The New York Times featured an article about the Sundarbans today, the mangrove covered islands that fringed the Ganges river delta at the border of India and Bangladesh. I use the past tense because the islands are no longer covered with mangroves, and they are slowly washing away, weakened by the clear cuts, and subsumed by a rising sea.
Last week I watched CBC's report from Egypt in the Nile's delta, part of its series, "Ready or Not: Living in a Warming World." Farmers there are watching helplessly as the marginal existence they eke out falters before the advancing Mediterranean.
It is an increasingly and depressingly familiar story: the world is not about to alter, it has already altered. The mechanisms are complex and mulitfactorial, but are primarily linked to human activity. The solution will require compromise, sacrifice, ingenuity, and co-operation. Even with a complex multifaceted solution, the stage has been set for calamatous change in the coming decades.
Stock your pantry and your gun rack. This ain't going to be pretty.