Saturday, February 09th, 2013 | Author:

We have recently been talking about the collapse of civilizations and and environmental degredation, reviewing those mistakes that were made in the past to try and prevent it from happening in the future.  Right now however, we are seeing similar patterns in places and are maybe unable to to stop it.  It was somewhat obvious that the people of the soviet union at the time never thought too deeply about the consequences of diverting the river water, the supply for the sea.  It wasn’t too long after that they saw the effects and people today are trying hard to reverse those effects.  That poor sea (Lake) is less than half the size it originally was, and now is more salty.  Unfortunately to fix the problem there would be a great need of an excess of money, of which the people do not have.  Besides the money, the way that would probably fix the issue the best would be to divert the rivers back to that area, which would cause trouble for the people still using the rivers.  But also, the lake wouldn’t be brought back the exact same because the land there has already changed so much, they don’t really know what would happen.  Some people feel that a solution could be to just move the people that are still living there, whose families used to survive on the sea, but moving people just doesn’t solve anything at all.  For when the areas that those people move to become over crowded, and the sea is gone, where are the people going to extend to?  Not only that, but the populations are growing too much as it is, the resources everywhere are being depleted, just moving the people to an already populated area would just make use the resources there quicker.  I even really worried about the toxic winds that are blowing around. It has been proven that the dust and chemicals travel much further than we had ever thought about before.  I found a “foundation” website for the Aral

Desert plant that helps keep the sand and chemicals from blowing around

Desert plant that helps keep the sand and chemicals from blowing around

sea, i’m sure its not the only one, and as much as I would like to help out, there are today just too many places that need the help I can’t give.  The vegetation that they can grow there can help keep the dust from spreading around more, but I don’t feel it is a solution that is actually fixing the bigger issue.  But sometimes small steps are all we can take.

Aral Sea foundation site.

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  1. terra says:

    The root of the problem is the rivers being diverted away from the Aral Sea. It would be a large change for the people that are using that diverted water if they decided to try and divert some of it back to the Aral Sea. Without a flow of water going into the sea there is not much else that can be done.

  2. davidd says:

    I honestly think the Aral sea is a lost cause unless something big happens. They cannot keep wasting funding on dessert plants that keep only some chemicals and dust from blowing around. What the foundation needs to do is invest into a much bigger project. First they need to travel around the world, promoting their idea (maybe diverging some water from the Caspian sea) to other organizations to try to get funding. Hopefully with a sound business plan, they can get the needed funding to start their operation at the Aral sea. If it succeeds, then they can deal with the smaller issues after. Basically, the lack of water in the Aral Sea is the main problem that causes other problems in the area such as chemical and dust in the air or lack of food. If the foundation solves the main problem of being a lack of water in the Aral sea, then the other problems will start to fix themselves.

  3. bcrane says:

    The problem that I see with funding the Aral Sea foundation is that it can only help so much for an area that is so far degridated that a lot of people have left. There are so many projects across the globe that need funding to save a small part of it, which do we choose to focus on? Should we make decisions based on how many people would be directly impacted? On how many species that can be saved? On things that are nearer to home and therefore impact us more directly? One thing that I struggle with personally is deciding how to best support programs with the most impact and how I decide what the most impact is.

  4. robbieclark says:

    While the re-vegetation of the emergent desert land is a step in preventing or at least slowing down the effects, in order for the people living around the Aral Sea to really get back to the way they once were living there needs to be solutions for getting more water into the sea. We talked about a few ways this could be done such as diverting the northern rivers into the sea or taping into the Caspian Sea. These are certainly drastic measures but I feel that it may be the only and certainly the quickest way to getting more water into the sea. Of course planting more vegetation will help keep the dust storms under control and help from losing top soil and shifting local agriculture to a less water intensive crop is a necessity but I feel the only way to physically get water back into the Aral Sea is through these drastic measures.

  5. lauracp says:

    Learning about all the problems the Aral Sea had was depressing. I agree that we are seeing similar problems and patterns in the various civilizations we are learning about. Irresponsible use of resources, the tragedy of the commons, seems to me a common variant in all of the collapses. It is easy to think that once something has degraded past a certain point, the situation is hopeless. However, I think that the Aral Sea could be saved with some serious new regulations and laws put in place regrading water use as well as alternative plants being substituted for rice and cotton. By taking many small steps, they will eventually add up and become a solution.

  6. Dr. Szulczewski says:

    Re-vegetating the barren land will help the spreading of many problems, but it won’t help more water to get to the Aral Sea. This foundation works to solve the problems, but not stop what’s causing them. Is there anything that could be done at the root?