It’s all just a great big ball of wax, this thing called Planet Earth, with bio-webs supported by bio-structures, all anchored in big burly bio-foundations. It’s dripping with Bio. And since it all runs on water, maybe we could just say it’s bio-water. Earth is a great Big Ball of Bio-Water. I like the way that sounds.
Well, if it’s one massive intertwined ball of bio-yarn (okay, I’ll stop), then messing with one piece of its twine is bound to have consequences running all through it. The whole thing could just unravel. Of course, we see actual unraveling all around us in the ongoing train wreck we’re calling Climate Change. One huge aspect of the incredibly complicated and messy wreckage is, indeed, the water component. As I’m hinting at here, water is everything. We need it to survive on the most local level (namely, our own bodies) at the same time that we need it not to kill us all off, directly or otherwise.
I have been reading about what the media dramatically likes to term “Water Wars.” They really are all around us (the wars I mean, although I guess the media too), playing out in big and small skirmishes across the planet, either in political spheres, or ones involving Molotov cocktails being lobbed at anything held by the opposing side. Jordan, Pakistan, China, India, Australia, California, Texas, Georgia, Florida.
Most recently, I read about Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Indian neighbors who might otherwise get along just fine, but now feuding mightily about equitable water distributions. Even the country’s supreme legal offices seem to require help sorting out the demands of each party, apparently confused themselves as to what the right water allotments between the two might actually be.
But this example is just one of many that could be listed, and not all disputes end in armed violence. Some just boil down to lawsuits and countersuits amidst endless litigation between litigious factions, every one of them convinced that their claims to the water are the most legitimate. And maybe they are.
There’s no good reason to suspect that these types of conflicts are going to abate any time soon, and many more reasons to believe that they will only increase as we continue to wade further and further in to the turbid waters of Climate Change. After all, with the world’s population continuing to rise, along with its demand for the many accoutrements that go along with human existence (clean water, abundant food, adequate shelter, decent jobs, efficient transportation, nice vacation spots…), why wouldn’t these problems revolving around water be expected to increase.
Anything done now in the name of claiming water that you believe belongs to you more than someone else is bound to be met with increasing fervor. A dam is damned provocative these days. So might be just one more well in a dying aquifer, one more housing development in a region that can’t environmentally support it, one more thirsty farm in a region that’s already drought-ridden, one more river carelessly polluted by the big corporations upstream, or one more fishery now tapped out because of unsustainable catches.
Yes, it really is one big ball of water, this planet of ours. There’s so much of the stuff everywhere, it simply doesn’t make sense that we’re running out. But we’re going for broke, and broke we shall be, unless we start unraveling these unwieldy problems. For now, it seems we’re just unraveling.
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