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robertogreco : drought   19

Warnings Along the Drought Line – BLDGBLOG
"Elise Hunchuck, whose project “An Incomplete Atlas of Stones” sought to document warning stones placed along the Japanese coast to indicate safe building limits in case of tsunamis, has called my attention to a somewhat related phenomena in Central Europe.

So-called “hunger stones” have been uncovered by the low-flowing, drought-reduced waters of Czech Republic’s Elbe River, NPR reports. Hunger stones are “carved boulders… that have been used for centuries to commemorate historic droughts—and warn of their consequences.” One stone, we read, has been carved with the phrase, Wenn du mich siehst, dann weine, or “If you see me, weep.”

Although there are apparently extenuating circumstances for the rocks’ newfound visibility—including a modern-day dam constructed on the Elbe River which has affected water levels—I nonetheless remain haunted by the idea of uncovering buried or submerged warnings from our own ancestors stating that, in a sense, if you are reading this, you are already doomed.

Read a bit more over at NPR."
bldgblog  stones  multispecies  morethanhuman  warnings  drought  czechrepublic  elisehunchuck  climatechange  climate  memory  legacy  communication  rivers  europe  2018  history 
october 2018 by robertogreco
California Today: A Chronicler of the State, in His Own Words - The New York Times
"Here are just a few highlights from Mr. Starr’s prose and interviews:

On recurring natural disasters (Los Angeles Times, Oct. 31, 1993)
Southern California has used technology to materialize an imagined society of garden cities and suburbs. Now and then, it must pay a price for its reordering of the environment.

On diversity (San Diego Union-Tribune, Sept. 10, 2000):
Is there any people on the planet, any language, any religion not represented in California this very morning? ... This diversity, then, is the persistent DNA code of California.

On California’s rising Latino population (New York Times, March 31, 2001):
The Anglo hegemony was only an intermittent phase in California’s arc of identity, extending from the arrival of the Spanish.

On the Central Valley (“Coast of Dreams,” 2004):
Mesopotamia, the rice fields of China, the Po Valley: the Central Valley stood in a long line of irrigation cultures which had, in turn, given birth to civilization itself.

On California at the millennium (“California: A History,” 2005):
California had long since become one of the prisms through which the American people, for better and for worse, could glimpse their future.

On the drought (The New York Times, April 4, 2005):
Mother Nature didn’t intend for 40 million people to live here.

On the Golden Gate Bridge (“Golden Gate,” 2010):
Like the Parthenon, the Golden Gate Bridge seems Platonic in its perfection, as if the harmonies and resolutions of creation as understood by mathematics and abstract thought have been effortlessly materialized through engineering design.
"
kevinstarr  california  diversity  socal  demographics  technology  history  identity  2017  2010  2005  2004  2001  2000  1993  drought  environment  goldengatebridge  engineering  infrastructure  mesopotamia  irrigation  civilization  society  latinos  future 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Last Tree Standing - bioGraphic
"Since 2011, drought and pestilence have killed more than 100 million trees in California. What does that mean for the fate of the world’s largest tree, the giant sequoia?"
california  2016  drought  pestilence  forests  nature  trees  giantsequoias  sequoias  arborists 
november 2016 by robertogreco
The Color of Drought - bioGraphic
"A record-setting dry spell is transforming California’s forests—and in this case, colorful foliage is not a good thing."
color  nature  california  forests  foliage  2016  drought 
november 2016 by robertogreco
The Ominous Story of Syria's Climate Refugees - Scientific American
"Farmers who have escaped the battle-torn nation explain how drought and government abuse have driven social violence"



"Climatologists say Syria is a grim preview of what could be in store for the larger Middle East, the Mediterranean and other parts of the world. The drought, they maintain, was exacerbated by climate change. The Fertile Crescent—the birthplace of agriculture some 12,000 years ago—is drying out. Syria’s drought has destroyed crops, killed livestock and displaced as many as 1.5 million Syrian farmers. In the process, it touched off the social turmoil that burst into civil war, according to a study published in March in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. A dozen farmers and former business owners like Ali with whom I recently spoke at camps for Syrian refugees say that’s exactly what happened.

