Last week I introduced you to Maude Barlow—the founder of the Blue Planet Project and one of the leading activists in
Water is fundamental to life. When we look to other planets for signs of life, we look for signs of running water. Water brings out everyone to haggle over the issue: “free trade” consortium, or the neo-liberal cartel we spoke about last week, and the social justice movements, like Via Campesina, Food Sovereignty and the Blue Planet. The polarization is great and the dispute illuminates the different forces that have changed the face of our planet. Water is one of the best examples that points the reason for the de-evolutionary process our planet is presently undergoing. Let me explain.
For starters, water has been called “blue gold” because, due to our mismanagement of our environment, we have damaged the hydraulic cycle, and all over the world we are running out of water.
Some frightening facts to consider:
(Facts derived from the book “Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water” by Maude Barlow. Published in 2007).
We are running out of clean water. Our global industrial practices demand unsustainable amounts of water just as they have for oil. Rather than taking a step back to reflect on the way in which our interaction with Mother Nature is damaging her finely evolved ecosystems (the inner-connected networks of life), many countries are now looking at desalination as the answer to their water needs. But it requires a tremendous amount of fossil fuel to run these plants and turn ocean water into drinkable water.
There are 87 corporations now building desalinization plants. The biggest water company of all is General Electric, followed by Proctor and Gamble, with Dow Chemical now getting into the game. You go anywhere in Africa today and it is Coca Cola water. You can’t drink the water out of the tap. You can’t find purifiers.
The writing is on the wall—water is the hottest property out there and corporations are beating a path to own it. The path we choose to correct this shortage will have monumental ramification on the rest of our lives and the evolutionary future of our planet. How do we make the right choice?
We need accurate information. We need to be woken up. We need to act!
One of the most illuminating books that I have ever read on how neo liberal ideals have been thrust upon the world is, “The Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” (2004) by John Perkins. This is an unbelievable exposé on how thoroughly the “Global North” has exploited the rest of the world’s resources to feed its ever-growing consumption habits. But our thirst is unquenchable and unsustainable. If you are unfamiliar with John Perkins you will find this TV interview absolutely riveting. I have transcribed some of his comments below.
The first question asked of him was, “What is an economic hit man?”
Now that hurts! And, it is just the “tip of the iceberg”. Get his book, you will find it utterly fascinating and compelling. To learn more regarding neo-colonialism read Dohrea’s essay on “The Dynamics and Development of Western Power from Colonization to a Global Regime”. Her special studies in school is Social Justice.
Even the best of our news shows such as NPR’s News Hour with Jim Lehrer doesn’t confront us with the brutal facts. Last Friday evening’s broadcast reported on a phenomena in Nigeria, where one half of the population is Christian and one half Muslim, that is called “Chrislam”—a blending of Christianity and Islam. As they ended this segment on the social progress that was being accomplished because of this movement, they concluded by saying that Nigeria with “all its wealth of oil” has very few people who have money, and the vast majority are extremely, devastatingly poor. Inferring that the Nigerian African “just can’t manage their resources and moneys well”. There was no mention that in fact the owners of these vast oil riches in their own country were the transnational corporations—Mobil, Chevron, Shell Oil and so on. The oil moneys pays off the elite and carefully picked leaders of their country, but the rest of the money goes out of their country, leaving the people right where they have always been—enslaved by either colonialism or poverty. Why was this not mentioned, even by NPR?
To understand more what is going on in Africa, Read Dohrea’s critique “In The Name of Global Equality” (2009) on George B. N. Ayittey’s “Misleading Africa” (2009).
Is it possible to create a world of social equity, environmental quality and economic sustainability? It is not only possible—but it is an imperative!
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The Last Quiz Answer: This magnificient foot belongs to an elephant eking out its living with its family in the Namibian desert.
An excerpt of the documentary Blue Gold— World Water Wars.