This photo, together with the subject matter it relates to, offers an example of how anthropogenic activity can and does alter the earth's environment.
While this case is not an example of global warming, it is nevertheless an example of what causes global warming of the anthropogenic type:
Once among the four largest lakes of the world with an area of 68,000 square kilometres (26,000 sq mi), the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet Union irrigation projects ...(Wikipedia). The "me like me take" philosophy of the "Russian Empire" is universal to all such empires.
The region's once prosperous fishing industry has been virtually destroyed, bringing unemployment and economic hardship. The Aral Sea region is also heavily polluted, with consequent serious public health problems. The retreat of the sea has reportedly also caused local climate change, with summers becoming hotter and drier, and winters colder and longer.
On our planet, the definition of "empire" has consistently boiled down to "might makes right" coupled with "me like me take".
In modern times empire propaganda has been able to put the type of cloaking clothing on any empire that will make them all but invisible to the general populace.
The general populace in turn has devolved into a meme complex who's pure social activity has become the activity of consumption.
Yes, the glorified duty of each citizen (Bush II said "go spend money" meaning "go consume" just after 9/11, as a means of fighting "turrisstss") is to consume.
This growth of everything (except lakes, peace, and healthy ecosystems) has required a specialized education, followed by the elaborate media training of those consumers.
That "education" (a.k.a. empire enlightenment) glorifies the hunger of empire with the one holy word "growth":
A statement we hear so much is that we need to "grow". Grow inside, grow the economy, grow outside, grow baby grow. Why? The book had an interesting comment on that notion:(100 Yrs Of Psycho Therapy - Take Cover). The knee bone may be connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone may be connected to the backbone, and so forth, but the debit column is not properly connected to the credit column in the balance sheet of empire economics.HILLMAN: You think people undertake therapy to grow?(ibid, page 7, emphasis added). Our economy and our political structure has seemed to have had cancer which was called "growth" in recent years.
VENTURA: Isn't growth a huge part of the project of therapy? Everybody uses the word, therapists and clients alike.
HILLMAN: But the very word grow is a word appropriate to children. After a certain age you do not grow: You don't grow teeth, you don't grow muscles. If you start growing after that age, its cancer.
What is left of those years of "growth" is dying economies everywhere, the gangrene of torture, and endless wars.
Growth for growth's sake, it turns out, really is like cancer as the book suggests.
The "Aral Sea" is one more microcosm of what is happening to human civilization as a result, "if you know what I mean", Mr. Mellencamp.
Happy Tax Day on the sunny beaches of The Sea of Red Ink (a.k.a. the treasury).