We’re doomed, DOOMED – for the billionth time

New Yorker:

“There are always a lot of reasons why people migrate,” Yarsinio Palacios, an expert on forestry in Guatemala, told me. “Maybe a family member is sick. Maybe they are trying to make up for losses from the previous year. But in every situation, it has something to do with climate change.”

In 2014, a group of agronomists and scientists, working on an initiative called Climate, Nature, and Communities of Guatemala, produced a report that cautioned lawmakers about the region’s susceptibility to a new threat. The highlands region, they wrote, “was the most vulnerable area in the country to climate change.”

Almost half a year’s worth of precipitation might fall in a single week, which would flood the soil and destroy crops. Grain and vegetable harvests that once produced enough food to feed a family for close to a year now lasted less than five months. “Inattention to these issues,” the report’s authors wrote, can drive “more migration to the United States” and “put at grave risk the already deteriorating viability of the country.”

In the distance, about ten thousand feet above sea level, was a belt of craggy peaks. At these heights, the impact of a changing climate was especially dire: increasing aridity was exacerbating an already limited water supply. By the side of a road near the hamlet of La Capellania, groups of women carted piles of laundry, in wheelbarrows and in baskets balanced on their heads, to small drainage ditches where they washed their families’ clothes with bars of soap, scrubbing the articles clean on flattened stones. They had set out with flashlights before dawn, wearing hats and jackets to withstand the freezing temperatures; the earlier the women arrived, the less likely it was that the water would be full of suds from prior use.

In another hamlet, Agua Alegre, fresh water for cooking and drinking was only available from a small communal tap. Some sixty families lived in the houses nearby, and long lines formed as the women filled plastic jugs to carry away. Five years ago, when local authorities started rationing the supply, residents were told that they could draw water at any time they wanted, but only on certain days of the week during the summer; three years ago, the schedule was limited to specific hours on consecutive days. Now water is only available on Wednesdays and Saturdays

“Extreme poverty may be the primary reason people leave,” Edwin Castellanos, a climate scientist at the Universidad del Valle, told me. “But climate change is intensifying all the existing factors.”

Yeah, right. They have GDP per capita that’s 5% of that in the US, but it’s climate change that’s “intensifying” things. HT: AT Gee, Americans on average have twenty times (20x) the income of Guatemalans but it’s the weather that’s sending these paupers north? How brilliant is that?

Fun update: here are 13 federal agencies where you can fire a lot of people.

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