CARNAÚBA DOS DANTAS, Brazil — The land has sustained the Dantas family for more than 150 years, bearing fields of cotton, beanstalks up to a grown man’s hip and, when it rained enough, a river that led to a waterfall.
But on a recent day, with temperatures approaching 100 degrees, the river had run dry, the crops would not grow and the family’s 30 remaining cattle were quickly consuming the last pool of water.
“Fifty years from now, there won’t be a soul living here,” said Inácio Batista Dantas, 80, balanced in a frayed hammock. “I tell my grandchildren that things are going to get very difficult.”
His granddaughter, Hellena, 16, listened in — and pushed back. She grew up here. “I plan to work this land,” she said.
“Fifty years from now, there won’t be a soul living here.”
Much of Brazil’s northeast is effectively turning into a desert. Climate change is one culprit, but residents have also made short-term decisions to get by that have had long-term consequences. https://t.co/Wl09K4yNS5
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 3, 2021