Water + Climate

An excerpt taken from Circle of Blue, the non-profit journalism organization reporting the global freshwater crisis that I work for…this excerpt comes from our “Water + Climate” series in the lead-up to the Copenhagen Conference which features news articles linking global climate change and water-related problems in the areas of agriculture, energy, infrastructure, and human rights. (Read all of my past articles here.)

“The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function,” wrote Albert Bartlett, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Colorado-Boulder, while assessing the sustainability of our planet. His statement is painfully insightful when we consider the global climate and water crises, as both rising temperatures and water scarcity have suddenly crept up on us, rearing their heads violently as either decade-long droughts or devastating floods.

It’s evident – without water as part of the equation, there can be no long-term solution to climate change.

With this in mind Circle of Blue launches our Water + Climate series – an examination of seven ways these two global crises intersect. Our first installment, Water + Climate: Food, examines the most universally tangible problem: global food security. We begin with a look at the push-pull factors that have lead countries with booming populations and unproductive land, such as China, Saudi Arabia and South Korea, to purchase land in poorer yet more arable places like Sudan, Madagascar and Pakistan.

While some activists paint these deals as neo-imperialistic land grabs, other leaders champion them as opportunities that will make the developing world legitimate players in the global economy. Each potential deal, whether private or public investments, is riddled with varying economic, political and social complications, leading us to conclude that the truth is somewhere in between.

As we push forward with other intersectional issues in our series, like energy, migration, hydrology and infrastructure, we will also be monitoring diplomatic developments in the run-up to Copenhagen in December. Ultimately we must recognize the lines that connect, instead of those that divide, two of the biggest threats to the survival of the human race.”


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