Stupid White Man - the Aral Sea

Just when I think I've heard the dumbest
thing ever about people and the environment, 
something else comes along...

I had heard about the Aral Sea, and seen it on maps before, but I didn't realize that at one time it was the fourth largest inland sea (salt, not fresh water) on the planet. 

It covered more than 26,000 square miles- half the size of Europe - and provided the Soviet Union with 20% of the fish eaten there every year.

It was also a resort area, where workers and their families would vacation each year, until decisions were made to start siphoning water from the rivers flowing into the Aral Sea to grow cotton and wheat, two of earth's thirstiest crops.

The Aral Sea is now 10% of the size it was within living memory. Fishing, obviously, is not nearly the going concern it used to and a host of climate changes and other eco-problems have come up as the salty soil dries up and blows away.

In recent years, there have been tentative steps taken to restore this body of water - but it's a long way from coming back.

You can read more here...

and the National Geographic has some of the hopeful aspects...



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