I was wondering how to start this article with its naming, and what to really cover in the content… there are so many issues we currently face as a collective race of human beings at this time in history… we are in a state of change that is rapid, to say the least, we have all the tools and skills to make a turnaround to climate change, war and resource management in the immediate future. We can change the landscape of medicine with cannabis and numerous other raw plant materials to heal cancer and many other diseases, while improving land ecology, and yet we are still in the stage of denial at a conservative social and government level, which is stopping our evolution as a species.
We have science stating via data available that we are in the throes of the sixth mass extinction here on earth, while climate change deniers say that it has always happened this way.
One thing is for sure, it does not take much to use the resources available to us in a way that is both fair and equitable. Yet it is not being done, and why is that?
We have too many people comfortable with the consumerist way of life, that is via supply and demand destroying the very source of life, nature.
The most limited resource on the planet in terms of human survival and availability is not oil, it is water. Fresh, unpolluted drinking water. This resource is overlooked in its level of importance until you don’t have any to drink. We cannot survive more than a week without fresh water if we are lucky, and if we only have access to polluted water we won’t last much longer given a bad case of amoebic dysentery or cholera, let alone typhoid and other nasties that have been here on earth for a very long time.
Here are some water stats:
● 2.4 billion people in the world – one in three – do not have an adequate toilet (WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Report 2015 update).
● 663 million people in the world – one in ten – do not have clean water (WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Report 2015).
● Around 289,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That’s almost 800 children per day, or one child every two minutes ( WASHWatch.org ).
● Every minute a newborn baby dies from an infection caused by a lack of safe water and an unclean environment. (WHO, 2015).
Given these stats and the current mismanagement and greed over resources for profit, what is the probability that we are moving towards a healing of this rift for the disadvantaged? Or is it more likely that we are heading towards a war over water and resource management?
You may know that China and India are very interested in the property of the Nepalese people, being the Himalaya, which is a rich source of fresh water (and lush farming fields surrounding them) to fuel their growing populations; a very plausible reason that both countries are vying for strategic advantage both governmentally, business wise, and at the borders of Nepal quite unceremoniously.
The Himalaya of Nepal is one of the richest sources of rainfall and meltwater in the world, and despite many believing that fossil fuels are the most limited resource on earth, given the rate of reproduction worldwide, we have water as our most precious commodity.
On average we all need 1-3L of water to drink each day, depending on activity, temperature and our natural physiology; that means given a world population of 7 billion people in the UN census of 2011, and that number projected to increase to almost 8 billion people by 2020, we are looking at an increased water demand going from a 2011 range of 7-21 billion Litres per day to a 2020 range of 8-24 billion litres per day. That is a lot of water required to be fresh and drinkable exclusive of all industrial usage.
It also brings into the fore, Tibet, or as it is now called in atlases across the globe; Xizang Zizhiqu. Which no doubt, was a strategic entry point to the Himalaya for the Chinese government, allowing them a closer hold on the Himalaya. The Lhasa airport is more of a military base, if you ever visit it, than a commercial airport which I was surprised to see, along with seeing the Chinese name had taken over Tibet in world atlases; the renaming of an independent democracy and land occurring surreptitiously and without open public dialogue, at least not in the readily accessible media for everyday people across the globe.
This is a segue from the issues at hand in Nepal, however; it provides a background elucidation of points to come. How many of you have see a “Free Tibet” sticker or campaign recently? It seems too convenient that the media and the world have forgotten the Tibetans are still being victimised by China and are in the plight of their homeland.
One Tibetan photographer, whom I met in Nepal, had made his way to the Chinese border and begged to be imprisoned in his homeland, so he could at least see his family as visitors, the Chinese military denied him this and sent him away from the border. This is a nice outcome in reality, as many Tibetans are killed on site as they attempt to leave or re-enter Tibet. That is not in the mainstream media but it is standard protocol for the Chinese border control. Why else do you think tourists can only visit certain areas of Tibet, and only with approved guides? If you have the chance to speak with Tibetan people first hand regarding their experiences I would plead with you to do so. It is one of the current humanitarian issues that need to be addressed amongst many others across the globe.
