Bhutan is a small country nestled in the Himalayas, breathtakingly beautiful and “quaint”. Unfortunately, it’s about to be hit by a truck!
The retreat of Bhutan’s glaciers presents an even more formidable and fundamental challenge to a nation of around 600,000 people, nearly 80 percent of whom live by farming.
Bhutan’s rivers sustain not only the country’s farmers, but also the country’s main industry and export earner — hydro-electric power, mostly sold to neighbouring India.
For a few years, Bhutan’s farmers and its hydro power plants might have more summer melt water than they can use. One day, though, the glaciers may be gone, and the “white gold” upon which the economy depends may dry up.
The threat led the government’s National Environment Commission to a stark conclusion.
“Not only human lives and livelihoods are at risk, but the very backbone of the nation’s economy is at the mercy of climate change hazards,” it wrote in a recent report.
Scientists admit they have little solid data on how Bhutan’s climate is already changing, but say weather patterns are becoming increasingly unpredictable.
Well, as I keep saying, Americans and Europeans will be incovenienced by global climate change, Asians and Africans will die. I don’t have an answer, though, which is depressing on this gray and cloudy Friday morning…