Water

42


Discussion by: ColinH

I'm feeling a bit contemplative this morning.

While I was washing the wine glasses left over from the family Christmas I reflected on the amount of clean water I was using just to clear up. I probably used more water on those glasses than the average third word child gets to drink in a day!

I'm an atheist so I can't hide behind thanking God for the inequalities of the world. Or in the case of the nutters blaming the third world children for their plight. I am just one of the lucky one's as are all of you who are able to read this message.

It is great to see family and friends and to eat drink and be merry. Sitting around being miserable won't change anything for anyone, but perhaps I need to do more than just have a bit of navel gazing. My son went to India at the beginning of the year for 3 months to help teach English to young children. He saw life in a remote village but even then he had the privileged outsiders view and knew he could get out any time he wanted. I know a woman who goes to Ghana for two weeks every year to teach. I can't up sticks and go to India, or Africa or Indonesia or wherever for a few weeks or months. But it has set me thinking that there must be something that I can contribute to that would make a small difference. The cumulative effect of better education and basic resources, like water, will slowly but surely change the world.

I'm open to suggestions on how I can make a difference, and not just by putting money in an envelope.

42 COMMENTS

  1. There are a lot of underprivileged kids locally who could use help, too. Some kids just need a mentor while others could use tutoring. What other skills do you have? Can you offer those for free to someone?

  2. This whole area really excites me, Colin. I think you are right to imagine you can do more than simply send cash. We have skills we can use again and again.

    In the past (decades ago) I have got involved in Intermediate Technology organisations (now they tend to use the term Appropriate Technology). I worked (in my spare time) on perfecting valveless water pumps that were very simple and easily maintained. I tried to repeat this kind of thing recently working on improving light pipes made from soda bottles, but had insufficient time to allocate. But hopefully I’ll find time in a few years to go back to this.

    My real desire is to form a network of inventive designers like myself who want to use their skills and can’t take on whole projects individually, but collectively may manage to complete a few designs and in concert with UK and overseas AT organisations* who may act as sponsors. If those designers happened to have access to resources within their own companies, say, all the better.

    Any here who are interested in this please show your hand. I guess managing such a grouping of designers will take a lot more skills than just designing. Planning, liaison with sponsors, finding other problems to solve etc. etc. will need to be done.

    Anyone?

    *Organisations like this in the UK

  3. If you really want to make a difference, adopt or foster a child. Sending money or aid to Africa is a total waste and at best only benefit a local war lord who gets to distribute and sell the loot.

    • In reply to #4 by flyingfsck:

      Sending money or aid to Africa is a total waste and at best only benefit a local war lord who gets to distribute and sell the loot.

      That’s an over generalization. A physician I work for runs a health clinic in Sierra Leon and I can assure you there are organizations that do benefit Africa that are not beholdened to drug lords.

    • In reply to #5 by Mr DArcy:

      How about all of humanity having an equal share in all of the world’s resources ?

      Too revolutionary for you perhaps ? Not for me my friend !

      Share and share a like is a nice sentiment, but you would have to kill a lot of war lords, and over turn a lot of corrupt governments to do it quickly. Didn’t work out so well when tried by the major powers. It may take a long time, but the slow, gradual development of the world will one day bring this ideal to life. Education is the key.

  4. “Feeling a big contemplative while washing the wine glasses.” Sounds like a standard hang over to me. Would give it 24 hours and see if you still feel like shooting over to India. But you might consider taking an interest in politics in the mean time. Politics and Public Policy is one way to change the world (in theory anyway). Recently joined a secular party but they turned out to be not my cup of tea so am thinking to join “The Australian Sex Party”. Have always treated them as a joke (because of their name) but they do have good policy ambitions (www.sexparty.org.au/)
    Here is an example of intelligent public policy fighting “The war on the war on drugs”
    Uruguay policy on cannabis.
    You might think I am a keen smoker myself to highlight something like this but I have not smoked a joint since 1980. It is just good practical policy as opposed to the vote winning political babble that often becomes policy..

  5. I’m open to suggestions on how I can make a difference, and not just by putting money in an envelope.

    By telling them that it was indeed the West that looted their wealth in the past. Write a letter.

