In rather dramatic fashion,
Future Earth 2025 takes us on an extraordinary CGI journey into the future offering a vision of what the world might be like if we continue to deplete one of our primary resources – water. Los Angeles consumed by raging firestorms, Rome under attack from billons [sic] of locusts, Washington DC flooded, massive dust storms engulfing Las Vegas, nations suffering drought as rivers dry up, forcing conflicts over water. Just the stuff of apocalyptic Hollywood movies?
Its [sic] estimated the world’s ever growing propulation will need 50% more water in the next 20 years. Future Earth 2025 creates credible disaster scenarios based on changing weather and rain patterns, and uses the testimony of world leading scientists and engineers to project the future, and explore how these disasters can be diverted by adopting new technologies and making changes to the way we live.
The documentary is available online and is well-worth watching. As the blurb states, it is all based on respectable science and the “disaster scenarios” are credible. I didn’t find the CGI particularly gripping – this is no Avatar – but viewers will certainly get the idea.
Scientists have been voicing concerns about water shortages for some years now, but like everything else the scientists tell us, we tend to ignore it if it requires any sort of change. We can ignore reality for only so long, of course. The blurb above only hints at conflict over water, but water wars seem almost certain as upstream countries divert water for their own use.
Think about how long you can go without water, and that’s how long there will be peace if there are water shortages. Any country facing mass starvation because an upstream country has diverted a river will be forced to go to war very quickly.
Current attempts by various corporations to privatise water are also likely to be violently reversed very quickly, although this issue is not covered. The excellent series Water for Profit: How Multinationals are Taking Control of Public Resource, also from the CBC and in collaboration with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists shows how privatisation has been a disaster in many cases and caused riots in some.
Some of the pending calamities have actually started to make the U.S. mainstream media, such as the drying up of Lake Mead – and with good reason. At the current rate, Lake Mead will fall below a critical threshold by 2021 – only 11 years from now. At that time, the level will fall below the sluice gates and there will be no water for Las Vegas and millions of other Americans – and Mexicans, under an international water-sharing agreement – and the damn will cease to provide power for Los Angeles.
Perhaps the most chilling takeaway is how soon some of these rather major disasters could occur; 2025 is only 15 years away.