The camp where I meet Ali in November, called Pikpa, is a gateway to Europe for asylum seekers who survive the perilous sea crossing from Turkey. He and his family, along with thousands of other fugitives from Syria’s devastated farmlands, represent what threatens to become a worldwide crush of refugees from countries where unstable and repressive governments collapse under pressure from a toxic mix of climate change, unsustainable farming practices and water mismanagement.

40 YEARS OF FURY

Syria’s water crisis is largely of its own making. Back in the 1970s, the military regime led by President Hafez al-Assad launched an ill-conceived drive for agricultural self-sufficiency. No one seemed to consider whether Syria had sufficient groundwater and rainfall to raise those crops. Farmers made up water shortages by drilling wells to tap the country’s underground water reserves. When water tables retreated, people dug deeper. In 2005 the regime of Assad’s son and successor, President Bashar al-Assad, made it illegal to dig new wells without a license issued personally, for a fee, by an official—but it was mostly ignored, out of necessity. “What’s happening globally—and particularly in the Middle East—is that groundwater is going down at an alarming rate,” says Colin Kelley, the PNAS study’s lead author and a PACE postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “It’s almost as if we’re driving as fast as we can toward a cliff.”

Syria raced straight over that precipice. “The war and the drought, they are the same thing,” says Mustafa Abdul Hamid, a 30-year-old farmer from Azaz, near Aleppo. He talks with me on a warm afternoon at Kara Tepe, the main camp for Syrians on Lesbos. Next to an outdoor spigot, an olive tree is draped with drying baby clothes. Two boys run among the rows of tents and temporary shelters playing a game of war, with sticks for imaginary guns. “The start of the revolution was water and land,” Hamid says."
johnwendle  2015  syria  drought  climatechange  globalwarming  environment  climate  agriculture  water  crisis  refugees  land  revolution 
december 2015 by robertogreco
When San Diego Hired a Rainmaker a Century Ago, It Poured | JSTOR Daily
"Critics claimed Hatfield was a huckster who merely benefited from coincidence. As Spence pointed out, many so-called rainmakers “were little more than gamblers, betting their time and what reputation they may have had that rain would fall while or after they commenced their machinations.” By working only in the midst of dry spells, Hatfield could improve his odds of timing an impending rainfall. Indeed, Hatfield likely profited from his keen knowledge of meteorology and close examination of weather records. Knowing when storm fronts were imminent, he could target cities in advance of the rain and claim success when moisture fell from the skies.

Others saw Hatfield as a forerunner of modern-day cloud-seeding, in which chemicals such as dry ice and silver iodide—perhaps among those used by Hatfield—are introduced into cloud banks to foster the formation of ice crystals and raindrops. These chemicals provide particles around which water vapor can condense and eventually fall as rain once the droplets reach a sufficient size. The condensation process generates its own heat, which causes air to rise and fosters the growth of additional rain clouds.

While Hatfield relied on the ascension of chemical vapors into the skies, rainmaking went airborne with the advent of the aircraft. The U.S. Army Air Service began experiments to determine if rain could be produced from electrified sand in 1921; however, the modern science of rainmaking truly began in 1947 with Project Cirrus, a joint venture of General Electric and the U.S. military under the direction of Nobel laureate Irving Langmuir that seeded clouds with dry ice. “The results of Project Cirrus gave scientific credence to the mystic works of such pioneer rainmakers as California’s now famous Charles Hatfield,” wrote Donald D. Stark in the California Law Review.

A century after Hatfield’s exploits, the science of rainmaking and the effectiveness of cloud-seeding remain points of contention, as Virginia Simms wrote in a 2010 article in The International Lawyer. Even so, cloud-seeding is on the rise. A 2014 report from the World Meteorological Organization found that 52 countries had active cloud-seeding programs, up from 47 the previous year, and 39 weather-modification programs were in place west of the Mississippi River.

