The Devil and the Disappearing Sea: A True Story about the Aral Sea Catastrophe

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Raincoast Books, 2003 - Nature - 267 pages
Set among the ruins of the Soviet empire, this darkly comic true-crime thriller involves environmental disaster, international intrigue, and an unsolved murder. In January 2000, Rob Ferguson went to Uzbekistan to work on a project designed to save the shrinking Aral Sea. By the time he left a year later, he was under suspicion for murder, and the project had achieved almost nothing: once the world's third largest lake, researchers warn the Aral may be gone by 2020. The Devil and the Disappearing Sea is the true story of a well-meaning man who travels to one the earth's poorest regions in the hopes of staving off an environmental tragedy. Instead, he encounters corrupt officials, bumbling bureaucrats, anti-Western hostility, and a slew of insurmountable problems. As the project grinds to a halt, only the ancient cities, friendly people, and a sharp sense of humor keep Ferguson on the right side of sanity.

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THE DEVIL AND THE DISAPPEARING SEA: Or, How I Tried to Stop the World's Ecological Catastrophe

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The Aral Sea of Central Asia has all but disappeared within the space of a generation. Writes international-aid consultant and debut author Ferguson, "the disaster was ultimately caused by the sort of ... Read full review

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