State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Turkish Baths?

If you are browsing for a bit of water related humor, turn to the Reuters news on Turkey.  This month, Istanbul, a cultural capital of Turkey, was part- host of the Fifth World Water Forum which connects experts from over 150 countries  around the world to address impending global water crises.

According to UN reports, almost half the world will be affected by water shortage by the year 2030. In an ideal world, the hosting of such a forum would help to counteract our growing water problems. However, this year, as protesters gathered outside the forum, Turkish police decided that the best and cheapest method to disperse the crowd was to fire water cannons.

Image from FoxNews
Image from FoxNews

While the nation–and, in fact, the better part of the Mediterranean region–is suffering one of its worst droughts in decades, and many areas are struggling to find enough water to drink and irrigate their fields, water is ironically the one commodity the nation turns to to control crowds.

According to Police officials, 13-14 tons of water costs $235 while 500 teargas bombs (which would be able to control an equivalent amount of people) costs $7,350.  Ironic no?

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Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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