Saturday, August 27, 2016

As usual, the already disadvantaged are most harmed

This cartoon, from the Working Group on Central and South America's contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of 2014, can stand as a summary of Dr. Richard H. Gammon's dire presentation on the future of Nicaragua offered yesterday to the assembled board of El Porvenir. El Porvenir is a North American-based nonprofit that has worked for 25 years to help rural Nicaraguans gain access to clean and plentiful drinking water.

Warming global temperatures will only make this work more difficult. Drought will become more frequent and enduring, punctuated by deluges that lead to sudden run-offs, bringing floods and increasing loss of fertile soil through erosion. Clear cutting for cattle raising and farming along with burning of trees for stove fuel will decimate forests. And disease bearing insects will multiply. Even if our carbon emissions stop rising in the next decade, most of these impacts are already inevitable.

Long suffering Central Americans, especially in Nicaragua and Honduras, will live with some of the most severe consequences of our addiction to burning fossil fuels for energy. And they still need our help as they struggle to achieve a better quality of life for themselves.


Hattie said...

Even here the water situation is ridiculous. Thousands of families have no municipal water service except at county run wells. And many neighborhoods, even upscale ones in Hilo, don't have sewers but just discharge all the stuff into lava tubes. This state of affairs should have been attended to years ago.
And there is the zika threat. We may be in danger. The day-flying mosquito we have here is not the same species as the one that has been found to carry zika, but it probably could carry it.
We just had a hep A outbreak on Oahu, with lots of people getting sick. Everyone should be inoculated. And yet with all this anti-vaccination propaganda and a less than aggressive public health approach, we have bad and totally preventable diseases going around.
If we can't solve these problems in an American state, what are the odds for poor countries?

Brandon said...

It's a long story, but the subdivisions that were developed in the 60s onward didn't and don't have piped-in water. People do get water from county-run wells, but more often, use catchment tanks. As for sewers, they're being connected to houses increasingly, but cesspools are still used a lot.

Related Posts with Thumbnails