    • In reply to #9 by rizvoid:

      I’m open to suggestions on how I can make a difference, and not just by putting money in an envelope.

      By telling them that it was indeed the West that looted their wealth in the past. Write a letter.

      Good. Now you´ve made yourself feel smug and superior, have you anything constructive to say?

      • I am only stating facts. The UK once colonized almost half the world, including what is now a poor India, the French colonized half of Africa, the Dutch decided to invade Indonesia and the Spanish South America. All of these colonization were illegal and against the will of the people of the lands. India was once a wealthy land when the Moguls ruled it. Then the British came, ruled the land for over a 100 years, and then left the country, but only after leaving a huge mess behind. Do you think they left empty handed? Of course not. All those in Europe and America who are paying so generously for clean water and medicines in India, are simply paying back what their ancestors stole from that country long ago — only they are paying back in installments.

        In reply to #24 by Brian Fieldhouse:

        In reply to #9 by rizvoid:

        I’m open to suggestions on how I can make a difference, and not just by putting money in an envelope.

        By telling them that it was indeed the West that looted their wealth in the past. Write a letter.

        Good. Now you´ve made yourself feel smug and superior, have you anythi…

        • In reply to #29 by rizvoid:

          I am only stating facts. The UK once colonized almost half the world, including what is now a poor India, the French colonized half of Africa, the Dutch decided to invade Indonesia and the Spanish South America. All of these colonization were illegal

          Illegal under what rule of law ?

          Michael

          • Maybe it wasn’t legal or illegal back then, but it is illegal today. The UN is one rule of law that prohibits any such aggression today. I mean no country can’t just invade another country today and colonize the land and start ruling the people under its own laws? In reply to #30 by mmurray:

            In reply to #29 by rizvoid:

            I am only stating facts. The UK once colonized almost half the world, including what is now a poor India, the French colonized half of Africa, the Dutch decided to invade Indonesia and the Spanish South America. All of these colonization were illegal

            Illegal under what…

          • In reply to #31 by rizvoid:

            Maybe it wasn’t legal or illegal back then, but it is illegal today. The UN is one rule of law that prohibits any such aggression today. I mean no country can’t just invade another country today and colonize the land and start ruling the people under its own laws?

            I think you will find invasions and border disputes still go on in the modern world. – Like the current one between China and Japan. (Also consider Afghanistan and Iraq)

            Senkaku Islands

            There are also foreign armed and funded militias, all over the place.

          • In reply to #31 by rizvoid:

            Maybe it wasn’t legal or illegal back then, but it is illegal today. The UN is one rule of law that prohibits any such aggression today. I mean no country can’t just invade another country today and colonize the land and start ruling the people under its own laws?

            Actually you raise an interesting question. Apparently up until World War II there was a “Right of Conquest” in international law that basically said that if you took it it was yours. It is discussed here on wikipedia. I hadn’t heard of this before.

            Michael

          • Under the ruel of humanity! Maybe illegitimate is the better word but it doesn’t change the fact that the colonial masters not only left a mess behind when they left, they still rip of their former colonies where ver and whenever they (we) can!

            In reply to #30 by mmurray:

            In reply to #29 by rizvoid:

            I am only stating facts. The UK once colonized almost half the world, including what is now a poor India, the French colonized half of Africa, the Dutch decided to invade Indonesia and the Spanish South America. All of these colonization were illegal

            Illegal under what…

  6. I live in an area abundant with clean water. Other states and even countries look at the area with envy and make grand assumptions of transporting the water to their area. People here think nothing about wasting water — watering their lawns so that they are lush and green, letting their faucets run without using the water, failing to fix leaky plumbing, dumping water, taking long showers daily, and much more. I never realized how I wasted water until I traveled to Arizona in the summer. It’s a different story there. Sometimes we see obvious problems when they are far away, but if we look close we can see that fixing sometimes needs to happen in our own backyard.

