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Sunday, January 02, 2005

A less advertised tragedy...

The Aral Sea in Uzbekistan was once the size of Lake Michigan but over the past fifty years 70% of the sea's water has been pumped into the desert. Now, the dry seabed is littered with abandoned ships and once sea-side fisheries are now miles inland. As Pres. Bush claimed when debating Al Gore in 2000, "Everyday is Earth Day when you own the land," and "public" ownership of natural resources has almost universally led to ecological disaster.

Read Ecocide in the USSR: Health and Nature Under Siege by Murray Feshbach and Alfred Friendly for a well detailed litany of ecological disasters wrought by the command economy of Soviet Russia and how command economies in general will fail to live up to their utopian ideals. Also, there is a new book Chasing the Sea by Tom Bissell (Dallas Morning News Review here) which deals with Uzbekistan history, including the tragedy of the Aral Sea.

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