|The new Vietnam War|
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
VIETNAM: MEKONG RISING
You know those of us on the left have all these debates about this best ways to bring Capital to its knees and all that. Are you familiar with any that would leave you to believe this can be done anytime soon? That's the rub. Capital is destroying the Earth much faster than anyone is destroying Capital. Time is running out as we dither. I don't have an answer. I'm just sayin' WAKE UP out there. Me, I'll be passing on in twenty years or so no matter what happens, but that is far from true for most of the planets inhabitants. We've wasted too much time, I fear. Hopefully, I am wrong.
There used to be this commercial for light bulbs back when eastern Europe was coming out from its People's Republic days. I remember somehow and for some reason the commercial was concentrating on Hungary. Suddenly, a light bulb comes on, there is dancing, and the voice over says, "Everything is Changing." Well, I don't know how the change worked out for whoemever the commercial was making money. Many of us like to think of change as good, though that obviously is dependent on what is changing and why.
In any event, change is not so much happy news when it comes to the Earth...as the people of Vietnam are learning today about a war they cannot win alone.
The following is from Seed Daily.
Mekong's rice production at risk
by Staff Writers
Hanoi, Vietnam (UPI) Aug 23, 2011
Vietnam's Mekong Delta is at risk from rising sea levels due to climate change, experts warn.
Known as the Rice Bowl of Vietnam, the 15,000-square-mile region produces half the country's rice output of 49 million tons a year, with 80 percent of its population engaged in rice cultivation.
"Rising sea waters will cause inundations to the Mekong and will require drastic changes in lifestyles," said Dao Xuan Lai, head of sustainable development at the U.N. Development Program in Vietnam, The Guardian newspaper reports.
People will be forced to switch crops and innovate, he said. Those close to river banks and river mouths have already had to find different ways to make a living in fresh water.
Even if all emissions worldwide were stopped now, the water would still rise about 8-12 inches in the next few decades, Lai said.
"People in this region are still very poor and will need help from the international community to survive this," he said.
The World Bank considers Vietnam among the countries most threatened by rising waters brought about by higher global temperatures.
Basing its research on warnings from international organizations that sea levels will increase by 11.8 inches in 2050 and 3.28 feet by 2100, a study by the Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment says that with a 3.28-foot rise, up to one-third of the Mekong Delta and a quarter of Ho Chi Minh City would be permanently submerged.
Rising seawater is also turning the rivers of the Delta salty, with saltwater at four parts per thousand already reaching 35 miles inland, causing significant damage to crops and livestock, particularly affecting rice production.
Rice cannot be grown in saline conditions. Other typically strong crops, including oranges, lemons and coconuts, cannot be grown in higher concentrations of salt.
"I have to travel five hours upstream by boat to fetch water for drinking, washing and cooking," Vo Thi Than, a 60-year-old woman who lives beside a dock and operates a small restaurant on the small delta island of Cu Lao Oc, told The Guardian.
"A long time ago, there was no salty season at all. Now, five months a year the water is salty," she says.
To address the problem, Vietnam's Southern Irrigation Planning Institute has devised a six-point irrigation plan that includes upgrading of canal networks that lead water from rivers to cultivation areas in the delta but work isn't expected to be completed until at least 2030.