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Bangladesh set to disappear under the waves by the end of the century

发表于 2008-6-23 14:03:31 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
From: Belfast Telegraph
Published June 20, 2008

Bangladesh, the most crowded nation on earth, is set to disappear under the waves by the end of this century — and we will be to blame. Johann Hari took a journey to see for himself how western profligacy and indifference have sealed the fate of 150 million people went to see for himself the spreading misery and destruction as the ocean reclaims the land on which so many millions depend

Friday, June 20, 2008

This spring, I took a month-long road trip across a country that we — you, me and everyone we know — are killing.

One day, not long into my journey, I travelled over tiny ridges and groaning bridges on the back of a motorbike to reach the remote village of Munshigonj. The surviving villagers — gaunt, creased people — were sitting by a stagnant pond. They told me, slowly, what we have done to them.

Ten years ago, the village began to die. First, many of the trees turned a strange brownish-yellow colour and rotted. Then the rice paddies stopped growing and festered in the water. Then the fish floated to the surface of the rivers, gasping. Then many of the animals began to die. Then many of the children began to die.

The waters flowing through Munshigonj — which had once been sweet and clear and teeming with life — had turned salty and dead.

Arita Rani, a 25-year-old, sat looking at the salt water, swaddled in a blue sari and her grief. "We couldn't drink the water from the river, because it was suddenly full of salt and made us sick," she said. "So I had to give my children water from this pond. I knew it was a bad idea. People wash in this pond. It's dirty. So we all got dysentery." She keeps staring at its surface. "I have had it for 10 years now. You feel weak all the time, and you have terrible stomach pains. You need to run to the toilet 10 times a day. My boy Shupria was seven and he had this for his whole life. He was so weak, and kept getting coughs and fevers. And then one morning..."

Her mother interrupted the trailing silence. "He died," she said. Now Arita's surviving three-year-old, Ashik, is sick, too. He is sprawled on his back on the floor. He keeps collapsing; his eyes are watery and distant. His distended stomach feels like a balloon pumped full of water. "Why did this happen?" Arita asked.

It is happening because of us. Every flight, every hamburger, every coal power plant, ends here, with this. Bangladesh is a flat, low-lying land made of silt, squeezed in between the melting mountains of the Himalayas and the rising seas of the Bay of Bengal. As the world warms, the sea is swelling — and wiping Bangladesh off the map.

Deep below the ground of Munshigonj and thousands of villages like it, salt water is swelling up. It is this process — called "saline inundation" — that killed their trees and their fields and contaminated their drinking water. Some farmers have shifted from growing rice to farming shrimp — but that employs less than a quarter of the people, and it makes them dependent on a fickle export market. The scientific evidence shows that unless we change now, this salt water will keep rising and rising, until everything here is ocean.

I decided to embark on this trip when, sitting in my air-conditioned flat in London, I noticed a strange and seemingly impossible detail in a scientific report. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — whose predictions have consistently turned out to be underestimates — said that Bangladesh is on course to lose 17 per cent of its land and 30 per cent of its food production by 2050. For America, this would be equivalent to California and New York State drowning, and the entire mid-West turning salty and barren.

Surely this couldn't be right? How could more than 20 million Bangladeshis be turned into refugees so suddenly and so silently? I dug deeper, hoping it would be disproved — and found that many climatologists think the IPCC is way too optimistic about Bangladesh. I turned to Professor James Hansen, the director of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, whose climate calculations have proved to be more accurate than anybody else's. He believes the melting of the Greenland ice cap being picked up by his satellites today, now, suggests we are facing a 25-metre rise in sea levels this century — which would drown Bangladesh entirely. When I heard this, I knew I had to go, and see.

 楼主| 发表于 2008-6-23 14:39:18 | 显示全部楼层

Re:Bangladesh set to disappear under the waves by the end of the century


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 楼主| 发表于 2008-6-23 16:25:42 | 显示全部楼层



Belfast Telegraph
June 20, 2008

孟加拉国——地球上最拥挤的国家——本世纪末将注定消失在波涛之下,而我们应当对此负责。Johann Hari去到孟加拉国,亲眼目睹了西方人的放肆和冷漠使1.5亿人所面临的悲伤和毁灭,这一切都是因为他们赖以生存的土地被海水吞噬所造成。






25岁的Arita Rani正坐着看那变咸的水,蓝色的纱巾遮住她的脸,也裹着她无尽的哀伤。“我们不能喝河里的水,因为它突然变得很咸,喝了就得病,”她告诉我,“因此我必须让我的孩子们喝池塘里的水。我知道这不是个好办法,人们在池子里洗涤,水很脏,喝了会得痢疾,”她盯着水面说。“我这个样子已经十年了。你总是觉得很虚弱,还有可怕的胃痛。你必须一天跑十趟厕所。我的儿子Shupria七岁了,他的整个生命都这样度过。他一直很虚弱,不停地咳嗽、发烧,然后在一天早上……”

“他死了,”她的母亲打断了沉默。现在Arita Rani有一个幸存着的三岁的儿子Ashik,也病得厉害。他仰躺在地板上乱动,摔来摔去,他的眼睛浑浊和疏远,他的胃部膨胀像充满了水的气球。Arita问道:“为什么这一切会发生?”




真的是这样吗?怎么可能有2000万的孟加拉国国民如此突然而沉默地变成难民?我深入的追究这个问题,希望能找到反证,然而我发现很多气候学家认为IPCC对孟加拉国的估计太过乐观,我于是求助于Nasa 空间研究院主管James Hansen,他对气候模型的推测更为精确。他认为通过他们的卫星观测到格陵兰冰盖的融化,这将使海平面在本世纪上升25米——孟加拉国将彻底被淹没。当我听到这里,我知道,我必须亲自去看一看。

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发表于 2008-6-23 17:32:12 | 显示全部楼层



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