If petroleum is the resource of
today, one which fuels wars as the energy lobby covets the possessions of
others, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of innocent people as their lands are
plundered, as we saw in Iraq and Libya, then the resource of tomorrow, fuelling
its wars, is water.
Water, the basic necessity for
life, has occupied center stage of humankind's existence ever since we were able
to express our needs and our collective psyche through drawings and engravings.
Burial stones placed upon the chest of the deceased depicted a zigzag pattern
(representing water, the bringer and source of life) or else the owl, the
night-God, whose feathers also represented water.
This was in paleolithic times when
the Moon was the Mother-Goddess (feminine in most languages), when the color of
death was white (the owl) and when many societies were matriarchal, the time
before the worship of the Sun (masculine) gave rise to patriarchal societies and
black supplanted white as the symbol of death. This was also a time when water
was plentiful, a time when wars between tribes were often driven by the
instinctive need to strengthen the species through ethnic and genetic
diversity... the wars were about women, the Rape of the Sabine Women being just
one of many stories.
This was a time before the growth
of the first cities, whose main streets and avenues were in turn based upon
ancient waterways and in some cases bearing the same name as streams and rivers
(London's River Fleet gave way to Fleet Street; the Strand was named after the
stream on which it stands).
Where are these waterways today?
They have dried up. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that on World Water Day
(March 22), it was revealed that one third of people live in a country with
moderate to high water stress, according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon,
who went on to state that this figure could be 50% of the world's population by
Demand for water is currently 40%
higher than supply. Two point five billion people live without basic sanitation,
needs are growing and resources are dwindling. 11% of the global population, or
783 million people, do not have access to an improved source of drinking water.
Up to 2,000 children die every single day from causes linked to unsafe water, to
insufficient hygiene or sanitation.
90% of the world's population
lives in countries which must share water resources with neighboring countries.
The key word is water cooperation but looking at today's world, does anyone
seriously believe humankind is capable of sharing a basic resource? Or is it far
more likely that water resources will be the next area hijacked by the energy
lobby and the source of more wars?
Is this is what our species has
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