Ideapod: Water is the new oil

Ideapod – Water is the New Oil

The problem is relatively simple to solve technically – it is an engineering problem.
Droughts have always occurred.
With climate change, what changes is the locality and intensity of droughts.

Even with climate change there is plenty of rainwater – an equivalent to 40 cubic meters per person per day, when it only takes 3 m3 to grow enough vegan food for 1.
So there is no absolute problem of water abundance, only a set of location and timing issues.

Given sufficient engineering capacity, these can be solved.

If we unleash the ability of automation to build copies of itself, and anything else we can develop plans for, then all of the real issue around water and global warming are relatively easily solved.

The problem is, that building such a machine completely breaks a market value system, as anything such a set of machines can produce becomes like oxygen in the air, of no market value, however valuable it is to each and every one of us.

So No – water is not like oil!

[followed by]

Hi Helena

We definitely have water issues, and many of those issues arise because of the technologies we use.
Many of the technologies we use today use a lot of water – because water has been cheap.
Many of the foods we eat similarly.
To get 1kg of steak on a plate takes between 15 and 100 cubic meters of water (to grow the grass and grain etc that the animals eat, and to maintain the herds needed to produce the animals we kill).
To put an equivalent amount of plant protein and calories on a plate takes between .2 and 1cubic meter of water.
Changing diet makes a huge difference to water use.

Yes there are real issues with climate change.
Having droughts in places not used to them is difficult for people and ecosystems to adapt to. Managing climate on that scale comes with a set of risks.

There are many very real issues, and there are real solutions.

It seems that in the long term, those solutions require that we raise the level of cooperation in society generally.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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