    • In reply to #10 by QuestioningKat:

      I understand water is abundant where you live, but is it also free, or really really cheap? I mean, don’t you get water bills? They can give you a good idea of how much water you are wasting. Mine does, every time I waste water. It just went up 70 dollars thanks to a leaking tap in the bath room. I would never want to spend $10 to fix the tap, unless I had to pay $70 for the water it wasted. So I fixed the tap, and the bill came back to normal.

      I never realized how I wasted water until I traveled to Arizona in the summer.

      • In reply to #11 by rizvoid:

        In reply to #10 by QuestioningKat:

        I understand water is abundant where you live, but is it also free, or really really cheap? I mean, don’t you get water bills? They can give you a good idea of how much water you are wasting. Mine does, every time I waste water. It just went up 70 dollars thanks t…

        It’s about $50 for three months. Bills do not show how people in desert regions restrict watering your lawn on certain days or hours or how they use gray water. I watched a show on how a Navajo woman had a limited amount of water for the day; every drop mattered. She bathed in a tub with a bucket of water. They also do not show how these areas take more precautions about preventing contamination. I have been to a few areas where I drank only bottled water because of the taste of the tap water. Some areas have river beds that have been dry for over a decade. Being out in 117 degree heat, you come to realize the importance of prioritizing use of limited water very quickly – having a nice lawn without feeding a herd of cows seems a bit clueless.

        There are already problems with our water in the Great Lakes region and I foresee it growing if we don’t start seeing every drop as precious.

        • In reply to #20 by QuestioningKat:
          >

          I understand water is abundant where you live, but is it also free, or really really cheap? I mean, don’t you get water bills? They can give you a good idea of how much water you are wasting.

          It’s about $50 for three months. Bills do not show how people in desert regions restrict watering your lawn on certain days or hours or how they use gray water.

          Interestingly for comparison, the Solar Cookers I linked @1 cost about $10 (£6) and last for years.

          #1 by Alan4discussion:*

          http://journeytoforever.org/sc.html

          The WHO says diseases spread through contaminated water cause 80% of the world’s illnesses. Solar box cookers can pasteurize drinking water: heating water to 65 deg C for six minutes destroys disease organisms, and this temperature is easily achieved with solar box cookers.

          David R Allen @23 http://www.abc.net.au/tv/newinventors/txt/s1794038.htm

          As the water is heated to 85º, water vapour condenses on the inside surface of the glass and runs down into the purified water channel into a collection container. The unique design of the cells maximises heat absorption and condensation which increases the pure water output.

          The ultra-violet radiation from the sun combined with prolonged exposure times prove to be extremely effective for killing commonly occurring bacteria and other water borne diseases.

          Other pollutants do not evaporate and are flushed away in unpurified water into a chamber called the ‘overflow channel’. Virtually none of the dissolved solid waste is collected in the trays. If the SWP is being used consistently there should be no build up at all. If solid impure material has been collected in the trays, the hardened deposit can be easily removed by using a diluted acid solution such as citric acid (or lemon juice).

          This looks like it can deal with seawater and other forms of contaminated water better by distilation instead of simple heating, but is going to be much more expensive than the solar cookers, which can also replace firewood for cooking food.

        • In reply to #20 by QuestioningKat:

          In reply to #11 by rizvoid:

          In reply to #10 by QuestioningKat:

          It’s about $50 for three months. Bills do not show how people in desert regions restrict watering your lawn on certain days or hours or how they use gray water

          Thought so. I once lived in a similar kind of place. You paid like $20 or $30 dollars for a three bedroom house every year. And if you were in an apartment, water was free. But where I live now…. they charge it at $1.77 for a kilolitre. Then to top it off, they also charge for sewage disposal. One thing for sure, when water is that expensive, you kind of get water smart instinctively. And yes, they also impose water restrictions according to how much water is left in the reservoirs. Not long ago, we couldn’t wash cars at home or water lawns.

  7. My favorite commercial of all time was on tv in Las Vegas when I lived there in 2001. It was the tableau of a woman staring at a sprinkler that was spurting part of it’s water onto the sidewalk, summoning up the apex of her consternation and derision, while the announcer said “Maybe they think the sidewalk looks better wet!”. You couldn’t have beaten a harsher lesson into a person with a bamboo cane and a bull whip.

