Planet earth bankrupt
If you've ever heard the statement "Learn to live within
your budget" the following article will make perfect sense. It appears that a
number of our natural resources are 'in the red' and that we may need to
rethink our all-consuming approach to 'Mother earth'.
According to The Waikato Times, 27 June 2002, "The
consumption of forests, energy and land by humans is exceeding the rate at which
Earth can replenish itself, according to research published early this week in
the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences...
The study... warned that a failure to rein in humanity's
overuse of natural resources could send the planet into "ecological
Earth's resources "are like a pile of money anyone can
grab while they all close their eyes, but then it's gone," said Mathis
Wackernagel, lead author of the study and a program director at Redefining
Scientists said humanity's demand for resources had soared
during the past 40 years to a level where it would take the planet 1.2 years to
regenerate what people remove each year.
The impact by humans on the environment had inched higher
since 1961 when public demand was 70 percent of the planet's regenerative
The study, which details the population's impact on the Earth
with a quantitative number, measured the "ecological footprint" of
human activities such as marine fishing, harvesting timber, building
infrastructure and burning fossil fuel that emits carbon dioxide into the
Even though the findings revealed that human use of resources
was far outstripping Earth's supply, it stopped short of determining how long
the process could continue without detrimental consequences." End Quote
We have a promise from the Word of God that "While the
earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter and day
and night shall not cease." We know that manipulation of natural resources
around the globe has been occurring for many years. That huge surpluses of food
are dumped in some countries while people starve to death in others. 'By
controlling energy you can control nations. And by controlling food, you control
H2O -– We just can't live without it!
Apparently a person can live for a month without food -– but
only about a week without water. Water is life, and if we've taken it for
granted in the past, its time to rethink our attitudes.
Australian officials are worried about the way water is
managed (or not managed) and wasted! Australians pay an average of around AUD$1
per 1000 litres of water, which doesn't even cover costs according to the
Stormwater Industry Association -– Germans pay around seven times that amount.
It will all change soon with water rates about to soar and new water management
systems being trialled - including dual piping systems in homes -– in which
grey water (used shower and laundry water) will be used for flushing toilets and
watering lawns...(report in August 20, The Bulletin)
World supplies of water - drying up
You must have heard the term a 'scarcity mentality'.
Well, according to UN experts in 23 years time a lot of us may well be thirsty.
"More than 2.7 billion people will face severe water
shortages by the year 2025 if the world continues consuming water at the same
rate, the United Nations has warned...
The looming crisis is being blamed on mismanagement of
existing water resources, population growth and changing weather patterns...
According to the report, by the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA), an estimated 1.1 billion people have no access to safe drinking
water, 2.5 billion lack proper sanitation and more than five million people die
from waterborne diseases each year - 10 times the number of casualties killed in
wars around the globe..." End Quote BBC News, 22 March 2002
Middle East Woes - Water War
Any pilgrim to Israel will tell you that the green belt of
vegetation and horticulture within the State is 'incredible' even
miraculous. Access to, and the use of water is critical to the agricultural
success of Israel and her surrounding border neighbours -– the most water
challenged region on earth.
The Press, 10 August 2002, "'Virtual water'
imports mask problem -–
Population growth has fuelled water demand that now far
exceeds the Middle East's dwindling supply, and many believe that competition
for scarce water resources will one day spark armed conflict in the area.
...Possible water wars may be among the worries of
participants at the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development to
start in Johannesburg on August 26.
Although population growth has fuelled water demand that now
far exceeds the Middle East's dwindling supply, the deficit has rarely led to
hostilities, apart from some Syian-Israeli skirmishes in the northern Jordan
Valley in the 1960s.
Tony Allan, a professor at London's School of Oriental and
African Studies, says the answer to the conundrum lies in the availability of
"virtual water" on the world grain markets.
Noting that producing a tonne of wheat requires 1000 tonnes
of water, he argues that wheat imports have spared governments the need to find
scarce fresh water to grow food at home.
"By the year 2000, the Middle East and North Africa were
importing 50 million tonnes of grain annually, satisfying the largest demand for
water in the region - food production.
"The remaining 10 percent of water demand for drinking,
domestic and industrial use may soon be met through low-cost desalinated
seawater," Allan writes...
"Every year, farmers and traders in the Middle East move
volumes of water equivalent to the flow of the Nile into Egypt, or about 25
percent of the region's total available freshwater," Allan writes.
The imported grain is artificially cheap thanks to years of
North American and European agricultural subsidies.
This bounty has enabled Middle Eastern leaders to propagate
what Allan calls the fantasy of "claiming that water deficit problems are
being solved domestically and that their countries are achieving
self-sufficiency in water and food production"...
The population of the Jordan River Basin, which includes
Israel, Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza and southern Syria, has grown six-fold since
the late 1940s when it was secure in water.
Now it would need about 15 billion cubic metres of water a
year to be self-sufficient, but has only three to five billion...
Israeli-Palestinian talks on a final settlement at Camp David
in July 2000 and at Taba, Egypt, in early 2001 focused on territory and
Jerusalem, rather than water.
The Saudi-inspired peace plan approved at an Arab summit in
March this year offered to trade full Arab recognition and normal relations with
Israel for a complete withdrawal by Israel to its 1967 borders. Water was not
"Many Israeli water professionals have realised that
manufacturing water will be much easier than negotiating it," he says." End
The land flowing with milk and honey desperately needs to
control this invaluable commodity!
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