China’s state media reported Feb 7 that the country’s major wheat producing provinces in the north were facing their worst drought in 60 years. It also reported Feb 8 that Shandong Province, a cornerstone of Chinese grain production, was bracing for its worst drought in 200 years unless substantial precipitation came by the end of Feb’11.
China bids to ease drought with $1bn emergency water aid
As the water spluttered on to his wheat field, farmer Liu Baojin expressed concern the support may have come too late. Despite the emergency well digging and partial compensation from the government, he fears he may have to seek work in the city if his harvest fails.
"I guess a third of my crops have already died," he said. "I'm very worried. I've never seen such a dry spell."
The problems are compounded by the growing water demands of cities and industry. On the outskirts of Sishui – which translates as Four Waters due to its historic abundance of rivers and sprints – villagers complain that they are not allowed to use the Si river that runs past their homes because the water is earmarked for the Huajin paper mill and an artificial lake in a nearby urban development.
"We can't use our own water. The local officials want to keep it so they can show a 'green face' to the big-shot leaders from Beijing," said a peanut and cotton farmer who gave the surname Liu. "We are very angry. But we are afraid to complain."
More than a month ago:
Will warming worsen state water crisis?
The idea was to call attention to the potential effects of climate change on "ordinary Americans," said Frank Ackerman, a senior economist at the institute and director of its Climate Economics Group.
"It's not all about polar bears and things far away from you," Ackerman said. "It's not just about people who chose to live in Key West being hit by hurricanes. It's about ordinary Americans around the country starting to feel the effects of climate change."
Extreme weather, droughts and floods, impact food production resulting in reduced supply and higher prices.
And on and on and on...a domino effect
When the inevitable shortages and higher costs hit the average American, then, maybe, we will collectively force our government to act aggressively enough to forestall the worst of what's to come.