Even after its experience in 1915, San Diego continued to be seduced by the hope offered by rainmakers. Incredibly, in 1961, the city council considered hiring Edmond Jeffery, who promised he could make it rain 40 inches in 40 days for a fee of $8,000. This time, with memories of “Hatfield’s Flood” still echoing in their minds, San Diego’s councilors refused the offer."
sandiego  california  drought  history  charleshatfield  rain  water  via:vruba  1915  1961  edmondjeffery  cloudseeding 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Thirst-quenching as Los Angeles heats up: Next Wave @ UCLA | News | Archinect
"Last week, UCLA’s Hammer Museum hosted the final iteration of its 2015 program "Next Wave: Quality, Quantity, and Accessibility of Water in the 21st Century," a robust discussion series that has gathered experts in various fields to explicate and consider the most pressing issues surrounding water in the 21st century. This final event, subtitled "Thriving in a Hotter Los Angeles," grappled with issues closest to home, largely under the purview of the goals articulated by the ambitious "Sustainable LA Grand Challenge," a UCLA initiative dedicated to achieving water and energy sustainability in the county by 2020.

Claudia Bestor, the director of public programs at the Hammer, began the evening by introducing the speakers: Mark Gold, Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability (among other titles) at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UCLA; Alex Hall, the faculty director at the UCLA Center for Climate Change Solutions; Eric Hoek, the founder and CEO of Water Planet, Inc. and a professor (currently on leave) of engineering at UCLA; and Liz Croon, the Water Policy Advisor for the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti.

According to Bestor, this is “a group of people using their collaborative brain power to survive and even thrive in the face of increasing temperatures and drought." Their overarching goal is for Los Angeles to having a 100% local water supply in the future.

Each participant gave a short survey of the issues most relevant to their area of expertise before they sat down for a panel and answered audience questions. Gold, who was also the moderator of the panel, was the first to speak and provided essential facts that contextualized the larger conversation:

• As the global climate warms, the region is projected to get 4-5 degrees hotter on average, varying wildly depending where you live. This is largely unavoidable, involving greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere.

• Currently, in Los Angeles, only about 11% of water comes from local sources.

• LA County uses about 1.5 million acre feet per year of water. The city's water consumption counts for about 1/3 of that.

• The region receives about 1.6 million acre feet per year of rain, but the vast majority of this is wasted.

• The City of LA's sewage treatment plants could potentially yield about 240,000 acre feet / year of recycled water.

• A new stormwater capture master plan has the potential to provide somewhere between 200,000-300,000 acre ft./year of water, which could be captured and fed into the ground or used for irrigation.

• There are vast potentials for using aquifers for groundwater storage, but they are currently heavily polluted.

• Without even bringing desalination or grey water reclamation into the conversation, 100% local water supplies are feasible.

• Los Angeles has achieved some success in reducing its water consumption – currently 107 gallons/capita/day – but this can be reduced even further. In parts of Western Europe and Australia, the per capita water consumption is only 50 gallons per day.

"Just realize, it's not technology that's the biggest hold up," Gold stated, articulating a sentiment that was repeated throughout the evening. "It's probably governance."

Alex Hall followed, discussing the local and regional implications that can be expected of global warming.

“The Sierra Nevada snowpack is an especially important resource in our current water management regime," Hall began. "It acts as a natural reservoir, storing water as snow and ice until it gradually melts throughout the spring and into summer.”

Currently, the Sierra Nevada snowpack provides about 60% of the region's water, but it's a resource highly vulnerable to climate change. Hall explained that under a "business as usual" scenario, we can expect that more than half of the volume of the snowpack will be lost by the end of the century. Even if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, significant loss will be essentially inevitable.

One of the main reasons for such a significant loss is the "snow-albedo feedback cycle," in which loss of snow cover contributes to increased local warming as the exposed land absorbs more solar radiation. In turn, this leads to greater snow loss. Additionally, global warming will lead to more precipitation as rain rather than snow, overtaxing infrastructure like dams. In short: "non-local resource is really at risk, and it will become more and more expensive as we continue to rely on it.”

