Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Australians face climate change relocation

VOANews.com: Senior government officials in Victoria are warning residents of towns on the Murray River that they could become the first Australians to be displaced by climate change. The region has suffered at the hands of a long-running drought that many scientists and politicians have blamed on global warming. The very dry conditions have restricted the flow of water into a river that is part of the Murray-Darling Basin, which provides much of Australia's food, prompting dire warnings about the future.

Flows into the once mighty Murray River have fallen significantly, in recent years. Its health is indelibly linked to the prosperity of many large agricultural towns in southeastern Australia. A senior Victorian government official has warned that the Murray River crisis is so severe that those living near its banks are - in his words - "pretty close" to becoming "Australia's first climate-change refugees."

Victoria Premier John Brumby is fighting with neighboring South Australia for the right to extract more water from the Murray, to help beleaguered farmers. Brumby is warning that, if he does not get his way, some towns could wither and die...

The Murray River at Boundary Bend, shot by Scott Davis, Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

No comments: