Sunday, 10 January 2010

“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” Well, that was then…

I almost titled this post "Peak Everything" but that will be for another day. Anyone who follows environmental matters will, by now, be sick of hearing about climate change - although it's going to have a huge impact on our future. If we voluntarily take action to avoid the worst by transitioning to a non-fossil fuelled sustainable economy A.S.A.P., then a whole lot of the ways we do things now will have to change, or be radically modified. If we don't take any action, or if we don't take enough action, then a whole lot of the ways we do things now will change, whether we like it or not. It won't be voluntary or under our control - we will be forced.

Food security in the future, although less publicised, is another huge problem that we are going to have to contend with. Conventional agriculture cannot give us the security of supply that the 6.7 billion (so far) inhabitants of Earth need. The only way we are feeding that many people is because of artificial fertiliser, which is made - in an energy intensive process – from fossil fuels. Literally, feeding the current world depends on us "eating" oil. If we take no voluntary action now to head off the forecast problems, they will likely overwhelm us as Nature forces changes on our civilisation that will be much worse than any possible effects of the prudent action we should have taken.

Which brings me to the title of this post. Perhaps even bigger than the food security problem is "peak water" which refers to the even less publicised problems ahead with fresh water. Both quality and quantity. Water is even more vital to life than food.

Below is, first, a trailer to “Flow” Irena Salina's award-winning documentary investigation into what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century - The World Water Crisis. After that, in bite-size 10 minute chunks, is the documentary itself. Interviews with scientists and activists intelligently reveal the rapidly building crisis, at both the global and human scale, and the film introduces many of the governmental and corporate culprits behind the water grab, while begging the question "CAN ANYONE REALLY OWN WATER?"

Here is a link to the website of the film.

As this is such a huge topic to cover, the film obviously has to simplify and skate over some aspects but that shouldn’t be a criticism – just concentrate on the overall feel of the narrative and the massive relevance to everyone’s future.


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