Year 4, Month 6, Day 10: Khizr Khud Denge Aakar Sahaara…

The Express Tribune (Pakistan) tells us of the sad condition of villagers in the Northern Subcontinent:

Today fishermen living in one of the hundreds of villages in the Indus Delta have truly understood what the great saint meant to say.

Nearly three hundred families living in Kharo Chan village – which in Sindhi language means ‘bitter jetty’ – have bitter memories to share. Allah Din, a farmer, said, “There was a time when the area was lush green and fertile. For nearly 150 years this area fed all of Sindh with its record rice and wheat produces.” But then, the Kotri Barrage was constructed. “The level of sweet water in the Indus River began to go down and salty seawater began to rise. The once fertile lands turned barren,” he said.

He added that things aren’t better off on the other side of the bank – the residents of the taluka on the opposite side can’t produce enough food to sustain themselves, said Allah Din. He added that because seawater has moved inland and freshwater is scarce, villagers have been eyeing urban centres and packing their bags.

Another resident, Muhammad Ayub, who is a schoolteacher, claimed that corruption and political jousts have worsened the situation. He said villagers oppose the government’s plan to build Zulfikarabad because they feel they will become strangers in their own lands. “The government may create problem for us. They want us to migrate, but we will fight till our last breath against the development of Zulfikarabad.”

This is a generic “we’re all fucked; blame the evil corporations” letter. Let’s just say it needed to be said. May 27:

The effects of the rapidly transforming global climate are keenly felt by the world’s farming and fishing societies, whose collective survival is intimately linked with that of the land. It is a cruel irony that these people are perhaps the ones who’ve done the least to bring about the climate crisis; with greenhouse emissions that are statistically non-existent, they are paying the penalty for the high living standards and modern conveniences of the developed world — amenities which depend on an abundant supply of cheap energy.

The plight of Kharo Chan village (and others like it in the Indus Delta) is a harbinger in microcosm of what may lie in store for all humanity. Unless rapid, comprehensive, and responsible action is taken to address this disaster-in-the-making, all of us — rich and poor, traditional and modern, Eastern and Western — will find that the world which nurtured our civilization has been replaced by one far less hospitable to the vast web of Earthly life.

The corporate entities which have corrupted governments around the world and are delaying action on global warming are standing in the way, not of progress, but of survival itself.

Warren Senders

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