Even if Rajendra K. Pachauri had not made the Himalayan blunder on the rate of glacier melting, people who live in these mountains know it is melting.
And governments know that too, especially China, which holds political control of river sources in the Tibetan Plateau on which almost half of the world’s population depend. And these rivers, experts warn, are becoming a part of the political debate that involves the Tibetan Cause personified in the Dalai Lama.
During winter weekends in Bhutan, I love walking along the banks of the mighty Punatsangchu River, across which Bhutan is building its biggest hydro power projects. Unlike summer, the glaciers which feed the river are normally shy to melt, which thins the river, forming big beaches of shining stones.
But last weekend, I noticed that the beach has become thinner instead of the river. The river is not very calm, it hides in its flow downstream, the roar of a summer river.If the river acts weirdly, it would shatter the country’s economic plans to earn revenue generated by selling hydro power.
Weirding and not Warming is for another post.