering, in forest planting, in everything we do.
Going back to my original inquiry, what is it going to take? Are we going to need a John F Kennedy moment, a challenge that we can land a man on the moon in ten years? Can we stop Global Warming in ten years, and who will issue the challenge? Is it going to take gas at $5 a gallon to hit Americans in the wallet?
Sad to say.
Oh yeah for the record, I ride a bike or take the bus everywhere, and have no car. If I could afford a car, I would get a hybrid.
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