No Blood For Water?

May 19, 2008

Make Wealth History has an eye-opening post on the conflicts that arise over access to fresh water as populations increase and sources deplete for a variety of reasons from global warming to simple human waste.

Some highlights (with my own, independently discovered sources in parentheses):

-In the past 50 years, there have been 37 armed military conflicts over freshwater access (PDFPacific Institute)

-For more than 200 days of the year, China’s Yellow River dries up before reaching the sea (Earth Policy Institute)

-Farming uses 80% of America’s water supply and the government subsidizes agriculture’s water use to the tune of $3 billion per year (I got smaller numbers from the USGS here and the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development [OECD] on page 2 of a PDF here)

-“If you flushed a toilet today, you used more water in that one flush that 1 in 5 of the world’s people use in a whole day.” (Not sure where this is from or how to verify it – help?)

Read the full story at Make Wealth History here.

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Hey, remember slide reel day in elementary/middle school?

You’d come in to class thinking there would be notes to take, DBQ’s to write, facts to forget. It was usually a hot day, too, and somewhere equidistant on the calendar from the last and next standardized test.

Your teacher knew she didn’t have to start test-prep for another week or so, so she stayed for that extra vodka shot at J.J. Rafferty’s or The Mouse Trap or whatever the non-cop municipal worker bar was called in your town. She needed the rest as much as you, if not more.

Thus, slide reel day. Thirty to forty minutes of grainy audio and barely decipherable pictographs of weather patterns or action shots of Helen Keller interrupted by high-pitched analog beeping. For credit! It’s a shame none of us appreciated those kinds of classroom activities until after we discovered hallucinogens.

Luckily, OMADEON‘s got you covered. Sit back, relax, and take in a handful of videos of Dr. Peter Lloyd’s take on the most important issues facing humanity today. I could do without the background music and “Intro to Powerpoint” segues, but hey, it’s all part of the experience.

You’ll have to insert the beeps yourself.