But rainfall in the local region, on the other hand, will likely be consistent despite temperature increases, even if it appears more often in the form of extreme weather events that are more and more variable. With that in mind, higher temperatures also result in increased demand for water, and evaporation rates increase exponentially.

With these phenomena in mind, Hall stated that it was unlikely we could hope to rely on Sierra Nevada snowpacks, and rather called for more stormwater capture, as well as the priorities underlying how we use the water we have.

Eric Hoek went on next, describing himself as "the technology guy." He enumerated the complex relationships between energy production and water use (the energy-water nexus), asking, “How do we enable water technology to exist and be useful while maybe conserving some energy in the process?”

Hoek and his collaborators have pioneered the invention and development of new technologies to this end. Notably, they created a new type of reverse-osmosis membrane that greatly improves the efficiency of desalination.

Hoek also touched on the "energy-water-food nexus," such as the fact that about two-thirds of water is devoted just for irrigation, and that 80% of water consumption world-wide is for food production. He advocated for employing advanced technologies to greatly reduce energy and water usage in agriculture, through indoor, efficient farming.

Liz Croon, the first-ever water policy advisor for the Mayor's Office, was the final panelist to speak. Croon outlined the City's current initiatives, in particular the Sustainable City Plan, which she called "a very comprehensive roadmap to how we get to both shorter and long-term goals.”

She noted existing initiatives that have been successful, such as rebates for homeowners to replace lawns with native plants and to install cisterns. At the same time, she acknowledged difficulties, such as the potential to lose momentum as the heavy rains of the impending El Niño may make people lose sight of the overarching reality of the drought.

For Croon, the path to 100% local water and sustainable resource use must involve issues pertaining to economics and social equity alongside the ecological questions. “There’s challenges, but there’s also a lot of potential," she stated.

To watch the full video, or listen to the Q+A, visit the Hammer Museum's website here."
losangeles  climatechange  globalwarming  drought  water  claudiabestor  markgold  erikhoek  alexhall  lizcroon 
december 2015 by robertogreco
On the Political Dimensions of Solarpunk — Medium
[via: http://solarpunks.tumblr.com/post/131978924858/dont-ask-permission-from-a-state-beholden-to]

"Don’t ask permission from a state beholden to oligarchs, and definitely don’t expect those oligarchs to do any of this for you. Guerilla gardening is the model, but look further. Guerilla solar panel installation. Guerilla water treatment facility restoration. Guerilla magnificent temple to the human spirit construction. Guerilla carbon sequestration megastructure creation.

Figure out what a community needs to be prosperous, peaceful and sustainable in as long a term as you can wrap your head around, and start building whatever piece is most in reach before the absent state notices. Doing so just might create pockets of more effective, horizontal politics. As the state wanes, these pockets can grow in size and influence, creating a better world even if some government claims the authority of law and holds a monopoly on violence.

Now, political choices got us into this mess, and political choices could get us out. I for one argue for a comprehensive set of reforms that were inspired by the discussions held around the world during Occupy: a global debt jubilee to free both countries and individuals from debts that impoverish and enslave them; a tax on extreme wealth to control inequality and rein in the power of oligarchs; a guaranteed basic income to provide for the poor, the infirm and those more useful as caregivers, artists and thinkers than employees of businesses; a dramatic reduction in the workweek to slow down unsustainable levels of economic expansion and to eliminate the countless “bullshit jobs” that serve no function but to bore those who hold them; the regulation or even abolition of usury (once considered as great a sin as slavery), so that investments in sustainable infrastructure that will pay off in cathedral time are not hampered by interest payments that will eventually exceed principal."



"As I argued in my discussion of cities, solarpunk should be careful not to idealize either the gothic high tech or the favela chic. No matter how many High Line-style parks or vertical farms they build, Manhattan will be useless if it is only filled with the luxury condos of absentee financiers. And favelas may be full of jugaad-innovation and dense with diverse entrepreneurialism, but they feature a fatal flaw: no fire codes. Slums are fascinating from a design perspective right up until they burn down or wash away. In a world of more extreme weather, disasters will strike down favelas before their recycling-centric, low-carbon lifestyles can save the climate.

