Basic Instincts: There Is Yet Hope

By Michael Willard

This planet we landed on will have nine billion people in the next 20 years, and only enough usable water for a third of us. This makes me thirsty, even now with bourbon and branch water within reach.

Perhaps we can summon Donald Trump’s miracle “Molecules of Freedom” ( his energy team’s euphemism for fossil fuels) into sufficient concentrate H2O to quench the world’s thirst.

I rather doubt it, but don’t doubt Trump will proclaim it so, perhaps after cutting a deal with the weather God Zeus. We know that storyline by now. Yes, it’s — as Yogi Berra said — Déjà vu all over again.

Think the bogus North Korea nuclear deal and the Mexican standoff on the tariff confrontation that resembled a shell game.

Let’s face it, the man still has not reached the same conclusion on global warming virtually every scientist on earth has discerned from a mountain of data — not to mention the daily empirical evidence.

Yep, Mr. President, as a collective, the weather gods are royally pissed.

Perhaps the sycophants in the White House and the Senate have not told him about a Yale/George Mason poll showing 72 per cent of voters said global warming is an important issue for them personally.

By the way, the same poll this year found a majority of Republican voters favored government action to combat warming, with 56 per cent endorsing reduced emissions from coal-fired plants.

All this makes Trump look foolish. More than that, he is dangerous, because his thinking endangers our children and grandchildren. He is more a threat in this context than the world’s historic villains.

I’m talking world class plunders, society’s genocidal madmen, and the helplessly and hopelessly muddled accidental leaders who have steered nations toward the precipice — of which Donald is one.

But, there is hope, and it lies within us.

It’s not that the earth doesn’t have a lot of water. It does. We simply don’t effectively use it. We have the same amount of water worldwide as when the earth was formed and dinosaurs roamed.

Most water, though, is undrinkable — about 97 per cent due to saline content — and another two per cent is locked in ice caps and glaciers, though they are melting. The oceans cover 72 per cent of the globe.

You’ve already done the elementary math:

That leaves only a measly single per cent for agriculture and human consumption. This is why conservation and finding silver bullet ways to secure good water to grow crops and drink is critical.

Recently, my wife and I were invited to attend a summit in The Hague in which profit and non profit entrepreneurs gathered to discuss their contributions to solving the problem of securing water for food.

They were part of a global initiative, and I had the opportunity to interview each about their innovations. Some were wonderfully weird — but all were proven, reliable programs.

The innovators were from India, Bangladesh, South Africa, Peru, Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal and points in between. They were concerned but enthusiastic about the challenges of climate change.

Each one was mystified that any intelligent human could deny the obvious as ice caps melt, wildfires rage, and weather patterns become insanely and hazardously bizarre.

They were intent on doing something about it through innovations such as developing seeds that require less water, and coming up with meteorological advances to predict drought.

One fellow in Bangladesh figured out how to grow nutritious pumpkins on barren sandbars after monsoons so as to feed and give a livelihood to thousands of poor women farmers.

Several innovators had come to the conclusion it was not how much water that goes on crops that counts, but how efficiently that water (moisture in this case) was applied. They invented a device to measure moisture.

It was an inspiring couple of days. Afterward, one thing was clear.

To deny our responsibilities for solving a looming climate crisis — one already upon us — is to say, in essence, the earth is flat, the moon landing a hoax and Trump’s inaugural crowd the largest ever.

In other words, don’t believe your eyes. Just put your children’s lives in the hands of a reality showman who lives in fantasy land.

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