  8. Water won’t magically make its way to Somalia whether you use it or not. It doesn’t go anywhere, it just gets recycled. What you’re wasting is energy for water treatment. So what if you have plenty of water, don’t worry about it.

    I’m open to suggestions on how I can make a difference, and not just by putting money in an envelope.

    You already answered your own question. You seem to know plenty of people who are doing volunteering work already, why don’t you ask them?

    • In reply to #14 by papa lazaru:

      Water won’t magically make its way to Somalia whether you use it or not. It doesn’t go anywhere, it just gets recycled. What you’re wasting is energy for water treatment. So what if you have plenty of water, don’t worry about it.

      I’m open to suggestions on how I can make a difference, and not just…

      Precisely this.

      You haven’t wasted any water, that water will probably make it’s own way to the third world in a month or two.

      Most of the worlds problems, including this, boils down to distribution of resources.
      Resources in turn boil down to distribution of energy.
      Given enough energy we could move or clean all the water we want to. So we should focus on more effective and efficient forms of energy production and use.

      Of course in the world as it is now, energy is largely reliant on distribution of wealth.

  9. I understand your confusion about what you can do and what effect it will have. You can go even deeper into the problem by recognizing that many environmental problems all over the world have their roots in the economy (and the politics that support this form of economy) in the industrial nations. We do not only waste water we also contaminate the water we do not even use. In Switzerland they did research about microplastics in the drinking water and in the many lakes they have there. The results were alarming. we embed these particles in us by drinking and by the food chain.

    There is a very interesting project going on initiated by a (at the time it started) 19 year old Boyan Slat from Delft near Rotterdam, that deals with the five big plastic votices in the Pacific, the Atlantic and the Indian oceans. [http://www.boyanslat.com/plastic/] He is very young and has a lot of power he puts into his project.
    But you are right we can’t a´ll be like him or do things like this. But you can act conscious in your everyday life. Safe water where ever you can, avoid things that lead to pollution of water and so on.

    And at least the next time you go to an election think about what your chosen party supports and what it ignores. I don’t know if you have a political party like we have in Germany (Bündnis 90′ Die Grünen) that derives from an anti-nuclear movement in combination with pacifistic and environmental movement in the early 70′s. Even if they are no saints they care for the environment and for relationships between Germany and third world and emerging countries. There are things that can be done at home without sending money to somewhere.

  10. I understand your confusion about what you can do and what effect it will have. You can go even deeper into the problem by recognizing that many environmental problems all over the world have their roots in the economy (and the politics that support this form of economy) in the industrial nations. We do not only waste water we also contaminate the water we do not even use. In Switzerland they did research about microplastics in the drinking water and in the many lakes they have there. The results were alarming. we embed these particles in us by drinking and by the food chain.

    There is a very interesting project going on initiated by a (at the time it started) 19 year old Boyan Slat from Delft near Rotterdam, that deals with the five big plastic votices in the Pacific, the Atlantic and the Indian oceans. [http://www.boyanslat.com/plastic/] He is very young and has a lot of power he puts into his project.
    But you are right we can’t a´ll be like him or do things like this. But you can act conscious in your everyday life. Safe water where ever you can, avoid things that lead to pollution of water and so on.

    And at least the next time you go to an election think about what your chosen party supports and what it ignores. I don’t know if you have a political party like we have in Germany (Bündnis 90′ Die Grünen) that derives from an anti-nuclear movement in combination with pacifistic and environmental movement in the early 70′s. Even if they are no saints they care for the environment and for relationships between Germany and third world and emerging countries. There are things that can be done at home without sending money to somewhere.

  11. Hi Colin,

    I sympathize with your dilemma. I spend more time than I care to admit thinking about the 3 billion people on this planet surviving on a couple of dollars a day. What helps me is distinguishing between what I can and cannot do.