Instead, I like the idea of focusing on large-scale infrastructure projects that will provide value for communities into the long term. A seed bank; a hyper-dense vertical permaculture farm engineered for carbon fixing; a massive, low-maintenance desalination system; a space elevator. These projects could themselves be the organizing principle around which unique solarpunk communities are organized."



"I’ve seen many people describe solarpunk as optimistic. My last suggestion is this: don’t be optimistic, be hopeful. As Vaclav Havel explained: “Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” Havel, an artist turned activist turned statesman who led his nation out of a time of crisis, in many ways embodies the transformational power of ideas and aesthetics — and thus the potential of a movement like solarpunk to do real good in the world.

This essay has been long, and it has discussed many troubling situations and possibilities. I wrote these things because I think it is important for any cohesive body of political thought to contrast what it wants with what it opposes: for transparency and privacy, against surveillance and deception; for conservation and abundance, against hoarding and exploitation; for neighborhoods and collaboratives, against gangs and police.

I also wrote this because I believe the enormity of our problems doesn’t have to paralyze us. Quite the opposite: seeing the world as it is is vital if you are going to figure out how it could be. Now is the moment to be galvanized, to know that we are on to something, and to make acting on these ideas a real part of our lives."
solarpunk  2015  andrewdanahudson  politics  favelachic  gothichightech  recycling  diy  optimism  hopefulness  scale  activism  jugaad  infrastructure  organization  horizontality  sustainability  solar  water  climatechange  gardening  hope  refugees  longnow  longnowfoundation  williamgibson  madmax  paolobacigalupi  bladerunner  overconsumption  overpopulation  thecomingrevolution  cities  urban  urbanism  brucesterling  drought  blackswans 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Have You Eaten Your Last Avocado? -- Grub Street
"If the most dire climate predictions for California prove prescient — those that foresee, for example, a 30-, 40-, even a 100-year drought — the avocado is not the agricultural product most likely to disappear from the state. (That would be dairy, which is water-intensive and not geographically dependent.) It’s not the food most likely to be permanently priced out of your diet. (That would be almonds — 99 percent of which come from California, and the wholesale price of which has more than tripled since 2001.) But if you draw a Venn diagram with “West Coast drought-affected agriculture” in one circle and “East Coast foodie-fueled manias” in the other, smack-dab in the ovoid intersection of these circles would sit the avocado. And so, having only just recently become a tattoo-worthy symbol of foodie obsessiveness, the avocado could become the symbol of a pre-climate-change era, when we could reasonably expect anything, from anywhere, at any time, to appear on our dinner plate. “Once it hits Chipotle, people think, Wow, we better do something about this climate-change thing,” says Eric Holthaus, a climatologist who writes for Slate. “You can see all these satellite photos of melting Arctic ice, and read reports about changes in the jet stream, but when it starts hitting Chipotle, that’s when people pay attention.”"
avocados  fallbrook  sandiego  water  drought  california  2015  agriculture  food  adamsternbergh 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Apocalyptic Schadenfreude — Matter — Medium
"In other words, even if this drought is a sign of climates to come, California has plenty of water to support its lifestyle. It just won’t have enough to support its crops, without significant changes to make those farms more water-efficient. It seems bizarre that a region like the Central Valley with just six million people — barely more than 10% of the state’s population — should use so much of the water. But then you realize that the vast majority of people benefiting from that water don’t live in California at all. The Central Valley takes up only 1% of the landmass of the United States, but it produces 25% of the food we eat, and almost half of the fruits or nuts we consume. California is running through its water supply because, for complicated historical and climatological reasons, it has taken on the burden of feeding the rest of the country. The average Times reader sneering at those desert lawns from the Upper West Side might want to think about the canned tomatoes, avocados, and almonds in his or her kitchen before denouncing the irresponsible lifestyles of the California emigres. Because the truth is California doesn’t have a water problem. We all do."
2015  california  drought  water  economics  farming  agriculture  stevenjohnson  efficiency  deserts  centralvalley  climate  climatechange  nytimes  food 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Seriously, Stop Demonizing Almonds
"Look at this report using Department of Commerce figures which shows how demand from places like the UAE have exploded over the last few years—which have also been the years of extreme and exceptional drought in California. Now look at how much more alfalfa has been going to China. This is due to the trade deficit with the US, which hit a record high last year. The US is importing so many manufactured goods from China that the containers are often going back empty. It’s a steal to ship anything in them. It is actually cheaper to ship alfalfa to Beijing than it is to truck it from one side of the state to the other. This isn’t improving the economic standing of the US.

