Climate Photo of the Week
On location in the Himalaya: Fire and Water
Khasit Devi Latwal cooks dal and rice over an open wood fire, as her daughter watches, in her family home in the village of Chausauli in the foothills of the Himalayas near Almora, Uttarakhand, India. Wood burning for cooking is a source of unhealthy indoor smoke, while black carbon soot sent into the atmosphere adds to global warming. Programs to replace open kitchen fires with efficient closed stoves, natural gas and biogas are spreading in Asia and Africa. The wood is collected by village women in nearby forests.
Earlier in the day, women of this 200-year-old village gather to fetch good quality water from a slow-flowing natural spring. Women collect water for drinking and cooking only once a day -- slowly filling containers ranging from traditional copper pots to recycled plastic pails. In recent years water shortages have altered social divisions so that upper and lower castes now use the same spring since other springs have dried up. Villagers throughout this region north of Delhi report lack of water to be an increasing problem as climate change alters rain patterns and makes for more evaporation of water. This village is one of hundreds to benefit from programs to inventory and protect water supplies, reduce deforestation, increase climate change resilience and establish women's groups, by the Uttarakhand Environmental Education Center. A longer report with more photos, coming up.
Gary Braasch is included along with Al Gore, James Hansen, Elizabeth Kolbert, Ross Gelbspan, Naomi Klein, Vandana Shiva and many other climate writers and scientists in The Global Warming Reader, edited by Bill McKibben.
More photos from Mauna Loa (NOAA Lab), Climate Change on Tuvalu, Kiribati and Fiji
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