Friday, January 14, 2005

How we made the tsunami worse

The Guardian invited a mini-panel of experts to comment on how the Tsunami changes things. The second contributor is Vandana Shiva. In a serious and sobering short peice, she describes the damage we have done to the coast of the Indian ocean, through various forms of monoculture:
"Respect for the fragility and vulnerability of coastal ecosystems has been sacrificed for hotels and holiday resorts, shrimp farms and refineries. Mangroves and coral reefs have been relentlessly destroyed, taking away the protective barriers."
Her second point is that the Tsunami gives us a glimpse of the world global warming will give us:
"This is what sea-level rise will look like, this is how entire societies will be robbed of their ecological space to live in peace on the planet."
This should, she says, be a wake-up call to the followers of the Bjorn Lomborg, guru of the global warning deniers.

(The Lomborg controversy is a whole interesting issue in itself. To dip into it, Disinfopedia, at the Center for Media and Democracy, have a good section on Lomborg. More on this topic in a future post!)

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