The equivalent of 100 billion gallons of water per year is packaged up in shipping containers and floated over the Pacific Ocean.

Californians don’t get any healthy local food, and California doesn’t get a healthy local economy.

These countries don’t have the water or the space to grow alfalfa, and California is sacrificing both to feed their growing penchant for beef and milk. Effectively they have outsourced their own droughts to California. Growing Asia-bound alfalfa is by far the poorest use of our resources no matter which way you slice it. And soon, it might be too dry here to grow it at all.

Suddenly, almonds are starting to look really, really good."
2015  drought  agriculture  farming  water  alissawalker  food  exports  commerce  california  almonds 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Africa tops the best food in the world league – By Richard Dowden | African Arguments
"If you said the words “Africa” and “food” and asked most people in the western world what the connection was, I would bet my Sunday lunch that many people would say: “None. They don’t have any. They’re all starving.”

So the news in The Lancet this week that Africans have the best diets in the world is wonderful and spectacularly ironic. According to the researchers, out of the top ten best national diets in the world only one is not African, Israel. And not a single African country is in the bottom ten. However, there are four European countries at the bottom of the table. Is there any other development in the world where Africans sweep the board? A few years ago Africans were reported to be the most contented and optimistic people in the world. I hope that is still true.

Top of the healthy eating league table was Chad, a country often associated with drought, followed by Sierra Leone, Mali, Gambia, Uganda, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Somalia. I can remember seeing starving people, children with Kwashiokor and distended bellies in four of them but in each case the cause was war. Drought can impoverish and force people to move but very rarely does it directly kill.

The research has been carried out for The Lancet Global Health journal by researchers using national data from almost 90 per cent of the world’s population. They analysed people’s diets between 1990 and 2010 by taking 17 food groups, including healthy ones: fruit and veg and fish as well as junk food (saturated fats and processed meat). Then they questioned people about which of these they ate and how much.

Chad, a country often associated with drought, comes top, followed by Sierra Leone, Mali, Gambia, Uganda, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Somalia. They are a mix of countries with large dryland areas and others with heavy rainfall and fruit-rich rainforests.

In arid Somalia for example the people traditionally drink lots of camel’s milk which is very low in fat and good for you. But they also breakfast on flash-fried, almost-raw liver. Yes I’ve tried it. Yuk!

I once watched a camel being slaughtered for lunch. A man simply lopped its head off with an axe and then chopped it up with a machete. It was then cooked and we sat around the carcass eating lumps of meat with our fingers although it was so tough as to be almost inedible. Strangely the staple diet of many Somalis these days is spaghetti. And they eat it in the way I always wanted to but was never allowed to as a child – with fingers from a communal bowl, head back, open mouth and sucking and slurping the tails.

The cuisine I know best is Ugandan where, in the south, the word Matooke – banana – means food. They say if a Muganda has not eaten Matooke, he or she has not eaten. Twice a day they tuck into mashed banana steamed in banana leaves. It is usually eaten with groundnut sauce. Delicious.

There is also an array of Ugandan green vegetables and fruits that just fall out of uncultivated trees. No wonder some inhabitants have a reputation for being laid back, even lazy?

