Sunday, 15 May 2011
The 'River' Charante, France, August 2010.
As I write this I am looking out on our field that has received little rain over the past two months. I am in South east England where in April less than 10% of normal rainfall was recorded; it was the second successive very dry month here. Provisionally, it was the 6th driest April over England in a series from 1910, a sunny month across all of the UK, with amounts generally close to 150% of normal, making it the sunniest April in the series from 1929. Even in normal times, London actually receives less rainfall than Istanbul, but in April even that lower figure was exceeded.
Our field shed has solar panel powered lighting, as there is a substitute for mains electricity. In my garage I am working on a solar electric vehicle, as there is a substitute for oil; but there is no substitute for water...
Agriculture accounts for 70% of global water use, and farmers around the world are the first to suffer from lack of access to a usable long-term reliable supply. The 2010 Russian Drought caused an export ban on Russian wheat, while elsewhere in the world, floods caused crop destruction. China experienced droughts in some areas and floods in others, as did Australia. The May 2010 Tennessee floods were a 1000 year event. There was flooding in Central Europe, Pakistan, France, and Singapore, far too much water in some areas and nowhere near enough in others. Crops were wiped out by drought and crops were wiped out by flooding, and in response 2010/2011food prices rose and the worlds poorest suffered.
This is a problem now and not for the coming years, the world will run out of accessible water for agriculture long before the world will run out of oil. Unilever CEO Paul Polman was reported as saying that his company is concerned that the regions that produce its tomatoes, Greece, Spain and California “will have enough water in the coming decade to guarantee the harvest that will meet our business needs”.
Water is a marginal consideration to many Western governments; but very soon it will be a central issue, without water there is no life.
Jesus mentioned water often, 'living water' is fresh water, and Jesus was never without water. There is a lesson there for as all as we seemingly can only look on as the drought effected areas of the world get ever bigger, more and more are forced to leave their homes in search of life giving living water.
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 13:23