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Kuwait City & Basra in July

From a Twitter thread by Louise Callaghan, reporter with The Sunday Times.

If you want to see what the future of climate change looks like, go to Kuwait City and Basra in July. They cities are both oil rich, and 80 miles apart. But in one, there is 24/7 electricity and air conditioning. In the other, people live with constant power cuts.

Living at 52 degrees, with no AC, is hell. Your eyes hurt, you can't sleep. Your kids are exhausted and cranky. It's too hot for them to go to school. You can't really go out and work. Your health is at risk.

This is the future of climate change: a dystopia where the rich survive, stepping between their islands of air conditioning, and the poor suffer in the heat, or are forced to flee.

The rising temperatures in Iraq are, scientists say, partly down to global climate change. Yet they are exacerbated by local circumstances and a lack of good governance and infrastructure.

Oil companies have expanded around Basra, eating up farmland. Pollution and disputes with Turkey and Iran over the water supply have increased the salinity of the Shatt al-Arab, killing plants and animals, and helped dry up the nearby marshes.

Still, with a strong supply of electricity and clean water, life would be just about tolerable. Instead, there have been years of incessant cuts to both.

In Kuwait, I asked a lawyer sitting in a mall what it would be like to live without AC. He laughed, and said it would be impossible. But for so many in Basra, that's the reality. Full piece here in @thetimes today

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