Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wetter and wilder: the signs of warming everywhere
In the third part of our series on the eve of the Poznan conference, we look at how climate change is already changing ordinary people's lives from Australia to Brazil
Joao da Antonio's eyes are full of tears. If good rains do not come, he says, he will pack his bag, kiss his wife and two children goodbye and join the annual exodus of young men leaving hot, dry rural north-east Brazil for the biofuel fields in the south.
Da Antonio, 19, can earn about £30 a month for 10 hours gruelling work a day cutting sugar cane to make ethanol, and more than a million small farmers like him migrate south for six months of the year because the land can no longer support them. Tens of thousands a year never return, forced to move permanently to Sao Paulo or another of Brazil's cities in search of work.
"Life here is one of suffering," Da Antonio said. "I will do anything to earn some money. None of us want to die, but the lack of water here will kill us. " More >>>