They’re marshes, and they’re in Iraq. What the? Seriously. And the people that inhabit them staged a minor uprising against Saddam in the 90s. Saddam got pissed, and made a conscious effort to divert water away from the marshes, thus draining them. The people were displaced; the land turned to desert.
But seeds are robust. After the fall of Saddam, some of the diversion banks were breached in order to send water back into the area and restore the marshes. It’s working. Reeds are growing once-again.
The story was on 60 Minutes last night. I remain intrigued and amazed. I’ve already placed a book about the marshes and its inhabitants on hold at my local library. The story and video is here.
I can’t remember the last time something has interested me this much. The combination of an environmental impact story AND an anthropological one, about a group of people I’ve never heard about, is just too much for my skepticism to stand fast against. I must know more, and I’m sad to say there’s not much in this world that piques my curiosity to this extent…
Side note: I hope there’s not a human alive that thinks the earth’s too big – or too perfect a creation – for man to do any harm to it. I once heard a christian fanatic in a Lakeland coffee shop say, “man’s so high and mighty in thinking he could ever have caused global warming.” I was shocked at the idiocy. If you can relate to that Lakeland coffee shop believer, contact me: we need to talk.