Showing posts with label desertification. Show all posts
Showing posts with label desertification. Show all posts

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Its going to get hotter

Global warming may reduce the number of people who will die from the cold each winter , In the UK for instance, there are 20,000 cold-related deaths but researchers in America claim that this will be off - set by an increase of deaths resulting fro heat-waves ( at present, about 1000 deaths a year are related to heat in the UK ).

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health looked at the deaths of more than 6.5 million people in 50 US cities between 1989 and 2000. They found that during two-day cold snaps there was a 1.59% increase in deaths because of the extreme temperatures, but during similar periods of extremely hot weather death rates rose by 5.74%.

The 2003 European-wide heat wave and its associated fatalities ( nearly 15,000 deaths in France ) , can be expected to repeat itself .

Not just deaths but economic effects such as reduced crop harvests , too , Wheat had an overall short-fall of 10% .

Professor Bill Keatinge of Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry in London said about the report :-

"In the long term we may have to make some lifestyle changes - working at different times for instance, but nothing that is not manageable."

Socialist Courier believes that the change which is necessary is one of social systems , a change from Capitalism to Socialism , not simply a switch to siestas in the mid-day sun .

Elsewhere on the BBC website we read a study was produced by more than 200 experts from 25 countries predict tens of millions of people could be driven from their homes by encroaching deserts, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia ( this supports earlier research ) . 50 million people could be displaced within the next 10 years. Desertification is an environmental crisis of global proportions, and one third of the Earth's population are potential victims of its effect. Over-exploitation of land and unsustainable irrigation practices are making matters worse. Climate change was also a major factor degrading the soil.

Zafar Adeel, the lead author of the report, said: "...we need to provide alternative livelihoods - not the traditional cropping based on irrigation, cattle farming, etcetera - but rather introduce more innovative livelihoods which don't put pressure on the natural resources. Things like ecotourism or using solar energy to create other activities."

In a sane , rational , logical society indeed that is what would probably happen , but we live in a market -dominated , profit-motivated world where such decisions are made by partisan politicians at the beck and call of businessmen and accountants and not by sober-minded scientists and other experts .