If there is one country that stands out as the ultimate example for this emerging trend of extreme fluctuations in weather and the water cycle, it is without a doubt Bangladesh. Bangladesh has become the poster child for climate change for many reasons.
Salmon seems to be the perfect food -- very tasty, high in protein and healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, and easy to prepare and cook. But as with every other overfished species in the sea, there simply aren't enough of them left in the wild to meet our growing demand.
Canada is a country with countless pristine rivers and lakes and an incredible seven per cent of the world's renewable freshwater supply. It might seem odd that any Canadian could be living without clean drinking water, but some are. What is shocking, however, is the wildly disproportionate degree to which water advisories affect Canada's First Nations communities.
Without clean water it becomes almost impossible to climb out of poverty. When communities live in poverty and cannot afford to properly dispose of human waste, already scarce water sources become even more polluted. It is a vicious cycle.
Across the world, vast areas of oceans and lakes are running out of oxygen, making it nearly impossible for marine life to survive. In the 1960s, there were 49 dead zones throughout the ocean; today there are more than 400 and the number is still growing. When water becomes too low in oxygen, or "hypoxic," marine life flees and everything that is too slow or cannot move will die, creating a dead zone. This will not go away on its own.
Small pieces of plastic are capable of absorbing other forms of pollution in seawater. Mercury, PCBs, DDT and oily pollutants attach to plastic, so when animals consume plastic, the pollutants attached to them enter their bodies and move up the food chain, ultimately to the humans who eat seafood.
The biggest learning lesson from our trip down the Ganges is that even the holiest and most worshipped river on Earth is still vulnerable to the same threats that currently face every other major river system in the world today. How can we accept this unprecedented rate of destruction?
Did you know that seven per cent of the planet's renewable water is found in Canada? It's a reassuring fact that Canadians won't go thirsty, at least in this lifetime. But unfortunately the water cris...