Thursday, June 29, 2017

Droughts and Lack of Clean Water: It’s the Politics, Stupid!

In the comments section of former New Jersey Governor James Florio’s article ThoughtfuRepublicans must stop Trump's EPA cuts (see my last post, EPA Cuts in the Climate Change ‘Fight’ Means More Money to Mitigate Real Pollution), correspondent Lbwalnj posted in support of Florio:

Lack of safe drinking water is already impacting places in the world. Droughts, contamination, destruction of watersheds, overpopulation straining what is available. Lack of water can mean wars and dislocations of people. Part of the mass migration of Syrians in recent years into Western Europe is due to 5+ years of droughts that pushed many farmers off their land, into cities there then political chaos.  China is already seeing serious problems from a lack of clean water.

Here in NJ due to years of far thinking people, we have done a lot to preserve clean water in by protecting land for watersheds and trying to clean up polluted waterways
Still more can be done. Reduce the use of bottled water from 100's of miles away and from often foreign owned companies (Nestle owns Poland Spring for example). Limit private and foreign ownership of water supplies (French company Suez owned water companies in much of Bergen Co.). Government and quasi-Government utilities must have strict ethics and not be political playgrounds to favored parties. Limit development in and near watershed areas, ban development in flood plain areas and encourage reasonable reductions in use of water by more efficient appliances, faucets, recycling of 'gray' water. [sic, emphasis added]

I left these comments, edited and expanded for clarity:

If it’s true that the Syrian refugee crisis “is due to 5+ years of droughts,” then how to explain the lack of a refugee crisis in California, where a severe five year drought just came to an end? It’s obvious to anyone with eyes and ears that the Syrian tragedy has nothing to do with drought or climate change, and everything to do with repression from Assad’s dictatorship and religious (Islamic) totalitarianism.

The problem of clean water is strictly political.

Wherever enterprise is free to produce and market clean water, clean water availability is plentiful and improving both for agriculture and drinking. Thanks to freedom and plentiful reliable energy, droughts are readily manageable rather than killers. Kudos to Nestle and Suez! Legally limiting private and foreign ownership of water supplies amounts to a moratorium on clean water production. Such a moratorium is insane and would be catastrophic. Government should protect, not violate, the rights of people to produce, market, distribute, and profit from the provision of clean water to consumers voluntarily willing to buy it.

“Lack of safe drinking water” is not some new problem. It is an age-old problem. Contrary to the mindless scaremongers, improved access to clean water is at an all-time high worldwide—91% in 2015, up from 76% in 1990, according to the World Health Organization. This, in the era of alleged climate catastrophe. Furthermore, worldwide deaths due to droughts are down well over 99% over the last 80 years, according to World Bank and other sources. Increased use and availability of economical, reliable, industrial scale fossil fuel energy for both transportation and agriculture is vital to this improvement in access to clean water and world health generally.

Climate change is not the problem. Efforts to “fight” it by restricting energy and freedom are the problems. Humans need more freedom and capitalism, not more political repression.

Related Reading:

The planet has never been a safer place for humans to live—Alex Epstein

1 comment:

Mike Kevitt said...

I wrote a little essay about water resources about 10 years ago. Never did anything with it. Got it stored away here somewhere. Maybe I should dig it up and do something with it.

The essence of it is this: There's so much fresh water in the world that 20 billion, let alone 9 billion, people can luxuriate in it as much as they wish. All it takes is being mature adults and accessing, distributing and managing it. Among the science and technology involved, is formal law by government, not strongmen, criminals by nature with all the war and bloodshed entailed.