no more water

Half of humanity could face water shortges by 2050 if the world lets the financial crisis distract it from fighting global warming, a key UN climate change summit of more than 185 countries has been told.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chairman Rajendra Pachauri told an opening meeting that many people had still not woken up to the risks of climate change if the world failed to act.

He cited projections that the number of people living in river valleys and facing water stress could quadruple from more than 1 billion in 1995 to more than 43 billion by 2050, that a third of species could face extinction, that the Greenland and west Antarctic ice sheets could melt, triggering massive sea-level rises.

Dr Pauchari said “everybody was distracted” by the financial crisis, but that it should not stop firm action “once the dust settles, give it a month or two”.

The Age (Australia), 3 Dec 2008 – screen copy held by this website

see also – just plain scary