Although there are many things about which there is disagreement, there can be no argument that water is necessary for life. Humanity’s probes into the cosmos strongly suggest that life can only exist in the presence of water. In all our travels, we have found just one place where life exists: and that place is our home planet.
There is a lot of water on Eaarth. About 70% of the surface is covered by the stuff. But, as with so many things, how one looks at it can make all the difference.
Most of the water is in the oceans. It’s salt water — and that’s toxic to beings such as us. We need fresh water to survive; and only a tiny fraction of all the water on our planet is in that form (the smallest of the three blue bubbles in the image above).
It’s surprising how much water is needed to provide us with all our stuff. For instance, it took several hundred pints of water to make the four pints of beer I had down t’pub last night.
Homo fatuus brutus is really, really good at taking natural resources from our planet and using it. We destroy whole mountains to get at the minerals below. We eradicate entire forests to cook the bitumen underneath for (a very poor EROEI) oil — and then argue the toss about whether we should build pipelines to shift the toxic stuff.
So here’s a thought: instead of discussing how we’re going to fund the additional flood defences needed by rising seas and increased precipitation (not to mention continuing to argue, in the face of all scientific evidence, whether anthropogenic climate change is causing this), and whittering on about the need for dredging (which wouldn’t work anyway)…
… why, instead, aren’t we considering how to capture all that additional fresh life-sustaining water the heavens will deliver in the future, totally free of charge, and then shipping it off where it’s needed?
Stupid question. One that would only make sense if we were capable of thinking holistically instead of parochially.