But Ugandans too have peculiar dietary habits. I was teaching a class in school one hot, sleepy afternoon when one of the pupils suddenly shouted and pointed out of the window. Millions of flying grasshoppers, Ensennene, had arrived and swarmed around the school. The class emptied despite my shouts of “Sit down! Stay here!” But I noticed that most of the students were carrying plastic bags. They knew this was the time of year when grasshoppers would hatch and swarm. They were on their hands and knees in no time chasing the clumsy hoppers and flyers and, tearing off their legs and wings to pop them into the plastic bags to be deep fried for dinner.

The Baganda also eat flying ants and some of the students persuaded me that these were best eaten live straight from the anthill. They took me to a nearby termite mound and hacked into it, picking out the grubs and carefully proffering them to me. I had seen deep fried ant grubs in the market but to this day I am not sure whether the raw ones really are a delicacy or just another opportunity to make a fool of a gullible white man. Once you got over the wriggling sensation on your tongue they didn’t taste too bad.

I noticed that Nigeria is not there in the top ten. No surprise there! Anyone who can drink Nigerian Egusi pepper soup must have a mouth made of cast iron. Ben Okri once took me to dinner at his favourite restaurant and insisted that I drink the soup – “the best Egusi in London,” he said. I agreed but a minute after I took the first sip I was in the toilet mopping the tears streaming from my eyes. My mouth took days to recover. Did you bribe the cook to leave the top off the pepper pot Ben?

Let’s look forward to hearing someone say not that they have dined like a king but they have dined like an African. I look forward to seeing the courses in African cuisine and more African cookbooks lining the bookshop shelves.

Richard Dowden is Director of the Royal African Society."
richarddowden  food  africa  nutrition  uganda  somalia  chad  ivorycoast  senegal  gambia  mali  sierraleone  diet  misconceptions  health  lifestyle  well-being  drought  war 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Climate Change and the End of Australia | Politics News | Rolling Stone
"Want to know what global warming has in store for us? Just go to Australia, where rivers are drying up, reefs are dying, and fires and floods are ravaging the continent"
australia  climatechange  2011  floods  fires  drought  nature 
october 2011 by robertogreco
Angkor — National Geographic Magazine
"Angkor is the scene of one of the greatest vanishing acts of all time...lasted from the ninth to 15th centuries & at its height dominated a wide swath of Southeast Asia, from Myanmar in the west to Vietnam in the east. As many as 750,000 people lived in Angkor...which sprawled across an area the size of New York City's five boroughs, making it the most extensive urban complex of the preindustrial world. By the late 16th century, when Portuguese missionaries came upon the lotus-shaped towers of Angkor Wat—the most elaborate of the city's temples and the world's largest religious monument—the once resplendent capital of the empire was in its death throes... long list of suspected causes...Recent excavations...of the infrastructure...are converging on a new answer...doomed by the very ingenuity that transformed a collection of minor fiefdoms into an empire...tame[d] Southeast Asia's seasonal deluges, then faded as its control of water, the most vital of resources, slipped away."
ankor  civilization  history  collapse  resources  water  drought 
july 2009 by robertogreco
BBC NEWS | Americas | Scientists advance 'drought crop'
"Scientists say they have made a key breakthrough in understanding the genes of plants that could lead to crops that can survive in a drought."
agriculture  botany  disasters  drought  environment  genetics  science  technology  future  food 
february 2008 by robertogreco
BLDGBLOG: N.A.W.A.P.A.
"Reisner describes something called N.A.W.A.P.A.: the North American Water and Power Alliance. N.A.W.A.P.A. is nothing less than the hydrological fantasy project of U.S.-based North American water engineers."
canada  future  technology  water  us  west  california  losangeles  colorado  rivers  lakes  lakesuperior  drought  futurism  northamerica 
october 2007 by robertogreco
The Canary Project
"The mission of The Canary Project is to photograph landscapes around the world that are exhibiting dramatic transformation due to global warming and to use these photographs to persuade as many people as possible that global warming is already underway a
Photography  art  awareness  landscape  media  change  climate  documentary  documentation  ecology  environment  global  images  sustainability  trends  travel  nature  science  culture  social  weather  green  activism  drought  globalwarming  climatechange  classideas 
october 2006 by robertogreco

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