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All Day I Face the Barren Waste?


Without the taste of water… not bloody likely if this Washington Post op-ed from April 6 by Charles Fishman on 5 myths about water is true:

Water is the most familiar substance in our lives, and the most important. Every cell in our bodies is plumped full of water; every heartbeat, every thought — including thoughts about water — happens only because of the cascade of chemistry that water makes possible. Yet we know almost nothing about water, starting with such basics as: Where does our water come from? Where does it go once it disappears down the drain? In fact, even what we think we know about water is often wrong.

1. We’re running out of water.

We see it in the headlines almost every day: Drought in Texas and China. Nevada’s Lake Mead in danger of going dry. The Colorado River and the Rio Grande no longer flowing to the ocean.

Water seems to be getting more and more scarce. But it’s not. The amount of water on Earth isn’t changing, and as a planet we’re in no danger of running out.

One of the most misleading “facts” we learn about water, starting in the second grade or so, is that 97.5 percent of the water on Earth is unusable by humans, because it’s salty ocean water.

Actually, the oceans are Olympian springs of fresh water — every day, the sun, the sea and evaporation combine to make 45,000 gallons of rainwater for each man, woman and child on Earth. Even in the United States, where we use water with profligacy, the oceans are making more fresh water for each of us in a month than we’ll use in a decade.

And one of the most remarkable qualities of water, of course, is that we never really use it up. Water reemerges from everything we do with it, whether it’s making coffee or making steel, ready to use again.

The problem is that we’ve built our communities, our farms and our reservoirs in places we expect water to be. The scarcity we’re seeing is a result, in part, of a shifting climate — it’s still raining, but it may not be raining in the watersheds of our reservoirs. Water scarcity is also a result of population growth; more people need more water. And it is often a hidden cost of economic development. As people get wealthier, they use more water for things such as bathing and running the dishwasher, and more energy, which requires huge volumes of water.

Go read the other 4 at the link… who knew there could be such mistaken hysteria about the bountiful riches of creation? Of course… his first point echoes a point comedian Sam Kinison made about world hunger back in the 1980s.

8 comments to All Day I Face the Barren Waste?

  • I never understood people who said we are wasting water. We live in a closed system water that goes down the drain goes back into the ecosystem. Water that we sweat out goes back into the ecosystem. We live in a giant terrarium…I guess there are a bunch of people that never had one of those in the third grade. The ignorance of some people is astounding.

  • -fritz-

    This all just proves that liberals are total, complete, whacked out loons! If it’s not CO2, it’s the ice packs. If it’s not the polar bears, it’s water. Indeed for those who lack the ability to study and remember anything they should have learned in 4th grade science, the sky is indeed falling!

  • The world needs another Sam Kinison, desperately. Of course, telling the truth gets you labeled for a “Hate Crime” far too often these days, but doesn’t mean we don’t need another of his kind of hero.

  • Dr. Schplatt

    I agree with the idea that the earth is not losing water, but there’s no reason to waste water as it just puts pressure on the water handling systems. I’m not saying there should be a law or anything, but as a kid we we learned, “waste not want not”.

    Where we live in Kansas, they sometimes ration water but that is because the climate is sometimes dry and they need to make sure there’s enough water for necessities before luxury. But no, there’s no big doom and gloom end of the world coming.

  • -fritz-

    It seems to me that the left has a corner on the water supply. Afterall, aren’t they the party of chronic thumbsuckers and bedwetters?

  • goozer

    “There is something fascinating about science.
    One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture
    out of such a trifling investment of fact.”
    —Mark Twain

  • Rufus

    Rich Trzupek and I wrote about this here about two years ago. Any water shortages are local issues.

    Southern California is a ginormous fresh water disaster waiting to happen unless something’s done soon, but it’s all human created. There is plenty of water on this planet for all the people on it times eleventy-million. It’s just that sometimes those people are where they oughtn’t be.

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