    While working with missionaries in Haiti thirty years ago, I first experienced the poverty of undeveloped nations. We smuggled medicine into the country and backpacked it up to remote villages in the north. The poverty shocked me. There was plenty of water but no facilities to clean it. Water borne infections flourished. The country’s rainforests were gone. I snorkeled off their reefs and discovered nothing but dead coral devoid of fish. Colonialism and corrupt dictators depleted the nations resources. Haiti will be forever poor.

    But I did what I could. We brought medicine that helped some. We worked in orphanages and brought a few smiles to kids. I helped a family dig a well and worked with other Haitians to build a medical clinic.

    Today, I donate money to organizations that help provide basic life necessities to African children and foster care to Eastern European orphans. I can’t change the inequity of wealth on the planet. I live in a water rich place, but we can’t take the water overseas. I live frugally, but just living in the West means my carbon/ pollution footprint is large. I can’t help that except to vote for people who want to change it. I do what I can do and wait for things to change.

    My advice is to do what you can do to help the planet’s poor and not feel guilty about the things you have no control over.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  12. I spent a few summers doing some genetics research at Swarthmore College. On the first day, the Professor I was working with asked me what I had in mind for a project and what I’d need to accomplish it (we were working through an HHMI grant). I told him that I wanted to take the gene that makes the protein that makes certain jellyfish glow in the dark and insert it into Christmas trees. He asked “why”?

    My reply was simple: “because every asshole in America will want to buy a glow in the dark christmas tree”. We could make a fortune.
    I had a “million dollar idea”.

    The professor came back to me late in the day. He said “why don’t we try to put the gene into corn”? I was puzzled.

    He went on…..”we could insert the gene adjacent to the water stress genes of the corn plant. Then, when the plant got ‘thirsty’ it would ‘ask’ for a drink”!!!! The implications were pretty enormous. Water decisions in third world countries are life and death, and overwatering a crop could mean the death of livestock… or children…..

    I had a million dollar idea. He had a world changing idea. His is better.

    PS. as far as I know he is still trying to get the system to work. He moved when he got a job as dean of an honor’s college on the other coast.

    • In reply to #17 by crookedshoes:

      I had a million dollar idea. He had a world changing idea. His is better.

      It’s a lost cause. The anti-GMOers have effectively spread enough fear and misinformation to keep this from ever happening. Funny how it’s mostly liberals doing this and they are the ones who are supposed to care about the disadvantaged people. Fear is a stronger emotion I guess.

      • I hear you.

        In reply to #18 by Skeptic:

        In reply to #17 by crookedshoes:

        I had a million dollar idea. He had a world changing idea. His is better.

        It’s a lost cause. The anti-GMOers have effectively spread enough fear and misinformation to keep this from ever happening. Funny how it’s mostly liberals doing this and they are the ones w…

    • In reply to #17 by crookedshoes:
      >

      The professor came back to me late in the day. He said “why don’t we try to put the gene into corn”? I was puzzled.

      He went on…..”we could insert the gene adjacent to the water stress genes of the corn plant. Then, when the plant got ‘thirsty’ it would ‘ask’ for a drink”!!!! The implications were pretty enormous. Water decisions in third world countries are life and death, and overwatering a crop could mean the death of livestock… or children…..

      I had a million dollar idea. He had a world changing idea. His is better.

      Hi Crooks,

      I don’t know if you have seen the space technology take on this, to provide real time data on fertilizer and water requirements of specific field crops !

      http://geo.arc.nasa.gov/sge/johnson/lfjgrants.html
      >

      Water Balance Modeling in Vineyards for Spatially Explicit Irrigation Strategies. Combine remote sensing, weather data, and soils to monitor crop ET and water demand. (Calif. Dept. Water Resources)

      VINTAGE: Viticultural Integration of NASA Technologies for Assessment of the Grapevine Environment. Cooperate with wine industry and commercial remote sensing firms to adapt and promote NASA-developed scientific technologies as tools for site-specific and regional crop stress management. (NASA Earth Science/Applications Research and Outreach Division)

      Coffee Harvest Optimization Using UAV Platforms for Acquisition of High Spatial Resolution Real-time Multispectral Imagery . Demonstrate use of uninhabited aerial vehicle (UAV) for remote sensing support of tropical agricultural management. (NASA UAV Science Demonstrator Program)

      HyperVeg: Hyperspectral Detection of Nitrogen Stress in Monterey County Vegetable Crops. Work with growers and software company to develop remote sensing based tools for detection of nutrient stress in nitrogen fertilizer-intensive vegetable crops. (NASA/EOCAP-Commercial Remote Sensing Program)

  13. Thanks for posting. You may like to choose a family anywhere in the so called third world and support them on a monthly basis till they can stand on their feet. I know the families need support and a bit of extra money will help fellow human beings to make ends meet. This is just like a seed – sow it and then look after it and it will grow given the right environment.

