Monday, September 14, 2009

Global warming wars: water will become more precious than oil

It has been predicted that droughts from global warming will make water more precious than oil and regional wars will most likely be fought over water rights.

All life is dependent upon water. It is the single most vital resource on the planet today and it has been treated as an unlimited source for far too long. It is the reason why NASA has spent billions of dollars sending probes to Mars in search of an extraterrestrial water source, with an eye toward possible human colonization in the distant future. Water is connected to all aspects of human survival, including agriculture to grow our food, environmental impacts of climate change, wetland ecosystems, wildlife migration, human health, and the sustainability of our planet.

It is for this reason that water will become more valuable than oil in just a few decades and water scarcity will likely replace oil as the commodity future wars will be fought over. There are already areas of the United States, particularly California, that are experiencing record droughts and water shortages for crops and agriculture.

In 2005, Governor Christine Gregoire declared a state of emergency in Washington, which is famous for its rainy climate, due to a drought that resulted from a record low snow pack and depleted water in creeks and rivers.

Thomas Fingar, the U.S. intelligence community’s top analyst, sees droughts, food shortages, and water scarcity happening on a global level by the mid-2020s.

“U.S. intelligence agencies accepted the consensual scientific view of global warming” said Fingar, “including the conclusion that it is too late to avert significant disruption over the next two decades. The conclusions are in line with an intelligence assessment produced this summer that characterized global warming as a serious security threat for the coming years.”

Over the next few decades, it is anticipated that floods and droughts will set off mass migrations and political dissention in many parts of the developing world.

Significantly, the UK government’s chief scientist, Professor John Beddington, warned in a speech to the government’s Sustainable Development UK conference in Westminster, that by 2030, a “perfect storm” of food shortages, scarce water and insufficient energy resources threaten to unleash public unrest, cross-border conflicts and mass migration as people flee from violence and poverty stricken regions.

Water shortages are already evident in many areas of the world. The Yellow River in China and the Nile River in Egypt, no longer reach the ocean most of the year, as water is drawn off upstream for agriculture and consumption. Water shortages result in food shortages. Especially the staples: rice, grains, and corn.

Balance of article:

No comments: