The WWW- No, Its Not What You Think!

The WWW.

No, it’s not what you think. When history looks back and sees the letters WWW, it may well come to stand for the World Water Wars. Even now all over the globe, wars are being fought over the dominance of land, oil and, some people believe, religion. But perhaps it’s not what we will fight over in the near future.

The most important and precious resource that is now being destroyed faster than we can reclaim it, is water. If you think I overstate the situation, the following are quotes from two knowledgeable researchers.

“We face a disaster of monumental proportions,” Richard Cashin, chairman of the Task Force on the Atlantic fishery, said.

“What we are doing is killing ourselves,” says Elisabeth Mann-Borgese, chairman of the International Ocean Institute, “It is the human race that will die out if we don’t do something.”

The many causes for the oceans illness’ include global overfishing, human pollution and global warming which has been found to be directly linked to increasing ocean temperatures, all these things affecting marine life, many to extinction.

The waters of the ocean are being over fished and depopulated to the point where the fish populations are dying one by one. Just two examples include the barn door skate which inhabited North America’s Atlantic seaboard. By the year 2000 none can be found. Also among the victims is Canada’s Atlantic cod, which had been labeled fished to commercial extinction by the you in food and agriculture organization. Other animals are prey to friendly fire, over 100,000 sea turtles a year die in shrimp nets according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Not only are we emptying the waters of life, were pouring in estimated 700 million gallons of toxic chemicals into the sea each year, slowly killing what is left. The production of plankton, tiny plants and animals that normally live near the ocean’s surface and provide food for much of the marine life, has dropped an alarming 70% since 1950. The direct and negative impact on the migratory sooty shearwaters’ (a sea bird) population became clear.

“It used to be the most abundant bird in the California Current, by far, ” says biologist John McGowan of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego. “Now 90 percent are gone. “

Pollution also affects the health of aquaculture, causing many shrimp ponds to become contaminated from toxic farm waste and and must be abandoned in as little as two years.

“The worst trouble,” says Elisabeth Mann-Borgese, chairman of the International Ocean Institute in Halifax, Nova Scotia, “is land based pollution. That accounts for 80 percent of the mess we’re in. Every time somebody in Ottawa empties their crankcase oil in a shopping centre parking lot, that oil winds up in the ocean.”

Unfortunately the only dangers are not from overfishing or pollution, but also come in the form of serious temperature changes in our great and oceans. Coral reefs in the Caribbean and South Pacific are suffering from a desolate, dying areas by been exposed to long periods of warmer sea water. On the other hand since the 1991 toxic algae blooms which thrive in the warmer waters, have killed an estimated 1 billion fish along the Atlantic coast.

Despite the effects that all these things have on the oceans, they are still the future’s only reliable source for clean water. Fresh water sources comprise only 2% of all the water on the surface of the planet, and they are slowly becoming polluted. Desalinization plants will become critical sources for clean water in the future, and since they are usually located along coastal areas, locations will be necessarily limited. Since these will be the next quickly disappearing natural resources, the fight over them could certainly cause the next world wars.

Sounds crazy? In the book, History of Warfare, John Keegan writes that in 3000 B.C., Sumerian cities had their first fighting over water rights. More recently in 1998 Washington Post article quoted the Center for Strategic and International Studies saying there was increasing potential for “unprecedented upheaval and possible military conflict over water rights in the future.”

In February of 2000 the people of Cochabamba, Bolivia rioted against police and soldiers over a shortened water supply.

Again in 2001, a National Intelligence Council report warned that “international competition for water continues to increase, jeopardizing supplies, to the point of possible conflict.”

Instead of becoming a rallying cry to solve the problem globally, it may well be the next pivoting point for violence, locally.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 − = three