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The Effects of Global Warming in Zambia

Global warming is a frightening issue. When we picture the effects, we often only imagine the ramifications for us here in San Francisco: more volatile weather (from our previous foggy monotony), Ocean Beach underwater, and various other things that, for now, seem reserved to the somewhat distant future.

However, Global warming is unfair in the way it moves. Although we might not feel the real effects for a while, Zambia has already been disproportionately hit already. Zambia was a success story: building Kariba Dam, one of the largest hydroelectric dams in the world, to provide the country with a clean, cheap energy source. This energy was used to feed the economy, as well as to create extra profit for the government by selling surplus energy to the surrounding countries.

Because of global warming, Kariba Dam’s water levels have drastically decreased to the point where many businesses relying on the dam’s energy or the water source itself have become unprofitable. The country’s economy, already struggling, faces unpredictable blackouts, which is fatal for small businesses relying on Kariba Dam as an energy source.

I see this as a wakeup call: global warming may not be affecting our every day lives, but it is a real issue that we cannot afford to cloud with the mask of “if it’s not now, we don’t deal with it now.”

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