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Posts tagged “Earth


Water: The Endangered Species


“Ocean: A body of water occupying two-thirds of a world made for man – who has no gills.”
― Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

I wonder how much of us each enjoy a nice cold glass of dripping wet water on a humid summer day? I know I do, but that luxury isn’t something we may be able to continue in the future. Everyday was is being polluted and wasted for agriculture, industry, energy, but it isn’t being properly shared among the people of our world. When it really comes down to it, 97% of the earths water is salt water. That only leaves 3% of fresh water for everyone in the world. However, that 3% isn’t even what is fully available to us. Of that 3%, only 0.3% is truly available to us, and that is the fresh water that comes from our lakes and streams and rivers. The worst part about that is that a lot of our water is used in such wasteful ways it becomes a polluted mess that we can’t use anymore.

I can’t stress how important I really feel this issue is. I don’t think people comprehend the fact that WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF WATER. I don’t mean this in a literal sense obviously, but if we continue to waste and pollute water, we won’t be able to healthily live off of the most vital resource to us for a very long time.

70% of the earth is covered by water, but 97% of that is found in oceans and seas, with another 2.4% in glaciers and polar ice caps.  That leaves very little fresh water for all of its various needs, including most importantly consumption, sanitation, and agricultural production. This has not yet proven to be a disasterous situation in the United States—despite some scares as the recent drought in the southeast—where the average resident consumes 100 gallons of water a day.  But to put it in context we need to note that in some places in the world the most indigent people subsist on 5 gallons of water a day—when they can get it.  Nearly 50% of the people on earth do not have water piped into their homes, and in some developing countries women walk an average of 3.7 miles a day to get what they need.

Reservoir in China’s Yunnan Province

Here  we have a picture of the earth dried and cracked, its parts broken and fragmented rather than blended.  There are no signs of movement in the photograph, there are no signs of life at all.  One of the often claimed effects of such desertification is a dangerous reduction in biodiversity, but here it is hard to imagine any biology at all.   Of course, even the slightest accumulation of moisture might change that, resulting in a dessert oasis, but the extreme close-up of the photograph locates the image in the here and now.  It is a human’s eye view, of what is happening right now, and what may happen everywhere if we run out of water.

An oil pump taps deposits of petroleum deep beneath the Earth.

Did you know that 80& of water usage in our very own country Canada is by industry. Here I can give a good example of how water is just wasted. Huge amounts of water, fresh water mind you is used to extract oil from the ground using various different types of oil pumps. That’s all fine an dandy, expect when you don’t consider what happens to that water afterwards. Do you know? Or do you want to know? How many people sit back and willingly take what you hear from you Government, the news, a friend or two for fact? Well did you know that much of that water actually becomes so contaminated it can no longer be used. And guess what!! At the rate we are going now, oil pumping, and huge oilsand projects will continue, meaning the demand for water is only going to get that much bigger in the future! Do you really think our world can sustain using so much water to pump a resource that in retrospect has been a key factor to much of the conflict on our planet. I’d like to think we as humans can understand the significance of the issue here, but as long as we have politics finding a way to convince the populace we still have water – depleting the last available glass left for the world – people will most likely sit and agree.

Straight down to the point, there are so many different ways we are polluting and wasting our water, not just the ones I mentioned, that you could almost look at water as its own endangered species. Like a creature finding its way to survive among the harsh punishment that is our own “much needed” luxury.