Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Next Gold

With the advent of global warming, potable water will become an increasingly scarce commodity. As the arctic and antarctic ice caps begin to melt in summer, sea levels will begin to rise. Couple this with poor urban planning (much like what is happening in Atlanta right now) and you have the makings of a potential crisis for millions of people.

There is one thing America is known for: ingenuity. We need to apply our ability to come up with innovative solutions to known water problems. An idea that I think should be given consideration is building desalinization plants along the coasts and pumping converted sea water into potable -- or at least non-potable, but usable -- water.

Certainly the main obstacle to such a project is its capital-intensiveness. And critics could argue against it either because the cost is perceived to be prohibitive and unnecessary based on the premise that global warming doesn't exist (the conservative argument) or because it could become just another case of private profits and socialized losses.

Something that many people don't know is that in the Native American tradition, things that are produced by the earth or nature belong to everyone and should not inure to the benefit of private companies or individuals. The question that begs to be asked in this line of thought is this: Who made the water? Who made the air we breathe? Who made the soil? (Did man make the water, air or soil -- and by extension, the minerals produced by natural processes?) It goes to the heart of property rights that have formed the basis of our legal system.

Ultimately, we must recognize that we owe it to our country -- and our world -- to make the best use of our natural resources. The implementation of a water supply from converted sea water will take many years to implement. The point in its favor, however, is that the need is foreseeable years -- even decades -- in advance.

Obviously, there are other problems related to increasing use and need for other commodities. Energy demand is growing every day, not only due to developing economies in Asia (which, long term, may end up becoming the center of the next empire), but also due merely because of an increasing global population and the energy needs to grow crops to feed them. Overfishing is causing a natural food supply to become more scarce and innovative techniques are needed there as well. That will require a non-polluting and renewable energy source.

As a result of these challenges, we need to create a national energy policy based on sustainable technologies. This problem, too, is foreseeable. There are many technologies based on sustainable energy: wind, solar, hydroelectric, tidal and geothermal. The effectiveness of each of the natural energy supplies vary depending on location. What is needed is a national program to maximize the use of these various natural energy supplies.

I haven't been writing much lately. I told you I've been thinking a lot. See what happens when I do that?

1 Comment:

Red S Tater said...

Two problems I noticed...
#1- I think you meant to type
'invent' instead of "advent" with respect to globe-algore-ming.

#2-By the 18oz bottle, water is already more expensive than the same amount of gasoline, yet no cries from the left about the evil profits of big water companies who only have to pump water through a filter into a plastic bottle instead of actually having to refine it from "crude water".
The left is against big wind farms that block the views, hydroelectric- dams and lakes are bad for the existing ecosystem and enangered rats, ...how about nuclear, ...against it, ... you guys would have us all living... "down by the river in a VAN, except that you are against vans (or any car).

good grief,
-red