Getting back to water and resources; In terms of fresh drinkable water in the world, most fresh untreated water stems from evaporation of the oceans and lakes across the globe. That is good news, right? Well, maybe; since we are limited by our capacity to catch all that said water which is mostly out at sea, and the rainfall in most areas of the earth is getting less, not more, we may be looking at a worldwide water shortage in the coming decades.
Given the history of humanity and an anthropologist’s view, we have to find new ways forward, instead of through a very linear series of methods in regards to resource management that we have historically used to deal with shortages in food, water and resources via a series of less than constructive modus operandi that is not limited to these three distasteful options of collective human behaviour:
● resource management geared towards those who can pay top dollar for resources (otherwise known as profiteering), which we are still in the clutches of now.
● Rebellion against the status quo of resource management in the form of civilian uprising, leading to conflicts from civil war to protests of peaceful or violent varieties.
● Intercontinental war and conflict over resources and their control.
Now, according to spiral dynamics and the psychology of the individual versus the group, we are currently in the direst need of some mass evolution in our thinking and the actions that stem from this selfish way of thinking. Never in the history of humanity have we been in a position where our species of homo sapiens, one of the five great apes living on this planet (yes, we are irrevocably connected by our genes with our polygynous bonobo and chimpanzee cousins), can see our existence for what it truly is, an unnatural one. We drastically need to turn around this ticking clock of biopsychosocial ineptitude and make some serious collective efforts to change. Whether it is demanding de-corporatisation of government (removing vested interests), sustainable changes to energy production (clean and green) and a system of availability to those without access to basics such as clean water or the energy to run a stove to sanitise their water. These are just some of the social responses we need to continue actioning and improving efficacy for. Above all, it is a requisite
Above all, it is a requisite reeducation of the upper classes for a creation of a sustainable altruistic future, that will not only make them feel better about their crystal castles by freeing the very people who need it most, but ensure that their children and children’s children have a world to live in where resources are shared and utilised equitably.
The current wars over geopolitical control, and the push and shove at country borders by military men and women who are doing the bidding of their governments, is a prime example of where control goes wrong and the way of water needs to step in. As Bruce Lee once said “be like water”, and not in the military sense, but in a way of adapting and flowing with a changing world that will be unsustainable without a collective community of like-minded civilians and political leaders; with the common goal of sustainability for primary resources such as fresh water, food production (that means ecologically sustainable) in a symbiosis with the land, sea, and air we all share on earth.
As Bruce Lee once said “be like water”, and not in the military sense, but in a way of adapting and flowing with a changing world that will be unsustainable without a collective community of like-minded civilians and political leaders; with the common goal of sustainability for primary resources such as fresh water, food production (that means ecologically sustainable) in a symbiosis with the land, sea, and air we all share on earth.
This is easy to write or say, but that is the start of communication for change, action begins with those electrochemical responses in your central nervous system known as thoughts and emotions, and flows outwards in action… hopefully healing and fluid like water can be. But it is our job as conscientious earth citizens to make the shift, talk about it, read about it, write about it, and make the gradual changes in your everyday life that are potential energies building for the collective shift of this global plane.
Noting just a few of the current environmental issues affecting water and environment across the globe;
● 30 percent of global forest cover has been cleared, while another 20 percent has been degraded. Most of the rest has been fragmented, leaving only about 15 percent intact (World Resources Institute).
● There are increasingly severe and sudden droughts across the world.
● Arctic ice volume is dropping by 13.3% per decade according to NASA. While this may appear as more fresh water in our oceans, it doesn’t equate to a good thing quite obviously via increased sea levels and ambient temperature increases.
● Radioactivity has still not peaked in the Pacific Ocean from the fallout of the nuclear power plant at Fukushima, where even their reconnaissance robot ‘died’ due to the extraordinarily high radiation levels in the plant.
● The Dakota Access Pipeline in the USA has already sprung three leaks since oil started running after the company assured the public theirs was going to be a leak-proof engineering marvel.