The Not-So Fertile Crescent

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Last week came news that the Colorado River may go dry. Could the Fertile Crescent be next?

Akio Kitoh of Japan’s Meteorological Research Institute thinks so—he forecasts that the Crescent will disappear in this century.

Several factors have contributed to the depletion of the once-lush Mesopotamian marshes, where the Euphrates and Tigres rivers converge. Dams constrict water flow, drought grips the area, and Iraqis are increasingly draining the water for agricultural purposes.

There have been efforts to make the area fertile once again. But if conditions don’t change dramatically, the cradle of civilization may eventually be no more.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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