Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The thirsty years

This isn't the kind of choice we're used to as a society.
Australians have been told to pray for rain or face a ban on irrigation in the main food-growing region so that there is enough water to drink.

The Prime Minister’s warning yesterday heralded a dramatic increase in food prices and the prospect of tens of thousands of farmers having to watch their crops fail.

John Howard said that an expert panel had advised the Government that the worst drought in the nation’s history left it no choice but to turn off irrigation systems in the agricultural heartland of the Murray-Darling basin in the east.
How long before America, Canada, China, or India have similar problems?

3 comments:

Closet Liberal said...

20 years or less

Oberlinblogger said...

Mm. I say major water crisis in the West (assuming of course, policy doesn't change dramatically) within the decade. And of course its always worth keeping in mind that while Australia may be able to import food, the whole world can't.

-Sam L.

Wednesday Keller said...

Australia has, and always will, face droughts regardless of climate change. There was a thirty year one before Captain Cook landed, and there certainly wasn't much man-made global warming going on then.

Not that climate change isn't a problem (though, amusingly, an easily fixable one: neutral particles suspended above the Arctic at roughly 70,000 feet will reverse global warming for a couple hundred million a year and is completely reversible in case of ill effect) but Australia's droughts are just something that the continent has always had, and will always have until cheap desalination.