Showing posts from July 1, 2007

Drought Forces Desert Nomads to Settle Down

Desert Nomads

by Richard Harris

Morning Edition, July 2, 2007 · Climate change threatens ice sheets and ecosystems, but it also threatens human cultures.

For centuries, the Tuareg people have lived as nomads, herding their animals from field to field just south of the Sahara Desert in Mali, near Timbuktu.

"Our life is basically the animals we have, so we protect them and we feed them," says Mohamed Ag Mustafa, a herder living the traditional nomadic lifestyle. "Whenever we need tea or grain or clothes, we take an animal to the market and sell it and buy something."

But this way of life has become impossible due to a change in the climate.

Over the past 40 years, persistent drought has forced the Tuareg to give up their wandering way of life. To survive they have had to start settling in villages and cultivating land to secure a food supply which is less susceptible to drought.

Preserving Culture

CARE is an international humanitarian organization working to alleviate …

Message In A Bottle

Message In A Bottle
By: Charles Fishman

The largest bottled-water factory in North America is located on the outskirts of Hollis, Maine. In the back of the plant stretches the staging area for finished product: 24 million bottles of Poland Spring water. As far as the eye can see, there are double-stacked pallets packed with half-pint bottles, half-liters, liters, "Aquapods" for school lunches, and 2.5-gallon jugs for the refrigerator.

Really, it is a lake of Poland Spring water, conveniently celled off in plastic, extending across 6 acres, 8 feet high. A week ago, the lake was still underground; within five days, it will all be gone, to supermarkets and convenience stores across the Northeast, replaced by another lake's worth of bottles.

Looking at the piles of water, you can have only one thought: Americans sure are thirsty.

Bottled water has become the indispensable prop in our lives and our culture. It starts the day in lunch boxes; it goes to every meeting, lecture ha…