    Finding a family is not a problem – don’t go through these charities as most just use money on themselves and never pass it on to the needy. Your son may be able to give an address in India or elsewhere. I will be soon posting on the human self development – do read it. best wishes. Ed

  14. This solar water purifier impressed me. This is the blurb….

    The Solar Water Purifier uses direct sunlight to convert any source of contaminated water – seawater, bore water, effluent, wine – into drinkable water. It uses no filters, no electronics, has no moving parts, rarely needs cleaning, and gives a greater yield than existing solar purifiers.

    Australian Rotary Clubs are financing these for export to third world countries. Extremely low tech solution. Almost no maintenance. Can be joined together in banks for larger supplies. Maybe these should be made freely available worldwide to people in need.

    Full story at this link.

    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/newinventors/txt/s1794038.htm

  15. I’m open to suggestions on how I can make a difference, and not just by putting money in an envelope.

    I tried to help by sending food and water in an envelope instead, but apparently that’s “ridiculous and insensitive”. Never helping anyone again.

  16. I know this is going to sound callous but maybe the problem is not the lack of clean water but the over population of homosapiens on this planet. If it was left to nature alone groups of homosapiens living on areas of the planet without the natural resources needed to sustain them would either of died out in that area or have moved to another area.

    Are all these so called western do gooder homosapiens (relieving their own misguided synthetic guilt i suppose) not just perpetuating these groups of homosapiens long term suffering by supplying short term resources to an area of the planet that has realistically become inhabitable. Would these groups not have moved on or died out years ago without this artifical western interference.

    Are homosapiens always going to meddle with the natural balance of the planet until it’s unnatural demise ?

    • In reply to #35 by Apeshit:

      I know this is going to sound callous but maybe the problem is not the lack of clean water but the over population of homosapiens on this planet. If it was left to nature alone groups of homosapiens living on areas of the planet without the natural resources needed to sustain them would either of di…

      It’s not just death in these places that is a problem, but the suffering.
      These people are still surviving for the most part, surviving enough to have a dozen kids each, but they’re suffering while doing so.

      So no, I don’t think if we just left them to their own devices they would either die out or migrate away, they would simply continue to suffer in even worse conditions.

      However, perhaps migration away from these inhospitable places should be encouraged and aided, in addition to sourcing water and food for those already there.

    • In reply to #35 by Apeshit:

      I know this is going to sound callous but maybe the problem is not the lack of clean water but the over population of homosapiens on this planet. If it was left to nature alone groups of homosapiens living on areas of the planet without the natural resources needed to sustain them would either of di…

      To talk about places that are wasteland is a bitter joke in our times. Technology would enable us to live nearly everywhere on the planet (we have a permanent embassy in space!) if we could just decide to work together and not to do it on the basis of the known economical pathways. I don’t believe it’s the number of people living on the planet. The number of people is a result of technological development over the last 300 years. And by the way Industry (one form of use of technology!) consumes unbelievable amounts of water. It is intriguing to see the correlation of technical and population development. At the same time it is very interesting to see, that in developed countris, industrial nations the birthrates always sink. Here in Germany we have the situation that our pension system is about to collapse, because the numbers of old and young people are changing. This is a result of sinking birth rates. And it is the same everywhere in Europe, except France they still have birth rates over 2 per couple.

