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The Dead Sea has been shrinking at an alarming rate for decades.
But it’s not just about losing the volume of water…
Losing the Identity of a Nation
The Dead Sea is a prominent feature that defines Jordan.
I have asked a friend from Jordan about the response of the general public towards the issue. I always think that this is really serious to the people in Jordan since the Dead Sea brings in so much tourism and all.
However, the friend says that people simply are not aware and would rather care about Aqaba. I pondered and reasoned that though many people are involved in tourism and farming activities near the Dead Sea, the majority of the people are not.
Second, a lot of tourists go there each year, and perhaps the number even increases since they feel a need to go there before the Dead Sea is gone in the future. Yet, how long can the Dead Seas last? Is Jordan capable of preserving its national identity?
This is tantamount to Paris without an Eiffel Tower, Malaysia losing its rainforests (it’s the oldest in the world!), and Justin Bieber losing his child-like vocals! (Yet, it’s funny how responses to such similar scenarios would be totally different!)
Again, climate change always affects the most vulnerable, or the less affluent community.
As the water level drops, large sink holes appear along the shores (undermining infrastructures such as roads and bridges) and farming lands are full of cracks. This leads to serious implications towards the farmers and the agricultural sector in Jordan.
No doubt, climate change causes food crisis and is related to the issue of hunger and poverty. More and more parts of the world are showing early symptoms, if not already experiencing the effects.
Is it better to keep it dead or Red?
So, there have been suggestions to channel water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. Yet it poses risk of negative ecological effects.
So it won’t disappear?
“Contrary to popular wisdom, the Dead Sea will not entirely disappear. It could drop another 300 feet or so from its current maximum depth of 1,240 feet over the next hundred years, according to Ittai Gavrieli, director of the Geological Survey of Israel, a government body. Then, he said, evaporation would slow down as the surface area shrank, and the water level would stabilize.”
A teacher at my school has told me that he doesn’t believe in climate change because he believes that nature will take care of itself.
Yet, how much damage and suffering must climate change cause before ‘nature takes care of itself’? Can we always take things for granted? What if one day nature decides not to take care of us?
The Dead Sea is only one of the many examples of how we have been depriving ourselves from our right to climate justice and a sustainable environment. When the Dead Sea is dying, does our hope die too?
Or do we want to continue fighting? NOT waging war against the Earth, but fight for our rights to climate justice!
by Jin Yun Soo