Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back to Basics

An intense focus on basic things like water and food availability (particularly closely linked in significantly agricultural economies like India) will likely be forced on us soon. Click on the title to see a thought provoking article from the FT.
While the article talks about the UK, one point it makes is globally relevant - for things to improve in the face of increasing concerns about how necessities will be sourced and distributed in future, change will be needed in the consumption patterns of people generally. In these days of increasing democracy and improving personal freedoms, regulation will have limited effect.
Water is going to be a real issue for countries like India where the poor already have limited access to even reasonably clean water - starting possibly as early as this year. Would be interesting to see the percentage of GDP countries generally spend on water resources as compared to defence, banking stimulus etc. Would also be interesting to see the percentage of financing of privately and publicly funded research projects that projects focused on water attract compared to things like alternative energy.
How do we capture the runoff from those rapidly melting glaciers, flooding rivers etc? Why aren't we at least building more artificial lakes? The consequences of delayed action could be pretty appalling.

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