      I think every form of life changes it’s environment and sometimes destroys it for it’s own existance. The first bacteria that produced Oxygen and enriched the atmosphere with it, haven’t done a good job for themselves. Oxygen was a poisonous waste product of their own metabolism. So they intoxicated themselves very slowly …

  17. There are places of suffering right under u.s. noses. e.g…

    A Kickapoo tribe in NE Kansas just lost a two decade old lawsuit against a water district. They live directly above a water reservoir, and wanted the district to commence imminent domain for the purpose of accessing the water for their use. A judge ruled against the Kickapoo, stating that imminent domain can be used, not has to be used.

    Order the National Guard to transport water – in the Kickapoo case, charity should begin at home.

  18. The Best thing you can do really is put as much time and effort you are willing to support renewable energies. The fact is if we used entirely renewable energy then we would have beyond more than enough. In fact oil companies have huge vested interest in preventing renewable for as long as possible because with renewables come surplus and if there is a surplus of clean energy no one will bother with dirty oil. Now, you may ask what that has to do with third world countries but in all honesty a surplus of energy to the extent that an entirely renewable energy society would have. It would actually get to the point where not only electricity but also water would be free.

    Now that may sound a bit far fetched but actually it is on its way and there are a few organizations dedicated to its cause. My point i saying this is that a lot of these third world countries would be done worlds of good if someone had the time or money to Invest in purchasing solar panels in order to power towns at a time. That way they would be able to desalinate all of the water they need and be able to be entirely self sufficient. Then a few steps forward they may get internet access and utilize online learning tools such as coursera.org and then they may even be able to leap into the position of the great world contributers today.

    Imagine entire societies built on Open-source knowledge and resources and you have the potential for an advanced scientific community. With all of the needs of the people met, they would have little need for the gods of the ignorant.

    I myself am actually a participant in an initiative to do this very thing here in the United states by educating people on how to construct Earthships and use renewable energy to escape monthly utility bills and create more financial mobility in their lives by lowering the cost of living.The end goal being to establish an entire community where every needed to be alive is provided allowing success to be determined by what people do with their free time.

    These sort of efforts allow for the solution of two of the worlds largest problems at once, Global Warming, and poverty. It also allows for more innovation taking stress off of people being displaced by robots and providing time and oportunity for advancement of education and following the virtuous cycle a more productive and intelligent community of people who are cared for and more able to care for others.

    This is really the end hope that every person can be provided for , using sustainable energy and educating people on how to build their homes around sustainability so that they can be self sufficient and live a sort of modern egalitarian lifestyle.

  19. Under the ruel of humanity! Maybe illegitimate is the better word but it doesn’t change the fact that the colonial masters not only left a mess behind when they left, they still rip of their former colonies where ver and whenever they (we) can!

    In reply to #30 by mmurray:

    In reply to #29 by rizvoid:

    I am only stating facts. The UK once colonized almost half the world, including what is now a poor India, the French colonized half of Africa, the Dutch decided to invade Indonesia and the Spanish South America. All of these colonization were illegal

    Illegal under what…

  20. In reply to #35 by Apeshit:

    I know this is going to sound callous but maybe the problem is not the lack of clean water but the over population of homosapiens on this planet. If it was left to nature alone groups of homosapiens living on areas of the planet without the natural resources needed to sustain them would either of di…

    To talk about places that are wasteland is a bitter joke in our times. Technology would enable us to live nearly everywhere on the planet (we have a permanent embassy in space!) if we could just decide to work together and not to do it on the basis of the known economical pathways. I don’t believe it’s the number of people living on the planet. The number of people is a result of technological development over the last 300 years. And by the way Industry (one form of use of technology!) consumes unbelievable amounts of water. It is intriguing to see the correlation of technical and population development. At the same time it is very interesting to see, that in developed countris, industrial nations the birthrates always sink. Here in Germany we have the situation that our pension system is about to collapse, because the numbers of old and young people are changing. This is a result of sinking birth rates. And it is the same everywhere in Europe, except France they still have birth rates over 2 per couple.

    I think every form of life changes it’s environment and sometimes destroys it for it’s own existance. The first bacteria that produced Oxygen and enriched the atmosphere with it, haven’t done a good job for themselves. Oxygen was a poisonous waste product of their own metabolism. So they intoxicated themselves very slowly …

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