Is this the future? The River Mekong running dry for much of the year, putting at risk the lives and livelihoods of the 50 million people who rely upon the river downstream –there are some fairly grim photos of this available now. One immediate effect of this has been the stranding of a number of cargo boats which have been going up and down the river to China as part of the Free Trade Agreement signed with that country – so, fruit is going off and other goods losing their value. Presumably the effects on farmers and so on will work their way down the river course. The cause at the moment is a drought – weather patterns are becoming more unpredictable and extreme – as well as the damming of the river in China and the blasting of rapids to permit the passage of larger vessels.