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Archi-ponics: Natural Resources, Scarcity, & The Future of War, Part 1 Featured

Nations may soon struggle against each other for water and other natural resources Nations may soon struggle against each other for water and other natural resources

In this age of ever-expanding cyberspace, where there is more technology in our cell phones than the spacecraft that delivered man to the moon, warfare is still as real and primitive as it gets. Despite the drones and satellite imagery, our current war relies on extremely well trained individuals to go on missions in remote regions of the world, to hunt down and engage their enemy. Just as the need for these elemental warrior skills will never change, neither will the fundamental causes of war. In truth, the grounds for waging war are likely to become more primitive. Future wars will be declared between nations who lack the ability to live within their means or utilize their own natural resources in a sustainable way.

As we’ve mentioned repeatedly in our earlier columns, the global population is exploding. It is an undeniable fact that our planet will be hosting three billion more people within the next fifty years, all of whom must be fed, clothed, sheltered and educated in some way or another. Perhaps it seems all too evident, but we can’t lose sight of the fact that all the needs of the current seven billion people on the planet and the billions more to come are met by drawing down our natural resources. Already we see clear indicators that our natural resources are in short supply and need to be rationed. In America’s arid southwest, home to over 20 million people, local governments have imposed water rations during the dry season. This sparks constant conflict between the agriculture industry, residential users, the tourism industry (golf courses), as well as the agencies and politicians who regulate the use of our natural resources. On the other hand, it must be said that America’s problems are relatively minor compared to those facing other nations.

In America’s arid southwest, home to over 20 million people, local governments have imposed water rations during the dry season.

According to a New York Times article from June 1, 2011, Northern China is suffering mightily from a chronic drought and the over-pollution of some of her waterways, leaving vast swaths of farmland dry and barren. To combat this, the Chinese government plans to invest in the diversion of water from untapped sources to where it is needed. This will be similar to what we do in Southern California - moving water from the Colorado River and the Sacramento delta to the Los Angeles and San Diego region. China’s plan is akin to moving water all the way from the Mississippi River to Boston. What’s more the point is that where we allow certain amounts of water to continue downstream into Mexico, China isn’t asking permission to take this water, nor is she intending to share it with her downstream neighboring nations. That means less water for India, one of the most populated countries in the world. This will create tension. Predatory actions like this have already caused and continue to cause great conflict in regions with limited availability to natural resources being shared by bordering nations.

One last thought. Not only do we need water to drink and to grow food, but also water is our main source of energy. Next week, we’ll examine the ways that hydroponic, sustainable agricultural practices can ensure a nation’s food security and regional security. Stay tuned to RosebudMag.com for Part 2.

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Colin Archipley is uniquely qualified to speak about both hydroponics and the realities of war.
Last modified on Friday, 17 August 2012 19:10

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