What’s More Important Than Oil?
That’s the question I first asked myself which led me to write “Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization” (Harper Collins January 2010). I had read Dan Yergin’s wonderful history of oil, “The Prize”, and began contemplating what other natural resource might be shaping our destiny as profoundly. The obvious answer arrived like a slap in the forehead, a Bill Clinton “It’s the economy, stupid!” moment–WATER.
Water is visibly showing through as a root cause of nearly every headline issue transforming the world order and planetary environment: Freshwater scarcity is a key reason why 3.5 billion people are projected to live in countries that cannot feed themselves by 2025. Earth’s freshwater ecosystems are critically depleted and being used unsustainably, reported the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, for today’s 6.5 billion population much less for the 9 billion we’ll be by 2050. Extreme droughts, floods, melting glaciers and other water cycle-related effects of global warming are why there’ll likely be 150 million global climate refugees within a decade. Diplomats warn that 21st century conflicts will be fought over water as they were for oil in the 20th.
Read the full post at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-solomon/water-is-the-new-oil_b_380803.html