Monday September 6, 2010
Global Warming At A Glance
McDonald's experiences with climate change are worldwide
hile we don't have a water shortage yet, we will have soon and there are millions of people looking to Canada to relieve their water shortage or their other shortages because their water supply has dwindled. We need to look ahead and work with them not against them.
We need tactfully to educate them and not tell them how greedy they are. And we do need to share.
1. Our Great Lakes water level has fallen several metres. In other word less than half of our water remains.
2. In southern Alberta there is strife between residents south and north of the border over lack of water in the Milk River, its tributaries and irrigation canals.
3. Drought hits our grain fields some years. It hit those of Russia very hard this year. The wheat supply to feed the world is far from adequate. There is famine already.
4. Global Warming has melted the Himalayan mountains so much that the whole of Pakistan is flooded and it's wheat and rice fields and infrastructure have been destroyed. I worked in Lahore 2 years and travelled much in Pakistan. I saw the devastation there in 1987. That was minor compared to the present.
I worked in India many years and survived serious floods in 1980, 500 miles south of Calcutta. Our electricity was off for a long time. Our trains stopped running. Later I saw the major double railway line hanging like ribbons with the river banks that were all gone. A river bed was totally dry a few minutes before a huge wave of water picked up a whole cinema house with 1000 people and washed it away. Friends of mine who survived did so by clinging to the ceiling in the second floor of their house. Picture the long approaches to the Fraser River bridge on Hwy 6 washed away.
5. We need also to focus on prevention of floods, by terracing our hillsides, river banks and mountainsides, as they have done in China for centuries. All the rubble in mountain valleys has been used to line thousands of terraced fields up the mountainsides.
In Lesotho, southern Africa, where annually the rain water rushes down the mountains in torrents gouging out their fertile land, I saw the people are using Lucern grass (alfalfa) to edge their hillside fields. The roots go deep, hold back the heavy rain, and their leguminous nodules fertilize the fields. We should do that on the Peace River, Alberta river banks where the fertile soil slides into the river. Probably that sort of thing here might help encourage salmon go up the rivers to spawn. For years I have sent letters to federal and provincial ministers, but without any signs of interest on their part. We must make sure our governments plan ahead for next year and every year.
Myrtle McDonald, Chilliwack
Myrtle Macdonald, MSc.A - Nursing Education and Research at McGill University. She worked as an outreach nurse for many years in Montreal and is now with the Chilliwack branch of the Schizophrenic Association of BC.
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