Thursday, February 5, 2009

Deltas and Global Warming

For the next two days I'll be away from my internet connection and will not be posting entries to the blog. Please check back again on Monday.

In the last two months I've spent time in two of the world's largest deltas: at the end of December Guy and I were in New Orleans in the delta of the Mississippi River, and last week I visited BelĂ©m in the huge Amazon River estuary. These areas provide a variety of resources to the planet, from swamplands and rainforests to fertile farmlands and ores and mineral deposits. 
They are vulnerable to climate changes that threaten the low coastal lands as ocean waters rise and storm patterns change dramatically.

Today's quote describes another of the world's large deltas:

"The Nile Delta region is home to approximately half of Egypt's population of 80 million people ... Vast farmland that extends for miles. It is an impressive - and rare - expanse of green in Egypt, a land dominated by desert ... According to U.N.'s Environment Program, a rise in only 0.5 meters (20 inches) would displace at least four million people and damage 1,800 square kilometers [700 square miles of farmland]. A one-meter rise (39 inches) would displace at least six million Egyptians and damage more than double the farmland." By Joseph Mayton, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, February 5, 2009.

It doesn't matter where in the world the carbon emissions occur, the effects are felt across the planet. Our excessive use of fossil fuels in the United States contributes to the rising waters in Egypt, along the Brazilian coast, as well as the Louisiana coast where the Walk for all the grandchildren will begin. For me it's not about feeling guilty - it's about being aware of the connections around the planet - a feeling of solidarity with all the people. And about a love for the trees and the waters, for the shells and rocks, for the birds and all creatures great and small.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for connecting the dots - the swamps and waterways of Louisiana make me happy - alligators, egrets and herons - and all that lovely moss. Let's not lose it!!!!