Friday, May 14, 2010

Blue Gold

I, unfortunately, have some familiarity with dehydration. Due to the medication I take and the conditions I have I am constantly reminded by doctors, "Drink plenty of water," or "You should ALWAYS have a bottle of water with you," and, finally, "Nicole, when you don't drink enough, you lose your precious electrolytes - it can be VERY dangerous for you." I heed their advice, of course, but there are times when I simply can not keep up with the chemical or physical imbalance my body presents on a particular day or two and those times I find myself thirsty, weak, dry and, most of all, fragile.

It seems to me, especially tonight, that I would be remiss in my search for true sustenance without taking at least one blog moment to discuss that from which all life spews from: WATER.

Why tonight, you ask? It began with a thunder clap, then I heard the downpour. This was in the middle of my husband and I searching through Netflix to find something to rent. This did not matter to me, though, when I hear a deluge, there is only one thing I can do: run to the front door, with my two dogs to watch. It is a wonderful sight, smell and experience at this time of year. When the rain hits the cement a small fog evaporates, only in the first minutes of the downpour, then the smell finds you - a clean, fresh smell of the earth getting a clean rinse. Then, finally, I love to watch the trees sway in the wind, rocking back and forth ensuring every leaf gets a shot at its very own raindrop, they look just like the ladies in the shampoo commercials. And, then, shortly after, it quiets. Not that the storm ends, but the water is calmer now, the winds have slowed, because the tempest is tamed and falls into a rhythm. At that point, my show is over...

As I get up from sitting in front of the door I think to myself, I wish I had some buckets out there - that was so much water! I have been reading the special edition of the National Geographic on Water this week and, needless to say, it has raised some concerns.

And so, it was with this on my mind, that I came back to the couch, where my husband had a movie suggestion, "What about this one?" on the screen was, Blue Gold: World Water Wars. Does this man have the ability to read my mind? I instantly start spewing facts that I had read from the National Geographic, "Did you know that 97% of the water on Earth is salt water and, therefore, undrinkable? Did you know that of the remaining 3% of water only 1% IS drinkable?!" I pulled out my iPad, "You have to see these pictures of people buying baggies of water! Or spending FIVE HOURS A DAY walking to get dirty water!" He insisted I stop and we watch the movie, but there was one more thing I wanted to show him, one page of the National Geographic that just struck me - not a picture, but a few statements, here they are:

(National Geographic, April 2010)

"Wow, that's scary," he said, I agreed and we watched the movie. And, as for the movie - Wow, that was scary. This is another MUST SEE. Put it on your list with Food, Inc. This is a very important movie to see (or maybe you would rather read the book?). While Food, Inc. opened my eyes to the sins of industry, Blue Gold slapped me (HARD) in the face with them. I am forever in awe of the world created in the post World War era. I pray that we are not too far gone to grasp some semblance of sanity (or at least my version of it (: !!) again.

I am still processing much of what I saw in the movie, but I know this: water is not free, fresh and sent to us from the skies - it has been privatized on a scale so much larger than I ever imagined. Water is being traded on the stock market. People are dying because of water, not just because polluted, diseased water, but because of assassinations, suicides and gunshots in a water wars all over the world. I know that bottled water is a joke, but that joke is no longer funny. I know that we won't see ads about this problem, we probably won't hear anything on earth day about this... The powers that be have already begun their game of chess - strategies have been made, pieces have been placed, pawns will be sacrificed and too many of the players are still living by the mantra, "the man who dies with the most toys wins" without a care in the world about the devastation left in their wake. What does it mean when a dollar is more valuable than water? In other words, what does it mean when a dollar is more valuable than life?

So here's your homework:

1. Warm yourself up by watching The Story of Bottled Water. This is a short film on the Internet made by The Story of Stuff people (you should probably watch all of their videos if you haven't already!)

2. Check out the April 2010 Special Issue of National Geographic on Water. As usual, the pictures are breath taking, but the articles are also worth the time. Barbara Kingsolver wrote one article on water that I truly enjoyed (I always like her writing).

and, of course,

3. Watch Blue Gold: World Water Wars. It was originally aired on PBS, so you might actually find it re-run on there. We got it through Netflix, but you may find it in the library, too!

Extra Credit: Take the time to stop whatever you are doing to watch the next rainstorm you hear!

Drink up, enjoy, satiate your thirst, but be mindful. Appreciate your blue gold. :)

1 comment:

  1. Yet again, you have given me another task! As a student of your revolution I will follow as directed. Yet you give me another possibility for my own students! You have to stop confusing me!

    The topic of nutrition has come up in class from students talking about food, then asking what I like, then me telling them what I have changed, and so on. One girl even said "Why did they take out the vending machines if you can buy all the same junk in the SO store?" I didn't have an answer. I was thinking that as a listening passage activity I would read them an article about Jamie Oliver and then have them write to the DOE and the mayor as their task. Now the water topic seems equally important and I don't know what to do! Look at what you did!!!

    I have to think it over some before any decisions are made...


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