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The Drying of America?

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  • The Drying of America?

    Awkward title, but this acticle from the New York Times says it all. Can an advanced industrial nation adapt to massive environmental change? Ancient civilizations certainly failed to do so.
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  • #2
    Re: The Drying of America?

    To be honest, I think it is fascinating to see what is happening. It will force us to move and try to adapt. It will produce sad but very intriguing bits of information from long term studies. I still hear my geo professors over the years talking about the changes and their impacts.



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    "Hope is for the weak. I hope for nothing. I work for things. That is the only way for events to unfold." -Cleverbot

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    • #3
      Re: The Drying of America?

      Originally posted by E-Male View Post
      Awkward title, but this acticle from the New York Times says it all. Can an advanced industrial nation adapt to massive environmental change? Ancient civilizations certainly failed to do so.
      It's hardly just the United States being affected by environmental changes happening today. This being said I perfectly think it is within reason to expect the US to be able to respond somewhat meaningfully to such changes. I reference the Dustbowl as a great example of an environmental calamity being eventually stopped by a concerted US (government) effort.

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      • #4
        Re: The Drying of America?

        Frankly I don't understand the debate between the two camps. Climate change has been occurring since the planet formed and continues. With and without mankind's activity on the planet. The last 200 years has to have some effect on the process though. I don't understand how that can be refuted.
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        |TG-1st|Grunt
        ARMA Admin (retired)
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        • #5
          Re: The Drying of America?

          Originally posted by Grunt 70 View Post
          Frankly I don't understand the debate between the two camps. Climate change has been occurring since the planet formed and continues. With and without mankind's activity on the planet. The last 200 years has to have some effect on the process though. I don't understand how that can be refuted.
          I think the biggest difference between previous change and today's is the time scale and what is at stake. People, more specifically hominids, have been adapting to large climate shifts for hundreds of thousands of years. What Emale points out is that recent changes, within the last 20,000 years, have been able to disrupt whole societies and civilizations, many civilizations fell out of power because of the changes brought on destabilization. The current discussion is that there is greater risk at sweeping global changes will happen on small timescales never before experienced by mankind.

          Today's changes hold the potential to cause a lot of damage/disruption to places like Sudan and the Philippines, as seen recently, but also to even the largest/'most powerful/influential' nations are going to be affected.

          I am of the optimistic persuasion though and think that the increasing ability for people to affect global changes and persevere will eventually bring about the necessary changes and innovations.

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          • #6
            Re: The Drying of America?

            The issue is, of course, not isolated to North America.

            What is particularly interesting is the record of history which demonstrates that something as 'simple' as a change in water availability can be the ruin of a civilization. We are faced with both ends of the spectrum -- too much water (risings sea levels) and too little water.

            Interesting times . . .
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