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Op-Ed: Global water crisis — Getting worse, as usual, no action

The real question is this – What’s to talk about? This is do or die.

In the past year alone the world has been battered by increasingly intense heatwaves and crop-withering droughts
In the past year alone the world has been battered by increasingly intense heatwaves and crop-withering droughts - Copyright AFP Asaad NIAZI
In the past year alone the world has been battered by increasingly intense heatwaves and crop-withering droughts - Copyright AFP Asaad NIAZI

The bottom line is that if the water supply goes, humanity goes with it. Might shut up the politicians, but other than that, it’s not looking good. The global drought in the northern hemisphere was already severe. The big rain in California hasn’t solved the state’s decade-long water problems. Erratic weather in general isn’t affecting underlying issues.

As predicted by just about everybody with an IQ containing whole numbers more than 20 years ago, extreme heat isn’t helping. Current projections are that 90% of the world’s population will be affected in some way. The big problem is that the various climate issues also make other issues worse. Heat typically speeds up environmentally destructive processes and drains whatever moisture is available.

The compound effects of drought and heat can theoretically crash the global food chain, and quickly. Local events will vary, but the general outlook isn’t good. The mix of water shortages and tough food-growing environmental issues is pretty grim.

Economically, the fact that the US, EU and China are in simultaneous major droughts hardly helps. The severe strain on these economies is likely to make supply a lot more difficult and push up prices. The macro global supply chain is overstressed and the cracks are showing.

Bear in mind that a six-month delay in wheat supplies in Ukraine and Russia nearly caused a food crisis in Africa. You can see the probable future issues if the world starts losing any serious level of productivity. That’s exactly what’s likely to happen.

This is a massive global management issue with multiple essential measures not happening. It’s also a huge cultural issue for which the world is very unready.  

Culture? What culture?

You’ll be astonished to hear politics is the issue in many cases. The culture of politics varies from country to country and culture to culture, but there are some common features with “collateral damage” included:

  1. People who think life only happens in palaces, nightclubs, and boardrooms full of sycophants aren’t exactly up to speed with the realities. It’s not a particularly useful perspective, either.
  2. If you consider the number of actual issues managed by political means vs the results, you have to wonder when reality gets a word in edgewise.
  3. The corporate world, which produced the political world, is no better. You’ll see a lot more interest in executive packages than in people starving to death.
  4. The reaction time of this hierarchy of halfwits is incredibly slow. Dealing with obvious things before they happen isn’t a strong point of this culture.
  5. Comprehension of anything to do with the real world is to put it mildly questionable. Seems the end of the world isn’t on the meeting agendas. Any other issue, however ridiculous, will probably get priority.
  6. The same people who can’t do basic governance, and don’t even know what the word means, can hardly be expected to manage global crises. (Governance is the real world of government; the rest is just transitory political babble.)

So what?

The need is to get this collection of layabouts to do their jobs. Doesn’t sound likely, true, but there’s no choice. 40 years of total mismanagement takes a bit of fixing. The entire problem could have been fixed in that 40 years.

What needs doing is obvious:

  • Stop emissions and end air pollution. Period. No options.
  • Restart the water cycle and stop destruction of forests.
  • Clean up the gigantic global mess. This planet is a pigsty.  
  • Regulate so it’s a clear choice between compliance and going out of business.
  • Manage the CO2 and oxygen balance. (You need oxygen to breathe, too. If every carbon atom is taking 2 oxygen atoms with it, no surprise what happens next.)

These are the absolute no-brainers. All these things are quite doable. The technology already exists. The real question is this – What’s to talk about? This is do or die.

_______________________________________________________

Disclaimer
The opinions expressed in this Op-Ed are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Digital Journal or its members.

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Written By

Editor-at-Large based in Sydney, Australia.

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