The Death Of Extractionism  

Posted by Big Gav

PeakOil.com had a link up this week to a piece about water shortages being a greater problem than global warming (as this is largely due to global warming I'd say they are realted - but water shortages are being aggravated by the drawdown of existing aquifers.

TreeHugger has a story about chinese concerns about water - not only is aquifer depletion a problem but water quality is a major concern.

When a Chinese survey on environmental concerns polled millions it got our attention. Representative sample size? Biased? Who knows. What we learned beyond doubt is that clean water is getting scarce and people are worried, seriously worried. Reminiscent of the US circa 1971. From the China Daily of July 29th:

"Clean drinking water is the public's No 1 environmental concern according to a State survey released yesterday. The investigation was carried out by the All-China Environmental Federation and supervised by the State Environmental Protection Administration, in April and May. More than 4 million people from 31 provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities or special administrative regions took part in the survey, airing their opinions on China's environmental issues"..."More than 96 per cent of the people surveyed said China is challenged by a water shortage crisis and that building a water-saving society is the most effective way to solve the problem".

TreeHugger saw the detailed rankings. Climate change did not even make the list. No mention of the relationship between floods, drought and water availability.

Bodes poorly for public support, in China, of a "Plan B" for the failed Kyoto Treaty. The good news is that government sponsored technocrats might be inventing a host of technologies and creative public policies to improve drinking water supplies.

The signs that we have reached the limits of extraction for resources like oil and water would seem to underly the idea that age of extraction that Mobjectivist pointed to is nearly over.

I like Newberry's framing of capitalism vs extractionism, with the modern day right wing somehow mired in an extractionist worldview rather than a genuinely capitalist one.

4 comments

More and more I think that Newberry is becoming America's Monbiot; someone who raises interesting premises and always provides an interesting take on things.

The problem is that Newberry leaves these posts scattered all over the blogosphere so it's hard to keep up to date with what he's writing about.

Isn't quality water and also water evaporation is the consequence of global dimming? (the pollution caused by the air rush particles into the water).
Nice blog btw.

WHT - I must admit I'd never really read any of his stuff before this lot, but he certainly has some interesting ideas.

Is there no one indexing his utterances somewhere ?

PU - I'm not aware of any definite link between global dimming and the water cycle. I guess the extra particles could make it rain more - but I have an uneasy feeling that I've read that the opposite somewhere - the particles are too small and make water droplets not big enough to cause rain. So maybe you're right.

Right now Stirling splits his time between BOPnews and DailyKos. He's kind of canankerous in the way he moves around, but that's his charm.

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