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Issue 12
April , 2009
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Failing environment causing failing states

Source: Toxics Alert, Date: April , 2009

In the 21st century the main threat is failing states.Failing states are of international concern because they are a source of terrorists, drugs, weapons and refugees, threatening political stability everywhere.For example, Somalia, number one on the 2008 list of failing states, has become a base for piracy. Iraq, number five, is a hotbed for terrorist training. Afghanistan, number seven, is the world’s leading supplier of heroin.

The three environmental reasons that trigger failing staes are:food scarcity,loss of soil and global warming.

These environmental crises are limited to a countrty or region or even continent. They have widely affected irerespective of borders and boundaries.

In China the water table under the North China Plain, an area that produces more than half of the country’s wheat and a third of its corn, is falling fast .A World Bank study reports that 15 percent of India’s food supply is produced by mining groundwater. Stated otherwise, 175 million.The third and perhaps most pervasive environmental threat to food security—rising surface temperature—can affect crop yields everywhere.

As per a Scientific American report :The three environmental trends that are primarily responsible for failure of states —the shortage of freshwater, the loss of topsoil and the rising temperatures (and other effects) of global warming—are making it increasingly hard to expand the world’s grain supply fast enough to keep up with demand. Of all those trends, however, the spread of water shortages poses the most immediate threat. The biggest challenge here is irrigation, which consumes 70 percent of the world’s freshwater. Millions of irrigation wells in many countries are now pumping water out of underground sources faster than rainfall can recharge them. The result is falling water tables in countries populated by half the world’s people, including the three big grain producers—China, India and the U.S.


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