Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Water jihads and Moe Howard haircuts

by Chris Bennett

...The flood story, in some form, ranges across religions and cultures. Trek into the bowels of the Amazon and find the latest undiscovered tribe. They may not have clothes or be able to count past three. They may have no alphabet and hunt with sticks. They may hold no concept of hygiene and may be sporting Moe Howard haircuts — but they’ll sure have a whopping good flood story.

Almost from the dawn of time, water cataclysm has been based on too much of a good thing. Throw that archetype out the window and prepare for historical change — the barren age is upon us. For 20 years, watchdog groups and government organizations have warned that the glass is half-empty and water wars are coming. Even if only a portion of their statistics pan out regarding pending shortages, the outlook is alarming.

A 2011 National Intelligence Estimate report on water security, requested by the U.S. Department of State, said that the use of water as a weapon of war, or a means of terrorism will be increasingly likely beyond 2022. And what locations did the report specify? You guessed it: North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. (Arabian dictators are scrambling to update “Reasons to attack neighbor” lists: border disputes, jihad, Jews, oil ... and now water.)

The UN projects that 30 countries will be “water scarce” by 2025. Eighteen of the 30 are located in the Middle East or North Africa, including the usual suspects: Egypt, Israel, Somalia, Libya and Yemen. Piling on, the UN also predicts that over the next 20 years, the world’s per capita water supply will drop by a depressing third — with the worst strain in the above regions.

PLoS ONE, in a recent report, found that water scarcity affects 2.7 billion people for at least one month per year. The numbers are alarming — and climbing. Skeptics may scoff, but very soon at a minimum, water scarcity will be threatening the failure of failing states.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Combine the lack of water with unrestrained debt and then the meaning of chaos will be fulfilled.