Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Winter Hell in Mongolia

The Montana Buddhist Badger, not to be confused with the east coast Buddhist squirrel, has a new post on the deteriorating conditions in Mongolia. Extreme temperatures and piles of snow have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of domestic animals, perhaps even millions of animals. People are stranded and isolated behind snow drifts, and medical access is limited in many areas due to the weather conditions. The Badger has some excellent links on his post, as well as on a few earlier posts on his blog. Here is an excerpt from Badger's current post:

More heavy snow across the country this week is isolatin communities, killin thousands more head a livestock, leavin the Mongol herders even more desperate. Here’s how Ms. Flowers wraps up the spot, after detailin all the countries that are ponyin up aid except the US:

But I think at this point what’s needed now is very much a humanitarian focus looking at getting the food, the fuel, the warm clothing, blankets out to affected populations and also the medical equipment and medicines, but also moving trained people in or finding ways of getting the vulnerable population, the elderly, the children and the pregnant women out.”

This is because we’re at the point where children, for example, are startin to die from treatable illnesses, not being able to get through the snow to the nearest clinic.

Extreme weather is part of the output of climate change. This isn't to say every incident of extremity was caused by human damage to the environment, but it's foolish to think we have had no hand in some of this.

In addition to finding ways to support those in Mongolia right now, we may be intelligent to take this as another sign that the greed and fear driven over-consumption of rich nations needs to be transformed dramatically. It's easy enough to dismiss Mongolia as some remote place where Ghengis Khan once lived, but weather doesn't pick and choose, and climates aren't static.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Extreme weather is part of the output of climate change"

Maybe the climate is getting colder now?