I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Book Review - A Great Aridness

A few months ago I did a post on an article by William deBuys  Exodus From Phoenix.  This article was just an introduction to his book A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest.
DeBuys says that this book did not start out to be a book on climate change but as a general environmental history of the Southwest.  It was already becoming obvious that the growth in the Southwest could not continue, this was especially true of the Phoenix area but applied to the entire region.  He could see that the environmental factors that were the subject of the book were being exacerbated by climate change and that end was going to come a lot sooner.

It becomes at once obvious that William deBuys loves the desert Southwest.  His prose is almost poetic sometimes making it a wonderful read.  It is full of history and science, politics and human stories.

Lake Mead
So what's the problem?  The problem is the lack of water.  The dams on the Colorado River no longer fill up.  As the area continues to grow the available water continues to decline.  This is not the first drought to hit the area and not even the first to bring an advanced society down. He gives us a history of the 12th century drought that brought down several advance societies in Arizona.  Of course it's not just man made climate change man has had other impacts.  Because of mismanagement the forests are more susceptible to forest fires.  Of course climate change plays a part in this too - dryer and warmer winters make insect infestation more severe.  
I recommend this book to everyone.  There are human stories as well as history and science.  While the desert Southwest is on the frontlines climate change is already impacting us all.

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