Over the course of the last one hundred years the frequency and geographic dispersion of droughts has increased significantly on the African continent.
The Droughts in Africa from 1900 to 2009
Africa has been struggling with droughts for many years. Some countries there are facing enormous challenges. In a piece entitled, Kenyans eating wild animals as drought worsens, The Nairobi Chronicle, for example, reports that wild animals “face extinction by ending up on dinner tables as the worst drought in a generation takes its toll on a people impoverished by years of poor governance, corruption and political sterility.” Since 1950, Ethiopia, another drought-plagued country, has suffered more years with drought than without. How bad is the drought situation in Africa and will it get worse? This post will take a look at the drought-stricken African countries and regions going back to 1900 and attempt to determine whether this data suggests any trends.
Continue reading “Africa: Droughts”
The Clean and Dirty Reality of Water
If any resource can be used as the quintessential symbol for the quality of life on this planet, it would probably have to be water. In this sense, water is a measure of purity. Clean water brings salubrious thoughts to mind: Images of healthy living and mountain streams appear. Cascading waterfalls or tanned couples immersed in the crystal clear infinitude of faraway ResortLand. The idea of water in and of itself is refreshing; it invigorates the mind. Like sunlight, it is elemental and strikes a primeval chord within us. In the 19th Century, Thoreau wrote a piece about the mysterious light that seems to be forever present in bodies of water—even small ones. Continue reading “The People’s Water”