Monday, January 4, 2010

BBC Spins Cherrapunji Myth


A reporter for the BBC in 2003 reports that the rainfall in a place in india that is apparently the wettest place on Earth was declining, and everybody agreed it was because the locals were cutting down so many trees.

Mr Sahu blames it (the drop in rainfall) on the deforestation in the area and environmentalists agree. "Ever since Meghalaya became a separate state, there has been a rise in deforestation," says Ba Mark West, convenor of the Cherrapunji Soil Research Society. "Tree felling is rampant and the loss of forest cover around Cherrapunji is more serious than ever before," he says. In 1960, Cherrapunji was still a town of just 7,000 people. Now, there are 15 times that number and a cement plant at Mamlukcherra, a few kilometres away, was built 20 years ago. The cement plant polluted the environment and added to the population pressure in the area. And if there are more people, the pressure on the forests will increase.

6 years later and he is singing a very different tune.

Residents say their heavenly abode in the clouds is hotter and drier than ever before - and they blame it on global warming.


"We never cut a branch in these sacred forests. So you cannot say this adverse weather change is our creation. We are affected by what's happening all over the world. This hot weather and less rain here is not due to huge deforestation or massive industrialisation," says Mr Symlieh. "We only have a cement plant near here."


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