Tuesday, September 15, 2009

If this event ...

... occurs, you'll have read about it here first. Well, actually you can read the whole story here, but at least credit me with pointing you in the right direction.
Beneath the shimmering surface of Africa's Lake Kivu, a deadly time bomb awaits. A "gold rush" to extract valuable methane from the lake's depths might trigger an outburst of gas that could wash a deadly, suffocating blanket over the 2 million people who live around Kivu's shores.
For some reason, I get the feeling that the Rwandan government probably doesn't care. All around, it's an environmental nightmare, which should be of great concern for all of us. We can clean up our neck of the woods as well as we can (and desire), but what are we to do with every other country (especially those that are developing) that wants to pollute their environment?
Unfortunately, there's an economic incentive for companies to pump waste water into the shallows, says Finn Hirslund of COWI, a Danish environmental and engineering consultancy. This nutrient-rich water triggers algal blooms that then die and sink, helping to form even more methane. "If companies mess around with the lake's density structures and accidentally trigger an entirely avoidable and deadly gas outburst, it will be a crime against humanity," he says.
Crime against humanity indeed.

No comments: